The Fix highlights the above chart:
The last thing the GOP needs as it seeks to unify, expand its reach and attract new voters is anger directed inward. But that’s the reality of what it’s dealing with.
The trouble is: I don’t think this is primarily moderate Republicans, if they actually exist, blaming Tea Party hostage-taking for their party’s fate. I think it’s base Republicans hating on their leadership’s alleged moderation! As someone who has read, edited or written countless “Republicans’ Coming Crackup” pieces, it might just be true this time that it’s happening. As so often, Obama is causing his enemies to self-destruct. How else to interpret a public statement like this one from the head of the National Federation of Independent Businesses:
There clearly are people in the Republican Party at the moment for whom the business community and the interests of the business community — the jobs and members they represent — don’t seem to be their top priority.
How did a guy eight months in the Senate be able to dominate the House Republicans, Senate Republicans, tie up the country, and bring the government to a halt with no end game, no strategy, and then now just sort of walk away, as if he’s done his job?
Meanwhile, a study finds that the government shut-down is hurting the red states most of all. Much of which prompts the usually sober John Judis to declare that the current GOP is pining for the fjords:
What is happening in the Republican Party today is reminiscent of what happened to the Democrats in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
At that time, the Democrats in Washington were faced by a grassroots revolt from the new left over the war in Vietnam and from the white South over the party’s support for civil rights. It took the Democrats over two decades to do undo the damage—to create a party coalition that united the leadership in Washington with the base and that was capable of winning national elections. The Republicans could be facing a similar split between their base and their Washington leadership, and it could cripple them not just in the 2014 and 2016 elections, but for decades to come.
Seth Masket doubts that we are in the middle of a realignment:
Obviously, it’s hard to know how the current rift will play out. There seems to be a consensus emerging that the current Tea Party-inspired crisis over health reform, the shutdown, and the debt ceiling has been an unmitigated disaster for the Republican Party, costing it in terms of policy and popularity. If that is the dominant interpretation a few weeks and months from now (especially among Republicans), Tea Party affiliates will get much of the blame, and this may represent an opportunity for the more traditional establishment types to reassert themselves and to ignore Tea Party demands in the future.
What more traditional establishment-types? Name one in the House with any clout or on Fox News with any regularity.