Most political parties have their internal divisions and tensions, but the Republican Party currently has much more than its share, with libertarian purists, Christian theocrats, Wall Street-style fiscal conservatives, disgruntled-but-confused-unto-incoherence Tea Partiers, and no doubt other groups all contending for control of the party's identity. And for this ideological Tower of Babel the party has itself largely to blame.
The division causing the most immediate practical problems right now is one that typically bedevils a party after it has enjoyed a big success at the polls: Some of its newly-elected officials are impassioned amateurs rather than seasoned professionals, and they fundamentally misunderstand which parts of politics are posturing and which are serious. They actually buy their own bullshit. The consequences can be calamitous.
The stalemated debt-limit negotiations now underway are not without historical analogue. And it's a precedent that strikes fear in the hearts of knowledgeable Republican veterans.
During the budget negotiations of 1995, the new Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich misinterpreted his recent victory as an ideological mandate.