Senate Republicans have gone from salivating over next year's electoral map to shedding conservative tears as they watch their incompetent counterparts in the House sink their brand ahead of 2024.
“My message to fellow Republicans is people elect us to lead, and they’re not leading right now,” Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina told The Hill. Tillis called the House GOP majority's ongoing failure to choose a speaker an “embarrassment.”
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia was even more blunt.
“Get a leader; you were elected to lead,” she said said. “It’s not good for the party’s brand.”
Capito added, “We can’t keep aggravating each other within the conference or we’re going to end up A) not getting anywhere B) losing, and it’s not good for the country.”
Concur. On all three.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his allies have been working overtime the past several weeks to send a countermessage portraying Senate Republicans as serious people with at least relatively mainstream views.
McConnell appeared on CBS's "Face The Nation" Sunday to plug his support for President Joe Biden's proposed $106 billion emergency defense spending package funding Ukraine, Israel, beefed-up security along the U.S.-Mexico border, and humanitarian aid to various hotspots around the world.
Undermining McConnell’s show of support, nine Senate Republicans signed on to a letter last week publicly opposing linking aid to Israel with aid to Ukraine—opposition the minority leader sought to diffuse Sunday.
"If you look at the Ukraine assistance, let's talk about where the money is really going," McConnell said. "A significant portion of it’s being spent in the United States in 38 different states, replacing the weapons that we sent to Ukraine with more modern weapons."
McConnell continued, "No Americans are getting killed in Ukraine. We're rebuilding our industrial base. The Ukrainians are destroying the army of one of our biggest rivals. I have a hard time finding anything wrong with that."
Concur. On everything.
Following McConnell's Sunday appearance on national television to show solidarity with the White House and congressional Democrats, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida hounded McConnell with a Monday morning tweet.
"Everyone in Washington knows that tying aid for Ukraine and Israel together will only delay what's urgently needed in Israel's fight against Hamas - which continues to hold Americans hostage. That's a fact that cannot be ignored," Scott tweeted.
The truth is, the Biden administration has been working feverishly to both negotiate the release of American hostages and flow humanitarian aid into Gaza, where hundreds of Americans remain trapped.
Recent polling shows American majorities believe supporting both Ukraine and Israel is in U.S. national interests.
But Scott, fresh off of hamstringing Senate Republicans' takeover efforts in 2022 as chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is looking to go two-for-two in 2024.
Despite the rift within their own caucus, McConnell and his Senate allies are clinging to the GOP's pre-Trump-era credentials as possessing at least some measure of sanity and competence. Still, the walls are closing in from everywhere. Donald Trump's legal exposure grows almost daily as the four-time indictee ramps up his attacks on the judges overseeing his trials and his onetime allies cut deals with prosecutors to avoid jail time.
Meanwhile, House Republicans are a slow-rolling train wreck—with no end in sight.
Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who recently announced he wouldn't seek another term next year, rounded out Senate Republican criticism of their counterparts in the House with a suggested Democratic talking point.
“It’s going to be hard for us to govern if we can’t come together on people who represent the majority of the members of the House,” Romney said. “I presume the Democrats are going to say, ‘Do you really want to have Republicans run your government if they can’t run themselves?’”