Let us not mince words here: What is happening between traditionalists, libertarians, and other conservative factions of the Republican Party is a civil war. A cold civil war, to a certain extent, but a civil war nevertheless. In the aftermath of Ted Cruz's quasi/pseudo-filibuster, which had him standing up for 21 hours railing against Obamacare, only then to vote for bringing a likely-amended spending bill, which will keep the Affordable Care Act funded, forward, many Republicans are not happy about the situation. Influential Congressman Peter King of New York, in particular, took on the erstwhile Senator this morning after this event of sorts, criticizing him and claiming that his allies were verbally attacking the Congressman.
Peter King was on MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning, and he went out on a limb to attack Senator Ted Cruz for his filibuster. Congressman King called senator Cruz a fraud for his calls to defund Obamacare, given not only what happened yesterday and the day before, but also in his previous statement that defunding Obamacare will be impossible to pass in the Senate.
More importantly, though, Peter King said that, over the summer, his office received several phone calls that could be the equivalent of trolling him from allies of Ted Cruz. Congressman King was stunned at the situation, saying he had not "heard such vile, profane, obscene language" about the matter. He believes that Senator Cruz is the cause of so many problems, and suggests that the Senator have rallied the trolls and other vicious sentiments to his side, and in so doing have unleashed a very dark aspect of the human psyche into politics.
Honestly, is anyone surprised by now that such trolling has invaded the Republican Party, and represents another factor in the party's civil war? A lot of the right's base is built on fear and anger, and trolling is such a pleasurable release of that fear and anger. Swearing, threatening, screaming into the void, made all the better when it actually makes a mark on someone. That Ted Cruz is using the trolls to further his agenda probably makes sense in his mind: He does not have to make the effort of forcing others around him to follow his goals, he lets others do it for them.
Unfortunately, though, this strain of the Republican base will only serve to widen the schism that exists in the party. It will be impossible for the Republicans to serve up any legitimate policy alternative to President Obama's agenda, and will have to continue to resort to obstructing everything he does. That only leads to further distrust in Washington, and further cynicism and corruption. And the beat goes on.
(Image Sources: Gage Skidmore, AP)