The hard-line stance of Republican House members on the government shutdown is generating increasing anger among senior Republican officials, who say the small bloc of conservatives is undermining the party and helping President Obama just as the American people appeared to be losing confidence in him.
Ms. Ayotte asked Mr. Cruz to disavow the group’s effort and demanded he explain his strategy. When he did not, several other senators — including Mr. Johnson, Mr. Coats and even Mitch McConnell, the minority leader — joined in the criticism of Mr. Cruz.We also hear that the scions of the party, people like Jeb! are worried that all of the rampant foot-eating is making the public think the party is a bunch of foot-eaters.
“It just started a lynch mob,” said a senator who was present.
[Jeb!] Bush’s comments reflect what has become gospel among many Republican professionals: that the language and images projected by the Washington wing of the party are interfering with efforts to modernize.You may note that none of the talk, and by that I mean jack-all, and by that I mean zero, is directed at how shutting down the government and hurting wide swaths of America is a Bad Thing. No, it's all about how it makes them look, and whether or not it will hurt their own careers, and which groups are printing up literature against them, and whether or not the Jeb Bushii of the party will now be saddled with coming up with a plausible sounding excuse as to why their party continues to devolve into self-cannibalism while attempting to blow the usual smoke about how the party will change, pinky swear, if we just vote for one more batch of the people waving their knives and forks around. Whether or not this or that group of perfectly innocent and by-golly necessary federal workers start losing their homes when the next round of paychecks does not come is of no interest whatsoever—the problem for Serious Republicans is all about how all of that might make Serious Republicans look bad.
Given that any group of Serious House Republicans could end this entire episode, and in vote after vote cannot be bothered, it should be abundantly clear that there are no Serious House Republicans. Given that any of these other non-House Serious Republicans could be doing considerably more to rein the cannibals in and have pointedly not, in the years that led up to this moment, it should be clear that there are no Serious Republicans outside of the House either. This will end only when House Republicans have so cannibalized each other as to have left not even the smallest pretense of seriousness behind, and heaven knows that none of the stories already coming out about the damage being done to the wider nation has budged them so far.