The Thaw

Rock-Solid GOP Cracks

The Republican Party's formerly rock-solid unity in opposing all major Democratic legislation is starting to crack, The Washington Post reports. Though still angry about the way Democrats passed their health-care overhaul, the GOP is finding it tougher to ideologically rationalize opposition to efforts to reform education and the financial system. President Obama's education secretary has worked closely with Republicans to craft a plan that holds on to many of the principles of George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind law, while allowing more freedom for school districts to experiment in ways to boost performance. And the party is finding it difficult to oppose a financial reform package without appearing too cozy with the politically toxic big banks. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Bob Corker (R-TN) have both negotiated with Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) on the latter effort, and the GOP plan to offer an alternative reform bill fell apart over the weekend when Republicans couldn't agree on what to put in it. Instead they offered a blizzard of amendments, some of which contradicted each other. Dodd will likely woo other Republicans, including Maine's two centrist senators and Ohio's George Voinovich.