The Republican Party is in a fight between two wings of the party: Determined and Sane. Usually the Republican Party is broken down into the “Tea Party” and the “Mainstream,” but Determined and Sane might be more accurate, and allows for the phenomenon we see of Republicans like Eric Cantor and Rand Paul who move between them.
Right now, there is a showdown between the Determined and Sane wings of the Republican Party over how uncompromising to be on the issue of shutting down the government over Obamacare. Specifically, Determined wants to present a final offer to Democrats to defund Obamacare as part of the “continuing resolution” which allows the government to continue to fund itself.
The Sane contingent of the Republican Party knows that defunding Obamacare has no hope of making it through the Democrat controlled Senate, and even if it did, Obama would veto it. This has caused the usual champion of Determined, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) to tell GOP aides that he likely will not filibuster a bill in the Senate to simply continue funding the government without defunding Obamacare. That led to a line from a Republican Party aide that challenges my first nominee for quote of the year:
Wow. House gop leadership aide just told me "Wendy Davis has more balls than Ted Cruz." #gopvsgopugliness— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) September 18, 2013
The aide is referring to Texas State Senator who famously derailed an anti-abortion bill with an 11 hour filibuster. I like a good Ted Cruz dig as much as the next guy, but perhaps we shouldn’t knock the guy for dipping his toes in the waters of Sane from the shores of Determined.
The real question about the Republican Party right now is not about Obamacare. It’s whether they have any interest in governing at all.