A sizable contingent of more moderate Republicans have watched with alarm as their party has been commandeered by tea party members and right-wing activists trying to kill Obamacare at all costs.
The absurdity struck home for Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) Tuesday as the prominent conservative organizations Heritage Action, Red State and FreedomWorks all came out against a last-second GOP leadership plan to avert a crisis that Democrats had warned was too far to the right.
"This party is going nuts," King told HuffPost. "So many people I run into who are normal people -- and I hate to use that term -- they just can't understand what's going on."
"On this one they can't even see both sides," King said. "They just think Republicans are crazy. That's it. They see no justification for any of this."
He added that the compromise House leaders were pushing actually did little to affect Obamacare, except to force the federal government to stop contributing its share to congressional staffers' health insurance.
"Even if this bill passed tonight, what would it have done?" King said. "After shutting down the government for two and a half weeks, laying off 800,000 people, all the damage we caused, all we would end up doing was taking away health insurance from congressional employees. That's it? That's what you go to war for? That's what we shut down the United States government for?"