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Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:10 PM

It's civil war time for House Republicans

It's civil war time for House Republicans

by Laura Clawson

Tuesday's fiasco in the House brought with it a lot of drama—would Republicans pass a bill to avert the giant scary fiscal curb or would they blow up the deal, who else would Speaker John Boehner tell to go fuck themselves—but none more delightful than the prospect of a brewing war in the Republican Party. Big factions of the party wanted nothing more than to take the country over a cliff they believed to be real in defense of tax cuts for the very rich and service cuts for everyone else, and were outraged at the leaders asking them to engage in even fractional compromise with the promise of a chance to do way more damage just a couple months down the road.

Many of the questions centered on a split within House Republican leadership, and Tuesday afternoon, Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he opposed the Senate deal. It's hard not to see that as undermining Boehner, who was trying to get the deal through the House, though Cantor's spokesman had this to say:

Majority Leader Cantor stands with @SpeakerBoehner. Speculation otherwise is silly, non-productive and untrue.
— @DougHeye via Twitter for BlackBerry®


Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) voted in favor of the measure. But Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) voted against the legislation, as did Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (Ill.). House Budget Committee Chairman and 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan voted in favor of the deal.

So "standing with" Boehner apparently doesn't mean voting with him on a vote seen as crucial for the future of Boehner's leadership. Boehner might want to remember that next time Cantor is described as standing with him.

But even Cantor's vote against the deal isn't enough for some House Republicans:

Buzzy: @RepTomPrice told WMAL this morning that GOP needs "red state leadership." As @LarryOConnor notes, that doesn't include OH, VA, & CA
— @robertcostaNRO via web

Price, of course, has ideas about who that might be—he tried to become House Republican conference chair, the fourth spot in the leadership, but lost out to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state (another non-red state). But Price isn't the only one who's unhappy. More Republicans voted against the deal than for it in the House, after all, and even some who voted for it did so unhappily.

Republicans are going into the 113th Congress really unhappy with each other, and with John Boehner's leadership looking as weak as it ever has at just the moment Democrats are picking up seats in both houses of Congress. It's definitely a popcorn-worthy scenario. The trouble with all of this, though, is that even while falling into an orgy of finger-pointing, Republicans are still as good at hurting the country as they are at hurting their own party, and they've got another chance coming up.


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ProSense Jan 2013 #1

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Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:59 PM

1. Kick! n/t

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