According to the Politico article, none other than House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) declined his invitation, along with other GOP leaders to participate in what was originally billed as a "Bi-Partisan show of support for Israel." The Republican excuse for refusing to fly with Obama and attend the event hosted by the Israeli government? Congress is voting on government funding and the 2014 budget this week. Oh wow, an event carefully watched by international friends and enemies alike, cannot be attended by Republicans because they are voting on funding and a budget? A House of Representatives that is taking 239 days off this year? A Congress that has not voted a budget since 2008? Give me a break! The reason Republicans did not accept Obama's invitation is because that would allow Obama to be seen as willing to work across the aisle instead of the "dictatorial, arrogant, royal and Socialist" the president as portrayed by Conservatives and their supporting Media. More importantly, in a political climate created out of whole cloth by Right Wing Nuts makes it impossible for a "real" Conservative to be photographed doing anything, let alone working with Obama. I mean, who wants to be photographed with Obama and then have it used as a smear tactic come the next election (see Charlie Crist and coming soon, Chris Christie).
Perhaps Groucho had a point? Republicans are even scared of President Obama's shadow and avoid the hate spewed by Rush Limbaugh and his ilk like the plague. I think what is really plaguing Conservative leaders can be best summarized as "Self-inflicted Guilt By Association."