The speaker of the House was singing last Friday. A reporter had just prodded John Boehner, a man never shy about showing his emotions, to reveal how he really felt walking away from 24 years in Congress and the highest-ranking Republican post in government, amid the fracturing of his party. He responded with a Disney tune: “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah,” he warbled, his gaze threatening to dissolve into tears. “Zip-a-dee-ay.”It was a properly surreal end to his career. During the former plastics executive’s four years as speaker, the same far-right conservatives whose victories had given him his majority then openly plotted against him for having occasionally been willing to make deals with the Obama administration. When news of his resignation reached a convention hall across the capital where conservatives were vetting an equally fractious slate of GOP presidential candidates, the room erupted with a standing ovation. To many, the party’s dissension is dumbfounding, the leaderboard of presidential candidates absurd. But there is one man who would not have been surprised, had he lived to see it, because he was there when the internal forces now threatening to ravage the modern Republican Party first came together: Roger Milliken.

Source: Roger Milliken: The Man Who Launched the GOP’s Civil War – POLITICO Magazine