No matter which way you turn your gaze, what you see is a Republican Party that is unraveling. What follows is a close look at the “”seams” where GOP unity is becoming undone.
The House of Representatives
Here is where the breakup is most evident; i.e. the Republicans cannot come together and with a single voice, support one of their own as Speaker. Why? Because the Tea Party faction continues to obstruct and vote as a block against anything that resembles governance, and against anyone who dares to challenge them to actually govern. Soon-to-retire Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) resigned after almost five years of trying to herd these “cats”. All too often it was the “cats” who herded him. What we have here is not just a lack of effective leadership, but a failure of the GOP to fulfill their promise to “govern” if they were put in charge of both chambers of Congress.
What has happened in the House is, on a smaller scale, playing itself out in the Senate. Once again, it’s the Tea Party insurgents, led by Ted Cruz (R-TX), who stand accused of being the troublemakers. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is under the same fire as Boehner (see above) and has been targeted for removal from his position of authority.
The House Benghazi Select Committee
Supposedly, this august panel was established to find the truth about what happened in Libya that led to the deaths of four Americans, including our Ambassador Chris Stevens. But, on Fox’s Sean Hannity Show, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) inadvertently revealed that the committee’s real focus was on destroying the credibility of former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the person that the GOP fears the most as a 2016 presidential candidate.
This monumental gaffe has emboldened committee Democrats to come forward with all sorts of evidence that McCarthy spoke the truth; how testimony that put Ms. Rodham Clinton in a good light has been suppressed (1).
The Select Committee’s credibility has been further called into question by an ex-staffer, Bradley Podliska, who has gone public with his claim that jibes with McCarthy’s revelation. Podliska, who was fired from his staff position, allegedly over the mishandling of classified information, is suing to get his job back. If he has his day in court, he will have a very public opportunity to reveal how the GOP-dominated committee has turned away from promising investigative leads into what happened in Benghazi, to focus almost exclusively on the former Secretary of State. That does not bode well for committee Republicans and the party more generally.
Planned Parenthood (PP)
Very recently, this organization came under fire because of the surfacing of a lengthy video-tape that purportedly showed PP staff discussing the harvesting and sale of fetal tissue and body parts obtained via abortions. Republicans in and out of government, long foes of legal abortions, leaped at the opportunity to use the tape as a means of defunding the organization. Naturally, hearings in the House were scheduled all the better to expose PP’s ghoulish practices. However, before said hearings were even convened, a forensic analysis of the notorious tape showed that this material had been heavily and deceitfully edited so as to put PP in the worst possible light. House Republicans went ahead with a hearing anyway, undeterred by the questions about the tape’s credibility, and in spite of strong public sentiment supporting PP.
Leading GOP Presidential Candidates
The three individuals who sit atop every poll are Trump, Carson and Fiorina, not one of whom has ever held an elective office and had experience at governing. Pundits see them as alternatives to far more experienced anti-party establishment candidates like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, borne out of grassroots Republican voters’ utter disenchantment with more traditional GOP regulars. (2) On a large scale, this is akin to the schism among House Republicans (again, see above).
In 2012, the GOP gained control of both houses of Congress with a promise to “govern”. That commitment has not been fulfilled. Rather, what we are witnessing is a party in disarray and unraveling due to intramural warfare between fractious members. To make matters worse, congressional Republican are increasingly being seen as engaging in muckraking on the taxpayers dime, and their grassroots supporters are on the cusp of nominating for the presidency, a person who would be singularly unqualified for the job.
Every bit of the foregoing inures to the benefit of the Democratic party, whose candidates, from top to bottom, will look more attractive to swing voters and independents than their GOP alternatives.
- Testimony to the Select Committee, offered by Cheryl Mills, HRC’s former chief of staff has been kept from a public airing by Committee Chair, Trey Gowdy. See http://www.politico.com/…/cheryl-mills-benghazi-testimony-213320
- GOP voters’ vexation with their party was covered in a blog, previously published at this site. “Why are they so pissed” remains available in the blog’s archives.