SEEING DOUBLE

The “dys” in dysfunction in the GOP is particularly highlighted in Macomb and Hillsdale counties, where local conventions split in two, ending up with literally dueling meetings as fighting factions could not agree on who is in charge to represent themselves. In Macomb, combatting convention meetings were held in Warren and Shelby Township, where one was led by current county party Chairman Eric Castiglia and the other by former county party chairman Mark Forton. In Hillsdale, the executive committee of the Hillsdale County Republican Party tried to keep roughly 70 delegates they considered “disavowed” out of their county convention, including Senate Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) where they then set up an “alternate” convention in the parking lot. “What you’re seeing is the extreme party and the really extreme party, and anyone who’s a never-Trumper is gone from the party,” explained a Lansing-based political consultant. “It’s like two rats in a bag fighting. It shows chaos to voters, and it sucks all the oxygen in the air to go out and organize. If you’re fighting other Republicans in September instead of engaging voters – you’re losing.” He said he does not see any place in the future for moderate Republicans in the current GOP. “By the end of the decade, it’s possible the Republican Party will be the Whigs,” a mid-19th century political party that espoused traditional conservatism that collapsed without a strong party platform to campaign upon.

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