It also only exacerbates the split between the realists and the screaming posers – not to mention the gap between the GOP and swing voters.
And do you know who is working both of those gaps? President Obama and his strategists. Hence the series of August speeches he has planned aimed at positioning himself as focused on the middle class and jobs (in contrast to a GOP still obsessed with Obamacare). Obama's had success exploiting the gap between public opinion and the GOP: Recall the fiscal cliff deal, the Violence Against Women Act and the Hurricane Sandy relief bill, all of which passed despite a majority of House Republicans opposing them.
"There really has been a caucus of common sense in the Senate," Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer told reporters at a breakfast this week, describing the Republicans who helped pass the immigration bill and cut the deal on approving the president's executive nominees. He added: "The gridlock of the moment is not predictive of what's going to happen in the future on big issues."
The tea party right had better hope he's wrong. If the GOP's pragmatist wing really does start to reassert itself – passing immigration reform and defusing a shutdown would be a good start – it could signal an end to the tea party's lock on the party. The next few weeks will be critical. This could be the summer of the radicals' discontent.
- Read Peter Roff: Journalists Should Cheer Washington Post Sale to Amazon's Jeff Bezos
- Read Eric Schnurer: Poll Shows Republicans and Conservatives Need to Choose, Not Moderate
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