Here’s what a leading House Republican said recently about the state of relations among GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill: “I believe the White House wakes up every morning thinking how they can punch us in the nose. And we wake up every morning thinking how we can punch each other in the nose.”
The news has been dominated by President Obama’s inept handling of the Syria issue. Obama’s performance has united Republicans, or at least the large majority of them, against intervention in Syria’s civil war. But that’s just about the only unity in the GOP now.
With a deadline ??? and a possible government shutdown ??? now 18 days away, House Republicans still can’t agree among themselves on a plan to fund the federal government. Does it have to include a measure to defund Obamacare? Should that be a separate proposal? What about sequestration? Should Republicans trade away some of their hard-won spending cuts for a delay of Obamacare implementation? For entitlement reform? For something else? And what about the debt ceiling?
It’s hard to overstate the extent of Republican divisions on all of those questions. Read theWashington Examiner‘s Susan Ferrechio. And David Drucker. And Conn Carroll. There’s simply nothing approaching a Republican majority on some very key questions.
When Republicans discuss Obama’s meandering course on Syria, they stress that it’s difficult for Americans to have faith in his leadership. But when a House Republican says, “There’s no faith in leadership,” he’s not talking about Obama. He’s talking about the confusing and difficult state of affairs inside the House GOP.