And it's that broad brushing, rather than examining officials individually, that undercuts the social moderates with folks outside the party. Sorry, I'm a firm judge of judging the person by their own sins.
Case in point, the complete LACK of backbone that Sen McCain has shown in the last 2 years. Total lack of respect. The withdrawal of true statesmen (or in this case STATESWOMEN) like Olympia Snow. Regret that service to her country and being a true leader in a party of lackspittle jackasses is rewarded by betrayal and backstabbing. She deserved better.
Personally, I am judging them individually as I am reminded of an old quote:
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)
Until one or some of your claimed moderates do something about the Tea Party leadership, they are, to me, just as culpable. Maybe I am being overly judgmental, but at the same time, the amount of hate and vitriol spewed by these people during this election was outright disgusting.
I want to point out that I do agree that some of the GOP might be good men and women, but until they do something about the bad ones...
Given the way candidates act, we'd do this anyway. Adams and Jefferson gave birth to negative campaigning, but genuine disagreements of policies and a shared desire to gain the Presidency were instrumental in creating a negative atmosphere and us versus them mentality.
True.Humans are bound to band together with like minded individuals no matter what measures are taken to prevent factionism, but I think it begins a much greater problem when we codify or formalize certain groups.
What people don't seem to realize or acknowledged is that we're a tribal species, we gather into these little groupings, or we put them into labelled cliques, the Jocks, the Popular Kids, the Geeks, to use High School, but they're totally translatable to mote adult groupings, Sports Stars, Celebrities and... Well, OK us Geeks never really get away from that label...
And worse we all attribute certain characteristics to these groups, accurately or not. It's instinctive, which doesn't make it right, but it is incredibly common and will be part of every day life. No matter how wrong it truly is, it's what humans do.