To say the Republican party is split into little factions, all scrapping and squabbling for attention and praise, would be an understatement. But apparently an ugly personal rivalry exists between two tea party stars, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, that plays out mostly behind closed doors.
The concept of a "frenemy" is fairly common at this point, but let's have a quick review: a frenemy is someone you keep close, like a friend, but secretly hate and want to destroy, like an enemy. And that's probably the best way to describe the Cruz-Paul relationship, as documented by The New York Times' Jonathan Martin: two Tea Party stars vying for the same spot in the White House, willing to elbow the other in the side to get ahead.
Where the relationship really started to fissure is unclear. The two used to be friends, often mentioned in the same breath by fellow Republicans. But that front has fallen apart recently as the road to the White House in 2016 starts to heat up. Perhaps Cruz will be blamed for throwing their relationship completely under the bus, because he told a room full of potential donors in New York City this summer that Rand Paul could never be President "because he can never fully detach himself from the strident libertarianism of his father, former Representative Ron Paul of Texas," Martin reports. The news of Cruz's betrayal made it back to Paul, who was predictably furious. But let's not act like Paul is completely innocent in this charade, either. Privately, Paul calls Cruz "the chief of the wacko birds," playing off John McCain's favorite insult. They're clearly very close.