In national party politics Republicans sometimes appear to be their own enemies. Too often the idea of circling the wagons against Democrat attacks eludes them or, worse, results in shooting into their own ranks.
For example, late last July President Obama out on one of his self-promotional tours in Jacksonville, Florida bad-mouthed House Republicans. Meanwhile, back in the District of Corruption, House Speaker John Boehner “elevated his criticism of fellow Republican Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa,” according to Erica Werner of the Associated Press.
Rep. King made “hateful” observations (according to Boehner) about Mexican banditos—something about how they carry drugs across our Southern border into the U S of A. Boehner had already sent a note to King telling him to knock off this “deeply offensive and wrong” talk. To liberals (and apparently Boehner agrees) this is all about an illegal alien’s right to choose; and furthermore “What difference does it make,” to quote Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Boehner should have shut up. Surely he knew the press would pick up this flap and make political hay with it. Even House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. (who usually sounds as though he knows the political score) and some other Republicans jumped into the fray.
They should have saved their ire for public rebuke of Obama’s offensive and lying statements. He accused Republicans of being “deadbeat” obstructionists to his socialist agenda and having a “my way or the highway attitude.” I haven’t heard a discouraging word about that from Boehner or Cantor.
A few Republican leaders have the political gonads to stand against Obama’s tactics to divert attention from his lies and failures. Senator Mitch McConnell remarked on the Senate floor that Obama should end his campaigning and start working with Congress to actually solve some problems; not a forceful statement, but at least he isn’t shooting at his own people.