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With friends like this, the Republican Party doesn’t need enemies

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More than a few Republican strategists and pundits who haven’t yet completely lost their minds are warning that a shutdown of the federal government would be a public-relations disaster for the GOP.

But, of course, the tail that wags the dog in today’s Republican Party is represented by THESE PEOPLE:

A huge majority of tea party types want like-minded lawmakers to defend by their convictions even if it results in a government shutdown, placing the ultra-conservative contingent sharply at odds with the rest of the country.

The latest findings released Monday by the Pew Research Center found 71 percent of tea party Republicans want lawmakers who share their views to stand by their principles even if doing so leads to a government shutdown. Only 20 percent of tea partiers said they want those lawmakers to compromise, even if it leads to a budget with which they disagree. Republicans in general were more divided, but a plurality — 49 percent — still said they would rather have their lawmakers stand by their principles rather than compromise.

Those views separate the GOP from both their Demcratic counterparts and the country as a whole. According to Pew, 57 percent of all Americans would prefer lawmakers who share their views to compromise, while only a third said they’d prefer them to stand by their principles even if it shut down the government.

Democrats were diametrically opposed to the tea party on the question. Seventy-six percent of Democrats said they would prefer their lawmakers to compromise, compared with just 18 percent who want them to stand by their principles.

House Republicans passed a continuing resolution on Friday that will provide funding to the government but aims to defund the 2010 health care law. Passage of the measure, which has no chance of being approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate, will delay the budget negotiations on Capitol Hill and raise the risk of a government shutdown.

Another poll released Monday found a majority of Americans opposed to a government shutdown over the quixotic effort to defund the health care law.

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