The Corner

Politics & Policy

‘The GOP Identity Crisis’

I wrote today for Politico about what the last few days have told us about the GOP:

The Republican party can’t pass Obamacare repeal but it can nominate Roy Moore.

This is the state of the GOP in a nutshell. It is a party locked in mortal combat between an establishment that is ineffectual and unimaginative and a populist wing that is ineffectual and inflamed. It is rare for a governing coalition to have a bitter factional fight — usually the party out of power deploys the circular firing squads — although, on the other hand, this particular coalition isn’t doing much governing.

By the hard numbers, Republicans are in robust good health. They have unified control of the federal government and the most governorships and state legislative seats since the 1920s. Conservatives control the Supreme Court. Yet, Trump’s ascendance created an identity crisis in the party that hasn’t been resolved, and the hope it could be papered over with legislative accomplishments and signing ceremonies has come a cropper.

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