The very public intra-party fight between President Trump and the Freedom Caucus is just the latest twist in the ongoing fight over the philosophical, strategic and ideological direction of the Republican party. As has been his mode of operation since his candidate days, Trump has taken to Twitter to shame/intimidate/cajole members of his own party. In this case, it was to get rebellious GOPers to “take one for the team” and support a flawed, but nonetheless GOP-authored Obamacare replacement bill. But, in the end, it’s not the Freedom Caucus that gets hurt by this infighting. They sit in safe Republican seats and know their voters better than anyone in DC. Instead, it’s the vulnerable GOP incumbents who lose this fight. Why? The more the GOP gets bogged down in process instead of progress, the more likely it is that their voters become disillusioned and that independent voters abandon them. Combine these ingredients with an energized Democratic base and you have all the ingredients for a disastrous midterm election in 2018 for the GOP.
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