Lots of conservative-but-not-tea-party Republicans in the House have been pretty irritated at the antics of Sen. Ted Cruz and his merry band of scorched-earth nihilists, who have insisted that House members should FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT and eventually go down with the Obamacare-defunding ship even though they know perfectly well they don’t have the votes in the Senate to back them up. But the bad blood goes beyond just that. Rich Lowry prints this email from a House aide:
Yesterday the House passed a major reform to our food stamp program that reinstates the workfare programs that we know are good policy, get people off the welfare rolls and would reduce discretionary spending. But in the months we’ve been working on this conservative proposal, Heritage, Club for Growth, etc. never said one word a support. They didn’t score the bill, they didn’t tweet on it. For a lot of people in the House, it appears that because Republicans were not divided on the issue — or outside groups could not decide to label members a good Republican or a bad Republican — legislation that the Heritage Foundation would have helped craft 5 years ago — wasn’t worth their time. And our Senate conservative friends haven’t led on this issue either. . . .
I don’t know how widespread this feeling is, but it sure looks like there’s some real bitterness here, and it’s getting worse and worse. The next few months are going to be pretty interesting, for a certain definition of “interesting.” When Republicans decided to let the tea party take over the GOP, I don’t think they quite understood exactly what they were letting themselves in for. They should have asked a few Democrats over the age of 50 for pointers.