Monday, August 05, 2013

Internal War

(Editorial cartoon by Mike Luckovich and published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.)

Doyle McManus took a look at the GOP and noted that the war over who owns the brand continues, and will presumably continue throughout the next year.

We've all grown used to a Congress locked in bitter warfare between two parties, producing gridlock on federal spending and other pressing issues. But the Congress that left Washington last week hit a new high in another category: gridlock among Republicans. ...

How divided are Republicans in Congress? So divided, one conservative joked, that it shouldn't be called a civil war: "It's not organized enough for that." ...

Every political party has its factions, of course. And parties that have recently lost presidential elections — as the GOP just did — are often the most divided.

But the current brawl in the GOP seems more destructive and personal than most. McCain has called Paul and Cruz "wacko birds," for example, while Cruz called his GOP critics the "surrender caucus." Christie warned that Paul's views were "very dangerous." Paul responded by calling Christie "the king of bacon." ...

But perhaps the biggest problem the Republicans have is one of leadership. When asked to identify the leader of the Republican Party, the first-place winner in the Pew poll was, accurately enough, "nobody."

"The single biggest difference is the disappearance of an organized establishment," said Richard Norton Smith, a historian at George Mason University who has written several books on GOP history.   [Emphasis added]

And the disputes range from immigration, to the budget, to Obamacare and beyond.  I would argue that it's not merely the Tea Partiers versus the establishment, but the Tea Parties vs. the Libertoonians vs. the Moderates (what few there are left).  I'd be very surprised if that changed in the coming year and during the 2014 elections.

That means gridlock for at least two more years unless the Democrats make some amazing gains in 2014, and I'm not to optimistic about that.

Even popcorn doesn't take the edge off a non-functioning Congress.

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