For the GOP, rightward ho!

The Republican Party is at war with itself. It’s divided over how best to shrink the federal budget and how to undo President Obama’s healthcare law. It hasn’t been notably successful at either, which helps explain why the GOP’s standing in the eyes of most voters has plummeted to depths not seen in three decades of modern polling.

None of this was planned, of course; parties don’t flirt with political suicide on purpose. But it wasn’t accidental either. Behind the GOP crackup over the government shutdown lies a much bigger battle for control of the party.

And the most important actors aren’t Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and the tea party members of the House who brought us the government shutdown. [cont.]

Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times