Moderate Groups Want to Run 'Grifter Wing' Out of the GOP


Former Ohio Congressman Steve LaTourette hurled another grenade in his war on the conservative wing of the Republican Party, this time writing in Politico that leaders of groups like Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, and Tea Party Patriots are "grifters" and con artists who are "lining their pockets with the hard-earned money of working men and women ... promising things in return that they know they can’t deliver."

And Ted Cruz is the devil (or something), because Cruz makes a great malefactor in LaTourette's Us vs. Them faux unity fairy tale. Grifters are the new Wacko Birds.

LaTourette, who retired in a huff after he was denied chairmanship of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in 2012, compared Jenny Beth Martin, Chris Chocola, and Matt Kibbe to snake-oil salesmen and Ponzi scheme operators and said groups like his Defending Main Street PAC and the Chamber of Commerce are working to run them out of Washington.

LaTourette's vitriolic Politico tantrum comes as he and his friends at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sit licking their wounds after failing to muscle through the immigration reforms they've been championing.

"Just look at what happened this past week, when hard-right House members with extensive ties to these outside groups, egged on by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, snarled up a sensible effort to pass a bill that would at least begin to address the crisis of undocumented children at the U.S.-Mexico border," LaTourette wrote at Politico. "It was an embarrassing display of congressional dysfunction, and it showed that the grifting wing has learned nothing from last fall’s shutdown fiasco."

In the article, LaTourette takes great pains to try to paint President Reagan as the Great Compromiser of Our Time, a man who demonstrated his goodness and brilliance by giving in to Democrats at every turn. "Reagan’s record and rhetoric stands in marked contrast to the grifting win [sic] of the party today, even as the grifters invoke his memory in their disingenuous appeals," he fumes.

LaTourette is clear that he wants the "grifters" exposed and removed from his party.

"Exposing the grifters is exactly what is happening in the Republican Party today. Groups like the organization that I head, groups like the Chamber of Commerce, business groups and traditional Republican organizations are working to run the political snake-oil salesman out of town—or at least out of our party," LaTourette said. [emphasis added]

But LaTourette is the last person who should be accusing anyone of being a grifter or a con artist.