The Republican Party is at war with itself.
While Democrats were united Thursday and brimming with bravado, Republicans were in disarray, sniping at each other over policy, tactics and personalities. The party’s two wings are at war with one another, as it faces more high-profile fights with President Barack Obama over budgets and debt ceilings in coming weeks, and then heads into pivotal elections next year for control of Congress.
The fight for control of the party pits tea party/staunch conservatives against pragmatists. Their split was on display Wednesday, as 87 Republicans in the House of Representatives and 27 in the Senate voted for the bipartisan budget deal, while 144 House Republicans and 18 Senate Republicans voted no.
The no votes were those closely identified with the tea party, determined to dramatically reduce the size and reach of government and regarding “compromise” as an epithet.