I recently read this article on The New Republic called "Swimming With Sharks". This details the current year's dirty tricks and money that are involved with selecting a chair for the College Republican National Committee, a post that pays $75,000/year (in constrast to the Democratic equivalent, which pays nothing). The history of the CR is reviewed, in addition to the role that the CRNC has played and continues to play a role in the machines of conervative operators like Karl Rove. Here's an excerpt from the article:
"But the significance of the CRNC goes beyond that. The Committee is the place where Republican strategists learn their craft and acquire their knack for making their Democratic opponents look like disorganized children. Many of the biggest-brand Republican operatives--from Karl Rove and Lee Atwater, to Charlie Black and Roger Stone, to Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, and Grover Norquist--got their starts this way. Walking through the halls of the convention, it is easy to see the genesis of tactics deployed in the Florida recount and by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Republicans learn how to fight hard against Democrats by practicing on one another first. "There are no rules in a knife fight," Norquist instructed the young conventioneers in a speech. And, while Norquist described a knife fight, the Gourley-Davidson rumble transpired around him. "
These young politicians are learning the dirty tricks that will continue to define the political landscape for decades to come. I'm not assuming that the democrats have any moral high ground; the main difference between the parties seems to be one of money and organization. The takeaway I get from this article is a detailed reminder that thes are the types of people who seek to rule, or have control over other people. Every word and promise should be eyed warily.
The full article is available here.