circular firing squad

circular firing squad

A group, usually a political party, that is allied against a common enemy or opponent but whose internal disagreements and attacks end up doing more damage to each other than to their target. The lead up to the presidential nomination saw the party devolve into a circular firing squad, as each candidate's vociferous bid to unseat the incumbent president ended up creating huge divisions and disarray within the party itself.
See also: circular, firing, squad
References in periodicals archive ?
Admiration for Boehner will grow in retrospect as his successor demonstrates how hard it is to keep House Republicans from forming a circular firing squad.
I want to avoid a circular firing squad," Vitter said, displaying an image where members who support a common cause shoot each other rather than a common enemy.
But these same groups were relying on the state for advice, creating a virtual circular firing squad of nondisclosure.
slugfest; or what I call the circular firing squad, where everybody's shooting at everybody else.
The Impossible State also lacks the circular firing squad quality that made many of the previous Bush administration memoirs at the very least highly entertaining.
Considering the fact that Jakans was transferred to a non-existing department, this circular firing squad looks like a provincial theater, Freimanis said.
The forming of a circular firing squad is never a good idea," he e-mailed back.
Now it's just a circular firing squad with everybody attacking each other and no coherent belief system, no leaders.
Contradictory policies such as these - which have been all too common during this presidency - make the military and diplomatic decision-makers in the Bush administration appear as though they are operating in a circular firing squad.
But it wouldn't be a circular firing squad if the Club for Growth actually cared whom the governor respects.
Mind you, even I underestimated the parliamentary part-y's ability to form a circular firing squad.
A war over subsidies in the solar industry is like a circular firing squad where everyone gets hurt," added Shah.
Californians who are desperate to reverse their school system's decline are busily organizing a circular firing squad.