Republicans and Fox News are moving to purge the controversial political creatures they created.
Both were damaged badly in 2012 by loud, partisan voices that stoked the base — but that scared the hell out of many voters. Now, the GOP, with its dismal image, and Fox News, with its depressed ratings in January, are scrambling to dim those voices. To wit:
- Fox ousted contributors Sarah Palin and Dick Morris, two of the most obnoxiously partisan figures on the network’s air.
- Karl Rove, himself sidelined by Fox after the election, has helped start a new super PAC, the Conservative Victory Fund, designed to keep controversial conservatives like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) from winning Senate primaries.
- Senate GOP leaders created what amounts to a buddy system with their caucus’s most popular tea party members, Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas, to get their help in taming anti-establishment conservatives.
- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has been running around the country warning anyone who will listen that Republicans must quit being the “stupid party” that nominates nutty candidates.
“The fact that we lost a winnable election has caused Republicans to take this very, very seriously,” Jindal told us in an interview. “I don’t think it’s just a marketing change. I don’t think it’s just cosmetic changes. It is going to require some serious changes, not in principles, but in the way we talk and act.”