• For a reeling Republican Party, the contrast on Tuesday was impossible to miss.
  • On one side of the Capitol, GOP senators congratulated Mitch McConnell for officially becoming the longest-serving party leader in Senate history.
  • At that exact moment on the other side of the building, Republicans voted down Kevin McCarthy’s bid for the House gavel — the first initial ballot defeat in a speaker’s race in 100 years.
  • It’s an ominous start to the new year for a GOP trying to rebuild. After another disappointing election cycle, they have significant challenges ahead: A tight majority in the House, another two years in the Senate minority and big divisions over just about everything.
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