The civil war within the Republican Party has reached new heights after one of the most powerful and influential Tea Party factions launched a blistering attack on Republican Speaker John Boehner after he publicly criticised the right-wing movement.
The Tea Party Patriots denounced the Speaker as “a ruling class politician” who had “declared war on the Tea Party” with his “smug and pretentious rant.”
This came after Boehner publicly rebuked the Tea Party for pursuing a separate policy agenda that was at odds with the declared positions of the official Republican leadership. This unusually harsh accusation came after the Speaker was asked about conservative pressure groups opposition to a tentative budget agreement that he helped broker with the Obama Administration. The deal is designed to prevent another government shutdown for at least two years:
“They are using our members and they are using the American people for their own goals. This is ridiculous. Listen, if you’re for more deficit reduction, you’re for this agreement.”
Reaction was immediate. The Tea Party Patriots accused Boehner of betraying the America people, and denounced him as “tax and spend liberal”. They also said the budget deal reached did nothing to reduce spending and, most significantly of all, provided funding for the Affordable Care Act.
The battle for the ideological soul of the Republican Party, with the establishment wing of the party on one side and the Tea Party leading the reactionary right on the other, has been puttering along for some time now. However this very public disagreement may be a sign that the Tea Party is beginning to see its influence wane as the public turns against their tactics and their policies, as attested to by the results of recent opinion polls.
h/t: Raw Story