In an unfortunate end to an unfortunate Congress, this week’s session was gaveled to close amongst loud verbal protest.
The reason for the anger? Congress refused to vote for relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
The spirit of the New Year did nothing to give GOP Members of the House any measure of compassion for the plight of their fellow men and women.
First, there was a confused 24 hour period where House Republicans at first rejected the Senate compromise on the fiscal cliff before ultimately allowing it to come to the floor. Next, House Democrats did the heavy lifting of passing the deal and sending it to the White House by supplying the majority of the votes. After that was done, Republican leaders decided to kicked the can down the road on hurricane relief as well.
For people that allegedly aspire to public leadership, there is a shocking lack of leading in their actions.
Veteran GOP Congressman Peter King was so angry by his party’s actions that he said the following: “I’m saying right now, anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their minds. Because what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. It was an absolute disgrace.”
King went on to call the move “immoral” and “disgraceful” and that it was not consistent with a party that values families. He lamented that this was another step by Republicans to make the GOP a permanent minority party in the Northeast.
More shocking, he said this on the official outlet of the GOP: FOX NEWS.
If you need any more proof that the Republican party is coming apart than a Republican going on FOX NEWS to implore donors to stop giving to the only GOP controlled government entity then you will forever believe that all is well with the GOP and there is no reason to panic.
In the end Republicans are more divided today than they were after the election.
The Speaker and former Vice Presidential nominee voted for the fiscal cliff deal. The Minority Leader and Minority Whip voted against it. Tea Party grassroots groups like the Club for Growth, Freedom Works, Heritage Action and Americans for Prosperity all slammed the deal, as did the great GOP thinker Donald Trump.
The first Republican President famously said “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” The same holds true for the Republican Party today.
It is so fractured and so beholden to radical right wing groups that it is hard to see how the party will put the pieces back together in a way that will allow them to appeal to a majority of Americans.
New Year’s Day was a glaring example of the problems facing Republicans in 2013 and beyond.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.