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A legislative triumph that the most vocal members of the party see as a cruel, cynical and unnecessary betrayal. A House of Representatives majority shrinking to a single vote. Rebellious insurgents threatening to begin yet another round of chaos by toppling yet another Speaker. A presidential candidate resisting the customary political tactic of broadening his appeal, instead firing up his base in a fashion that threatens to fire fresh skepticism among those who resist the style and content of his campaign.

For a party that might otherwise be on the verge of retaking control of the Senate and the White House, things are falling apart. And it has no centre to hold.

With apologies to William Butler Yeats, that’s a succinct description of the situation the Republican Party finds itself in during a period of chaos unusual even by modern standards. The result is that, as the Grand Old Party struggles to govern in the House of Representatives and as its presumptive presidential candidate resists reaching beyond his core supporters, mere anarchy is loosed upon the American political world.

In what in ordinary times might be a moment of relief, the Republican-controlled House approved legislation late last week that averted a government shutdown. But these are not ordinary times, and these are not ordinary Republicans, the kind who only a half-generation ago personified reliability, craved sound processes, resisted upheaval and prized the steady, the stable and the stoic.

On the surface, the measure the House passed might stand as a symbol of the kind of reliability that a party hungers for as it prepares to seek confirmation of its values and tactics in an election year. Instead, party rebels recoiled, describing the spending package as the sort of measure the Democrats would pass if they had a majority; indeed, 186 Democrats supported the bill, joining only 101 Republicans while a majority of the GOP caucus (112 lawmakers) opposed it.

And so the rage on the right of the Republican Party is flaring again, with rebellious GOP lawmakers tossing around incendiary remarks, filling news reports with charges that the spending package was “garbage” (Representative Eli Crane of Arizona), accusing the party leadership of having “just surrendered” (Representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina), and saying House Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana “failed us” (Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky).

By permitting the measure to come to the floor, Mr. Johnson, a Trump-allied figure who sought to project government responsibility, violated an informal Republican guideline dating to the mid-1990s. Though a sometime rebel himself, he committed Republican apostasy: He allowed a vote on the spending package to proceed even though a majority of the majority party wasn’t in favour of the measure.

The bottom line: The party’s divisions seem as wide as ever, its leadership seems as endangered as ever, and its prospects for sowing confidence seem as brittle as ever.

“We have a responsibility while in the majority to actually to do the responsible thing,” Republican Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, who supported the bill, said in an interview. “But for many of my Republican colleagues, it’s about going on TV, getting national attention, and getting people to donate money to them by voting no. I question what they got accomplished by doing that. It causes people to lose faith and trust and confidence in us.”

This new rebellion now endangers the young speakership of Mr. Johnson, who became the chamber’s leader only five months ago, ascending to the position after the ousting of Kevin McCarthy of California and only after a long, embarrassing search for a Speaker who could win the support of the fractious Republican conference.

After last week’s vote on the spending package, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, one of the party’s leading firebrands, introduced a motion to “vacate the chair,” meaning an effort to remove Mr. Johnson from his position. She intended it as the political equivalent of a sword of Damocles hanging over the Speaker but threatened to proceed with forcing a vote to send Mr. Johnson packing when the House returns to the Capitol from its Easter recess. She said it was time to “find a new Speaker of the House that will stand with Republicans and our Republican majority instead of standing with the Democrats.”

Now throw into the calculus the fragility of the Republican majority in the House, a circumstance the GOP desperately needs to maintain as a foothold on Washington power while the Democrats hold the White House and the Senate. They began the 118th Congress last January with a 222-213 majority, meaning that in a floor vote they could afford to lose only four members. With the pending resignation of Representative Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, the GOP now can afford to lose only a single vote.

With former president Donald Trump threatening GOP unity by increasingly speaking of the Jan. 6, 2021, rioters as “patriots” and vowing to pardon them if he is elected, the party seems to be undermining its natural advantages as it approaches an election against President Joe Biden, who voters think is too old and whom they blame for the economic distress in the country. As it girds to fight its rivals, the party primarily is fighting itself.

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