All signs continue to point to a House GOP crackup that will either lead to a government shutdown or — even worse — a default on America’s debt.
Republican leaders had hoped that the situation in Syria would give them cover, allowing them to somehow keep the government functioning while ignoring many of the big legislative issues the House still has to tackle this year. That doesn’t look as if it will happen.
Instead, the clouds are clearing and what’s left is a Republican caucus that’s divided between justifiably declaring victory over the sequester and the incredibly shrinking deficit — it’s down over one-third in just a year — and Tea Partiers who really want to force a crisis over delaying or defunding Obamacare, a position that’s popular among far-right congressmembers, along with Ted Cruz’s fan club and family — and pretty much no one else.
But the budget battles aren’t the only looming crises for the GOP. Immigration reform and the implementation of Obamacare present historic choices for both parties that will have implications for presidential elections as far as the eye can see.
And all of this is happening as Speaker John Boehner has become the “Speaker In Name Only,” whose plots and schemes are continually rejected by his own members.
Even if we weren’t on the verge of a war, the rest of 2013 will be a perilous time for America. Republicans have to decide if they are a party so obsessed with what they oppose that they’ll damage America and wound their ability to accomplish their agenda in the future.
Here are five ways the GOP could be about to hurt themselves in ways they won’t be able to easily fix.
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Copyright 2013 The National Memo