Personally, one of the biggest turnoffs of political parties is the way its members tear each other apart during primaries and then pretend they're all friends for the General Election.
In a hyphenated word... it's two-faced.
Party faithful spend months denigrating their party comrades, mocking people who are running for office, and ridiculing the minor differences in philosophies or strategies.
Think back to the 2008 Democratic Primary for President. John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama got nasty over relatively small details of the generally-accepted socialized medicine goal.
Clinton ended up in Obama's cabinet. Had Edwards not ended up in the Enquirer, I suspect he would've landed a federal gig, too.
All politics is local
You can see it in the North Carolina GOP primary, too.
The New York Times did a write-up on this race, focusing on how Thom Tillis, Greg Brannon, and Mark Harris represent the three major factions inside the Republican Party - "Establishment," "Tea Party," and "Evangelical."
And from the piece we get this insult, disguised as analysis:
Some of the leaders liken him to Todd Akin, the Republican congressman who won the 2012 primary to face Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, only to alienate voters with comments suggesting that women who are victims of “legitimate rape” rarely become pregnant.
For the record, Todd Akin was funded by America Crossroads - the Karl Rove group that is funding Thom Tillis. (American Crossroads pulled its support after Akin's remark.) The Tea Party Express told him to quit the race.
Akin was a long-serving GOP Congressman and State lawmaker. A Brannon-esque upstart, he was not.
But if Republican Party leaders are concerned about nominating someone who cannot win, I'd submit that their record of losing winnable races is far longer than the Tea Party. See: Mitt Romney 2012.
Heck the current race is for the seat held by Elizabeth Dole until she lost in 2008 to Kay Hagan. That race was winnable, too. After ridiculing New Yorkers for electing Hillary Clinton as their carpet-bagging Senator, Republican elected Dole in the Tar Heel state.
Look, as a proponent of limited government, I expect the New York Times to paint folks of similar philosophy this way. But when the attacks are aped by Republicans, the party has a problem.
NC Females, regardless of party need to be concerned that Greg Brannon was compared to Todd Akin (Mr. Legitimate rape) by the NYT #NCSEN— Stacy Phillips (@HopeisLOUD) April 14, 2014
This kind of demagoguery is some of the worst kind, as it not only mimics the abusive rhetoric of progressives, but it gives those mutual opponents ammunition in the debate.
There are some rabid GOP folks I've come across in social media who don't seem to understand that tomorrow they'll need the support of the same people they're attacking today. It drives people out of the party structure, gives aid and comfort to the opposition, and undermines their own candidates.
In short, it's not winning the debate.
Unless, of course, the only goal is to win the election.