Is a Republican Civil War over the party leadership race a media fiction?
Erick Erikson at RedState thinks the way the media have excitedly covered the race for House GOP Conference Chair between Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) has been far removed from reality:
It is absolute and utter nonsense. This contest is not in the least bit a race between the tea party and the establishment and the only people who think it is are the people who’ve sat inside Washington, D.C. all year licking their chops waiting for a Republican Civil War.
This. Is. Not. It.
This is a matter of who would be the best face for the GOP to explain their positions to those not of the GOP and Tea Party. It is also a matter of showing the GOP is serious about cutting spending. That is why Jeb Hensarling will probably get it.
We all know and love Michelle Bachmann, but while she is one of the best at firing up the base, she is not necessarily the best at explaining GOP policy to a media typically hostile to the GOP.
I think Erickson is probably right. While the news has been flush with stories about the leadership battle, eagerly talking up the potential for a rift between the Tea Party the GOP establishment over the issue, I haven’t seen much evidence that Tea Party groups are getting up in arms about the issue. That’s not to say that the budding factions might not clash on all sorts of issues down the road — just that this one might not be one of them.