From the minute House Republicans eked out a narrow majority in the 2022 midterms after massively underperforming expectations, we all knew it was going to fall apart for them. It took fifteen rounds to elect a Speaker to begin with. All of their stated plans, from a shutdown to impeachment, have failed to happen as they’ve endlessly bickered with each other. And now they’ve gone weeks without a Speaker.
Now that high profile candidates Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, and Steve Scalise have all been eaten alive by their own side, at least eight other House Republicans have entered the race for Speaker. In other words, the Republican Party is becoming even further divided into factions and fiefdoms.
To that end, one far right pundit now says that a “Republican civil war is looming.” This is a guy who’s generally wrong about everything, but for once he could be right. The total lack of leadership within the Republican Party does appear to have the party on track to rip itself into pieces.
We’ll see where this Speaker battle goes from here. But at this point the Republican Party is about as divided within itself as the Democratic Party is united within itself. The last time a major U.S. political party was in this bad of shape, it was the Whig Party – and it ceased to exist not too long thereafter.