Republican senators are quietly organizing against minority leader Mitch McConnell and his allies after a lackluster showing in the midterm elections.
About a half dozen GOP senators, most of whom publicly opposed McConnell's continued leadership last month, have been meeting to strategize how they will challenge the venerable Kentucky Republican over the next year, and MSNBC's Steve Benen said they're gambling that becoming more partisan will win back their majority in 2024.
"What’s striking is not just the scope of the fissures among ostensible allies," Benen writes. "It’s also not just the idea that McConnell, of all people, is insufficiently partisan by the standards of some of his members."
The group, which has adopted the informal name of "the Breakfast Club," apparently includes Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Rick Scott (R-FL), and is leading an insurgency similar to the deeply conservative House Freedom Caucus.
"What stands out most for me is the lesson these Republicans took from the midterm elections," Benen writes. "The GOP spent much of the last two years assuming that voters would soon reward the party with a majority. The electorate saw some of the radicals the party nominated in key races and moved in the other direction."
"It’s against this backdrop that several prominent Senate Republicans have decided that the smart move is to be less constructive," he adds, "more partisan, more confrontational, and more reactionary."