Two contrasting realities of the present-day Republican Party were on display on Tuesday. In the House of Representatives, 20 members of the GOP’s so-called chaos caucus blocked the efforts of 202 fellow Republicans to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as speaker. The move led to a once-in-a-century standoff that paralyzed the House. Members cannot be sworn in, committees cannot be formed, and lawmakers cannot do any work until the deadlock is broken, whenever that might be.

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