The internal firing squad among House Republicans has begun, with conservative Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) as the first out of the gate calling for the House leadership team to be replaced.
Much of the backroom maneuvering and media speculation in the coming weeks will focus on identifying new standard-bearers for the party, Flake said in an op-ed in the Washington Post. This is important, and after a second-straight drubbing, the House Republican leadership should be replaced. But the far more critical task is determining what standard these new leaders will bear.
Flake called for weaning the party from earmarks, fighting intervention in the free markets and getting back to first principles.
Flake, a member of the Republican Study Committee, said he is optimistic that Republicans could make a comeback: Politically, America remains a center-right country, and America loves a chastened and repentant sinner. As surely as the sun rises in the east, the Democrats will overreach.
Republican Policy Committee Chairman Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.) also ripped his own party in an op-ed in the American Spectator, saying his party had hit rock bottom.
Possessed of no vision, no principle, no purpose, and no appeal, we deserved our fate, McCotter wrote.
Dead is the self-indulgent imbecility of re-branding as if the Republican Party was a corporate product to be repackaged, not a transformational political movement to be led, McCotter said. Despite what the media will tell you, and what so-called conservative leaders will discuss ad nauseam during secret meetings, this situation is not a crisis. It is an opportunity.
McCotter also urged a return to core principles focusing on freedom.
We will seize freedom, he said. We will be freedom!