File - House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. are seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 11, 2015. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
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The political chaos in the first two months of the new Congress, despite Republican control in both houses, may signal that the tea party is morphing into a quasi-third party, a deeply conservative band of legislators who routinely thwart Republican vows of effective government.It was a huge embarrassment for Boehner personally and the Republicans more largely. The speaker kept a brave face, siding with tea party demands on immigration until he had to quietly change tactics, dropping the extraneous measure so the department would not go unfunded, at least for a week. That may force the mainstream to kick out the tea party so that mainstream Republicans can begin to find acceptable replacement legislation.That reality will leave the tea party more isolated as Republicans look forward to the 2016 presidential contest.
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