Well, they have—or at least an earlier version of it.

That earlier movie premiered eight years ago, when Republicans tore themselves apart in a bitter internal fight that resulted in a politically damaging government shutdown. Then, a band of ideologically driven newer members overwhelmed the party’s more moderate leadership.

Those Republican conservatives were sure the country was with them in their (failed) drive to defund Obamacare, much as Democratic progressives now are convinced that the country is with them in their drive to spend $3.5 trillion on a sprawling jobs, social-welfare and climate-change package.

“This very much reminds me of 2013,” says Doug Heye, who lived through that earlier episode as a top Republican House staff member. “The inter- and intraparty politics are strikingly similar.”

Those parallel political dynamics are no accident. They…

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