A House Divided
Senator McConnell, as Minority Leader in the Senate, was faced with a tough choice during the government shutdown. The Tea Party put pressure on every lawmaker to fight to defund Obamacare, but Moderates were also voicing their concerns on the effects of the shutdown and even more so the effects of a default. In a move to appease Americans but to ostracize the far right, McConnell in the end stressed that although he still wants to defund the Affordable Care Act, the government had to reopen. He then worked out a compromise with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid based off a bill led by Senator Collins from Maine which lifted the debt ceiling and funded Obamacare. This action of compromise, however, has been overshadowed by many members of the far right who view this as surrender and a betrayal to conservative values. Senator McConnell is faced with a tough primary as businessman and tea party enthusiast Matt Bevin continues his campaign. And now, the Senate Conservative Fund decided that McConnell’s actions were weak, and are giving their powerful support to Bevin. Senator Marco Rubio, however, said that he will continue to support Senator McConnell. Rubio appeared on Fox News Sunday where he was asked if he would chose McConnell over a tea party member, and the senator said that he understands the position McConnell is in as he tries to appease the factions within the party. These factions, as primaries around the country are faced with choosing a Republican side, are a major source of discontent and division within the party. As these tea party members win the primaries and have tons of money contributions from funds such as the Senate Conservative Fund, the race usually stops there and the GOP loses seats in states that normally vote red. This problem was seen with the election of Todd Akin, and Karl Rove has even started a super pac to try and avert far right radicals from winning the Republican bid. A tough primary is also happening right now in Wyoming, a super Republican state, as Liz Cheney runs against long time Senator Mike Enzi. Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis outwardly expressed her disfavor with this decision, and former Senator Simpson said that these are the kind of splits that turn states from red to blue. “A house divided cannot stand,” and unless the Republicans can form a cohesive message, it will be hard to take back the majority in the senate and more importantly, the White House in 2016.