GOPocalypse: A Guide to Republican Purges
Between an electoral defeat that was wholly unexpected (by them, anyway) and a “fiscal cliff” that will compel them to support a tax increase, Republicans are experiencing present political reality as a sort of Apocalypse. That’s how it feels, anyway; eventually they will adjust. But for now they’re channeling their resentment into internecine warfare, creating a tableau vivant of pitched battle and unending recrimination that Hieronymus Bosch could have set against a landscape of burning lakes and whirling locusts. It is deeply satisfying to behold. But there’s so much bile flying in so many directions that the uninitiated can find it difficult to keep track of who’s purging whom, and why. Here follows a guide to some of the more interesting enmities.
John Boehner’s back-bencher purge. House Speaker John Boehner stripped four Republican members of sought-after assignments to two prominent committees (Budget and Financial Services), then warned the rest of the GOP caucus that “there may be more folks that will be targeted … we’re watching all your votes.” Boehner insists the four (Walter Jones of North Carolina, David Schweikert of Arizona, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas and Justin Amash of Michigan) weren’t purged for being too conservative, but rather for not being “team players.” One thing they had in common, though, was a vote against last year’s debt-ceiling deal.