Johnson Tells Republicans To ‘Cool It’ On Infighting 

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has called on GOP colleagues to end party infighting. Speaking to CNN, Mr. Johnson said he has told Republicans to focus on defeating Democrats in November and is “vehemently opposed” to “member-on-member action” in GOP primaries. 

Some Congress members agree with Johnson, including Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, who called infighting “depressing.” Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska noted that teams win competitions, and any erosion of unity threatens the team’s success. 

Nevertheless, others believe it is not the party membership that matters but its quality. For example, Floridian Rep. Matt Gaetz describes some colleagues as “Democrats in drag” and insists he will “go after” them every bit as much as he goes after Democrats. 

Gaetz initiated the process that ended in the removal of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy last year. Mr. Gaetz filed a motion to vacate the chair after McCarthy cooperated with Democrats to pass legislation to prevent a government shutdown—a move Gaetz viewed as weak. The vote that followed ended McCarthy’s Speakership and caused weeks of stalemate as Republicans struggled to agree on a successor, prompting mockery from Democrats. 

In November, Politico described the Republican party as “on the verge of fist fights.” Joanne Freeman, author of the book “The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War,” described the GOP as a divided party with no real leadership, no accountability, and no discipline. When asked if Donald Trump is dividing the party, Freeman said the problems go deeper than that, but the former President doesn’t help matters. 

Ms. Freeman spoke to Politico after a fistfight almost erupted in the Senate between Senator Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma and Teamsters Union President Sean O’Brien. The two men had previously engaged in a verbal spat on Twitter, and the row blew up again when they hurled insults and challenged each other to a physical fight. However, they conceded that the fight should not happen in the Congressional chamber.