One phenomenon I have noted over the years both during my time in the GOP and since is that it is nearly impossible to reason with ultra-conservatives and Christofascists. Tellingly, both groups cannot seem to grasp that their views/beliefs are NOT mainstream and that outside of the bubble of Fox News and batshit crazy evangelical churches, the majority of Americans do not subscribe to their beliefs. Indeed, I suspect the majority of Americans find them frightening if not repulsive. Now the infamous GOP "Freedom Caucus" in the U.S. House of Representatives wants to withhold campaign funding from moderate Republicans ("moderate being a relative term) as punishment for supporting a discharge petition that might get immigration reform acceptable to all but the Trump base passed by Congress. It's a case of cutting off one's nose to spite their face. But, such is the irrationality of the far right. A piece in New York Magazine looks at the idiocy - which I frankly hope prevails - roiling the GOP conference. Here are highlights:
For years the ultra conservative House Freedom Caucus has been a thorn in the side of the GOP leadership. Now, in a twist, GOP moderates have banded together in an effort to force votes on immigration, including a bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. The Freedom Caucus will not stand for a vote on so-called “amnesty,” so they’re calling for harsh punishments for moderates who dare to defy party leaders – though that could make it even likelier that Democrats win control of of the House in November.The moderate Republicans have banded together with House Democrats to support a discharge petition, a rare maneuver that would allow them to circumvent Speaker Paul Ryan and force a vote on four immigration measures. This would include a measure that protects young undocumented immigrants in exchange for border security funding, without provisions from Representative Bob Goodlatte’s conservative immigration bill, like legal-immigration cuts and money for Trump’s border wall.
The Freedom Caucus already derailed passage of the Farm Bill last week over Ryan’s failure to meet their demand for a vote on the Goodlatte bill, and now the immigration issue is plunging the House GOP deeper into chaos. Though by definition, a discharge petition means members are acting without the leadership’s consent, conservatives are holding Ryan responsible for the moderates’ efforts, claiming he and other party leaders could be doing more to stop them.
So the conservatives are suggesting that months before an election in which Republicans may lose control of the House by just a few seats, the leadership should punish their weakest members by withholding campaign money.
In general, threatening engaging more intra-party squabbling isn’t a smart strategy for the midterms. During a closed-door meeting on Tuesday morning, Ryan told members of the caucus that they need to remain united and act like they’re the majority party . . .
For now it’s unclear whether Republicans will be voting on one, two, or four immigration proposals in the coming weeks, and in the meantime they’re engaging in yet another form of self-destructive behavior: floating the idea of replacing Ryan as speaker prematurely.
But there’s little evidence that ousting Ryan is the solution to the caucus’s problems. While Ryan has endorsed McCarthy and he’s the frontrunner for the job, many aides and lawmakers told the Washington Post on Tuesday that there currently isn’t anyone who could easily win a race for speaker.
“If we have a speaker’s race, then it takes everyone’s eye off the ball of what’s most important, and that is keeping the majority,” said Representative Rodney Davis, chair of the centrist Republican Main Street Caucus. “It would be the most short-lived time in the speaker’s chair that anyone could have asked for.”