The humiliating days-long spectacle of allowing the top candidate for House speaker to go down in flames in failed vote after failed vote is an unprecedented public display of intra-party dissension – at least this century. But it’s not entirely unexpected.
House Republicans have a recent history of engaging in bruising battles with their own leaders that wounded previous GOP speakers and left others rushing for the exits.
Perhaps this propensity to hobble those entrusted with authority comes with the territory – distrust of governmental power is an integral part of the modern GOP’s DNA. But this week it hasn’t been a pretty picture.