In truth, the GOP has become more diverse, with its first black senator since Edward W. Brooke (new Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina), with Indian-American governors in Louisiana and South Carolina, Hispanic senators from Florida and Texas, and House members from Florida, California, Utah, Texas, Washington and Idaho. But it has a ways to go, and many Republicans speak openly about it.
Yet this question persists: Is the Republican range war good for the party (as an expression of openness and a display of passion) or bad for the party (as an unseemly spectacle diverting attention from the work required to mount a comeback in the midterm congressional elections of 2014 and the presidential election of 2016)?
Or maybe the question doesn’t matter. Parties out of office often fight with the party in power but more often fight with themselves. This may be an extraordinary struggle, but it is not an unusual one.
North Shore native and Pulitzer Prize winner David M. Shribman is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.