Divided They Fall

Deeply splintered over ideology, policy and personalities, the Republicans face a bitter struggle over their party's future course

For Republicans, the battle for 1996 began officially last Tuesday, but it had started unofficially more than two years ago, when George Bush reneged on his no-new-taxes pledge. He sparked a full-scale revolt by the party's right $ wing, which neither much liked nor trusted him in the first place. Led by Patrick Buchanan, angry conservatives mounted a challenge to Bush in the early primaries. The President, in turn, wooed the right so relentlessly at the Republican Convention in August that he alienated the moderates. Bush never recovered from the error.

Bush's defeat only deepens the fissures in the party. Lacking...

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