[Promoted - I think the Right would do well to fix its own house first. Internicine warfare is unfortunate....and unfortunately necessary. The GOP needs to clean its own house before it can ever be trusted with the people's House. That doesn't just mean primarying Republicans, though; it also means Republican Senators and Representatives need to start encouraging and supporting primary challengers. Until they put their personal political capital behind reform, they're just status quo Republicans - Jon Henke]
The process of truly remaking the GOP into a party that the grassroots can be proud of again requires a step that was more complicated in 2006 when there was still a majority to worry about: cheering the electoral confrontation of Republican Members of Congress currently doing more harm than good to the conservative cause.
That inevitably becomes a debatable filter and people can disagree about the primary cause of the party's 2006 losses, ranging from over-spending, the Iraq War, and the stench of assorted scandals. Regardless of the ultimate ranking of those problems, however, zeal among some significant Republicans in Congress to continue obnoxious spending practices is not only bad policy, it was - and is - a significant annoyance to the conservative grassroots.
As such, it is difficult to do anything but applaud the increasing critical mass in a primary challenge to uber-purveyor of pork, Don Young. The Club for Growth has its critics on the right at times given their aggressive efforts in some Republican primary contests. Yet, their vigorous opposition to Young is a welcome sign in the bigger picture of the spring-cleaning the still needs to occur in the Capitol Hill Republican Caucuses.
Sarah Palin's meteoric rise in national GOP eyes has much to do with her willingness and success in taking on the status quo of the Alaska Republican Party, whose descent in to corruption and pork-barrel dependency is a poster child for much of the recent decline of the Republican brand-name. Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell's run against Young is but another step in the important process of reversing that trend.
In the long-term, we need more Palins across the country. And in the short-term we need more Republicans like Young challenged with skill and vigor. Only once such deeds are accomplished will Republicans on the Hill be able to remake themselves into something truly worth supporting in the aggregate in election cycles to come, long-past this year when John McCain over-performing the GOP brand looks like one of the party's few hopes.
For now, the message is clear regarding Congressman Young and others like him: Take. Them. Out.
Cross-posted at Sound Politics.