Byron York talks to an anonymous House Republican, who explains how House GOP leaders have been repeatedly caught off guard and “unaware of what was going on”:
The congressman walked the group through a set of issues involved in the shutdown — the continuing resolution, House-Senate relations, the coming debt limit talks, and more — but what was perhaps most striking was his frank talk about how the GOP leadership got itself into its current predicament. What became clear after an hour of discussion was that the House Republican leadership’s position at the moment is the result of happenstance, blundering, and an continuing inability to understand the priorities of both GOP and Democratic colleagues [bold mine-DL].
As this House Republican explains, the leadership didn’t just misjudge how Democrats would respond to the defunders’ tactics, but they were also oblivious to what was going on inside their own party. While Cruz and his allies were putting together their plan, such as it was, the leadership had no idea this was happening, and as a result they were unprepared for it when it happened. The absurdity of the GOP’s position became clear towards the end of the report:
The crisis that House Republican leaders didn’t see coming is now consuming them, with unpredictable consequences. “We’re not in a situation that has been planned out and war-gamed and plotted, OK?” said the congressman.
No kidding. Republicans are stuck with insurgents that want the impossible and leaders that don’t know what’s going on in their own party, and together they have created a situation in which all of them appear to have no idea what they’re doing. No wonder one recent poll found Republicans trailing by 9 points on the generic House ballot.