Those in the country who still wax nostalgic for the Civil War might turn their attention toward “The Late Unpleasantness” that is ongoing in the Republican Party. The battle lines are drawn between the TEA Party and business wings, and the mainstream party leadership must surely be rueing the day it caught that TEA Party tiger by the tail.
As we wrote just over a year ago after the primary party purges:
While it's entertaining to watch the GOP slowly self-destruct and race happily down a rutted path that leads inexorably towards the cliff of political irrelevance, it is bad for the country in the short term.
Far too many people just don't believe how extremist these guys are. It's not just a clown car, people! It's an armored clown bus filled with unstable extremists hostile to civil liberties, Social Security, public education, compromise of any sort, and civil society. They're the clowns of your nightmares: they're in charge in many statehouses and running the US House of Representatives.
Earlier this week, some in the country were entertained by
Canada Texas Senator Ted Cruz's 21-hour children's book reading party on the floor of the Senate. When he wasn't rattling off bad rhymes or impersonating Darth Vader, he was comparing those who disagree with his methods to appeasers who failed to stop the Nazis.
Senator John McCain took his least favorite “whacko bird” to task for that one, and he's not alone in his antipathy to Cruz and his allies. Chris Wallace reported that other Republicans had been sending him opposition research on the Senator. Not that Karl Rove thought there was anything wrong with that. hmmmm……
“I would suspect today, with all due respect to Mike, junior Senator from Texas, I suspect this is the first time that the endgame was described to any Republican senator. They had to tune in to listen to you to find out what Ted's next step was in the strategy. And look, you cannot build a congressional majority in either party for any kind of action, unless you're treating your colleagues with some or certain amount of respect…..”
But other senators stood with Cruz – including Alabama's own Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, a man whose name alone might indicate his fondness for a good Civil War.
During the course of the evening, Sessions asked Cruz to yield for questions, alternately applauding the freshman senator for his stand against the health care legislation, and asking him to clarify specific points he opposes in the bill.
Cruz said of Sessions, “I appreciate his friendship and wisdom.”
Appearing on Brietbart News Sunday (no link, but you can Google it yourself), Sessions spoke glowingly of the new dynamic in Congress. You know, the one that's about to shut the government down and default on our financial obligations, possibly plunging the country back into recession:
“I frankly think people got to understand that this democracy is rough and tumble and people get elected, they promise to do something about the slide of this country and they come here fighting for it, and we ought to respect them and support them and not try to undermine them.”
Meanwhile, Alabama's other Senator, Richard Shelby, has made it onto the TEA Party's “bad list” of Senators who “won't vote to defund Obamacare.” And all of Alabama's GOP Representatives (those who haven't quit – yet- in the middle of their terms, anyway) voted in favor of the House Continuing Resolution that included the defunding language.
The action is about to move back to the House, but the GOP internal war still rages. While fun for Democrats to watch, this group of clowns are truly dangerous. Don't underestimate their ability to do damage.