John McCain's Republican Civil War: Is McCain Going To War With The Tea Party?

John McCain, the Arizona Republican Senator who ran as an ultra-conservative in his 2008 presidential bid, has seemingly done a political 180. McCain has always donned the moniker of a political "Maverick" in the Republican party because he has worked with the other side of the aisle.

Now, according to Politico, he seems to want to crush what should be an ally that exists within his own party. Though, it might come as no surprise to many that the Tea Party and Senator McCain are not good bedfellows.

The Oregonian states it was the Tea Party who started the political war. In January, the conservative wing of the Republican party, struck Senator McCain with a censure. The censure, which apparently holds little power to affect the McCain's senatorial seat, was put to a "voice" vote in Maricopa County.

The resolution was passed by a 1,150-to-351 vote. The Tea Party vote listed a number of what the party called "disastrous" and "harmful" policy decisions toward Arizona and the country. The "liberal" policy record he holds included votes for amnesty, and a refusal to defund Obamacare are among the charges. The amnesty charge comes from the fact that Arizona is border state, and the issue has been boiling over the past several years. The Inquisitr reported on the ongoing fights over illegal immigration.

The wording of the resolution was very serious and stern in its declaration, the Arizona Repubic reports.

"Only in times of great crisis or betrayal is it necessary to publicly censure our leaders. Today we are faced with both. For too long we have waited, hoping Senator McCain would return to our Party's values on his own. That has not happened."
Despite the fact the original report did not utilize the term "Tea Party," but merely "Maricopa County Republican Party," John McCain in recent months chose to strike at state Tea Party leaders. Politico suggests John McCain is "getting his revenge" on "Tea Party agitators". His "revenge" would appear to be to unseat influential Tea Party held positions throughout the state.

McCain's focus has been on state "precinct committeeman." According to Politico, these positions determine how state and local Republican Party funds are spent, which candidates are promoted in an election year, and which political issues are highlighted. Prior to local elections on August 26, the majority of the positions were held by Tea Party Republicans.

Now, 40 percent of the positions are held by committeeman that are "McCain friendly." Gordon James, a John McCain advisor, says there has been a "huge organizational" effort that are "hostile" to John McCain. The fact that Senator McCain and his allies are seemingly intentionally shutting out Tea Party opposition, Mr. James finds this to be a good thing.

"A lot of the party folks who were hostile to John McCain have been marginalized, and that's a good thing."
Two such purported Tea Party committeeman were ousted thus far. Timothy Schwartz, the man who authored the censure resolution, was booted and replaced by a "McCain-aligned" candidate. Another McCain "detractor" and Maricopa Republican Party Chariman, A.J. LaFaro was seemingly forced into resigning when support seemed to dry up.

According to Schwartz, it was "very clear" what was going on, and McCain's "money" and "prominence" was the cause of the loss of his seat.

"Look, John McCain has prominence and money and influence and because of that he thinks he can ramrod us."
Since John McCain's censure, he has started a Super PAC group to crush his opponents in Arizona, ironically called "Arizona Grassroots Action PAC." It has raised $300,000 so far. Politico reported that this was mostly made up of Gregory Wendt and Gregory Maffei, two long time donors to he Arizona senator.

[Image Via Creative Commons]