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Michael Medved

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Different roles divide the party

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

As Republicans on Capitol Hill struggle to make progress on healthcare and tax reform, the loudest voices in conservative media rip the GOP’s Congressional leadership for their willingness to compromise on drafting legislation.

Actually, Republicans in the House and Senate are doing what they need to do to succeed at their jobs, while conservative commentators in talk radio and syndicated columns do what brings success in their very different roles. Congressional conservatives can achieve nothing without support from moderate Republicans and, ideally, some Democrats, but conservative talkers can maintain ratings dominance by appealing solely to hard-core true believers who make up at most 10 percent of the available audience.

The only way to repair the rift in Republican ranks is for conservative media to alter their strident approach and broaden their base. That process might bring even larger audiences, while helping Congressional colleagues to build the larger coalitions that Constitutional checks and balances require.

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