Donald Trump Hasn’t Cowed Republicans He’s Freed Them To Pursue Their Long
Donald Trump getting the “O-K” from Joseph McCarthy and Mitch McConnell
On the eve of the impeachment vote in the House of Representatives , things are looking mighty bleak for anyone who hoped Republicans might turn over a new leaf. For the last several months, there has been plaintive hope that GOP lawmakers might be moved by the overwhelming evidence that Donald Trump is guilty of running an extortion scheme against Ukraine’s leaders to help him win re-election in 2020.
Right now, it looks like there’s no chance of any Republican defections in the House away from the GOP line that Trump did nothing wrong. The one Republican, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, who admitted out loud that Trump deserved to be impeached, was duly ejected from the party. In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been openly bragging that he intends to rig the Senate trial in Trump’s favor. Even supposedly Trump-skeptical Republican senators, such as Utah’s Mitt Romney or Maine’s Susan Collins, have been avoiding questions about whether the Senate should call witnesses for the trial.
“But this presidents actions are possible only with the craven acquiescence of congressional Republicans,” they write. “They have done no less than abdicate their Article I responsibilities.”
No, Republicans clearly feel empowered by Trump. He frees them to reveal their darkest desire which is to end democracy as we know it, and to cut any corners or break any laws necessary to get the job done.
Why Republicans Are Afraid To Challenge Trump
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Republicans Now Bragging About Being Trump Big Lie Pushers
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In taking a shot at CNNs Jake Tapper, Republicans are openly boasting that theyre responsible for spreading democracy-defying conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election.
The CNN anchor recently took a stand against inviting election deniers on his programs, saying last week that lawmakers who support former President Donald Trumps Big Liereferring to the false claim that the election was stolenare not welcome on his weekday and weekend shows. Its not a policy but a philosophy, Tapper said, noting he hasnt booked such Republicans since the election. Pro-Trump Republicans have since come forward with emails from CNN bookers requesting their presence on Tappers shows. Rep. Elise Stefanik of New Yorkwhom the GOP last month voted to replace Liz Cheney as the partys conference chairtweeted screenshots, telling Tapper to read and weep:
Responding to these apparent gotcha attempts, Tapper said he cant account for every email from my excellent bookers whose job it is to present me with as many options as possible. He also pointed to the absurdity of Republicans rushing to prove they are, in fact, election deniers. Kind of stunning to see her proudly identify as a conspiracy theorist, he said of Stefanik.
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Republicans Still Scared To Death Of Trump
Trump went on yet another unhinged rant this weekend during a speech to donors in Florida, attacking Mitch McConnell as a “stone cold loser” for refusing to go along with his attempt to steal the election, but you won’t find any profiles in courage in the GOP willing to stand up to him.
Case in point, on this weekend’s Fox News Sunday, South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune was asked about Trump calling him “weak and inneffective RINO” earlier in the year and saying he might back a primary challenger to Thune. Thune responded telling host Chris Wallace that “I’ve been through wars in South Dakota, political wars, with my own party when I ran the first time, with the Democrats in a couple of hotly contested Senate races, so being afraid of a fight or somebody coming after me is not something that’s going to influence that decision,” but Thune refused to admonish Trump for his rhetoric, and refused to stand up for McConnell when asked about him as well.
Which is pretty much the equivalent of “I support Trump, but I really don’t like the tweeting” that we heard from so many of them over the last five or six years.
As the Fox article discussed, Trump called Thune “Mitch’s boy” when urging Gov. Kristi Noem to challenge Thune in 2022, but no amount of insults are apparently ever breaking point for these jellyfish.
The Actual Reason Why Republicans And Their Media Are Discouraging People From Getting Vaccinated
Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a CNN Medical Analyst, said last week, “A surprising amount of death will occur soon…” But why, when the deadly Delta variant is sweeping the world, are Republicans and their media warning people not to get vaccinated?
Dr. Anthony Fauci told Jake Tapper on CNN last Sunday, “I don’t have a really good reason why this is happening.”
But even if he can’t think of a reason why Republicans would trash talk vaccination and people would believe them, it’s definitely there.
Which is why it’s important to ask a couple of simple questions that all point to the actual reason why Republicans and their media are discouraging people from getting vaccinated:
1. Why did Trump get vaccinated in secret after Joe Biden won the election and his January 6th coup attempt failed?
2. Why are Fox “News” personalities discouraging people from getting vaccinated while refusing to say if they and the people they work with have been protected by vaccination?
3. Why was one of the biggest applause lines at CPAC: “They were hoping the government was hoping that they could sort of sucker 90% of the population into getting vaccinated and it isn’t happening!”
4. Why are Republican legislators in states around the country pushing laws that would “ban” private businesses from asking to see proof of vaccination status ?
Death is their electoral strategy.
Is there any other possible explanation?
So, what’s left?
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Top Republicans Are Running Scared And Relinquishing The Gop To The Monster They Helped Create
Like a bunch of lemmings, Republican lawmakers in Congress and across the country have clung to Donald Trump’s Big Lie that the only reason he lost the 2020 election was because it was riddled with fraud.
Of course, Trump never once proved a single instance of fraud in 60-plus trips to the courthouse, and he also helped ensure the massacre of at least half a million Americans due to the pandemic, so there’s that.
But instead of being willing to admit what’s plain as day to anyone with a brain and a pulse, GOP lawmakers tout Trump’s Big Lie in conservative media and then run from reporters representing every news outlet that has a shred of integrity left.
“In Washington, normally chatty senators scramble to skirt the question,” writes TheWashington Post.
Of course, there’s also the very public rift in the House GOP leadership between Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming who yet again on Monday reiterated the truth that Joe Biden was the rightful winner of the election.
“The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system,” Cheney tweeted, in what amounts to GOP apostasy these days.
But the question is: Why? Why did McCarthy retreat from saying Trump “bears responsibility” for Jan. 6 to being a total Trump bootlicker? Why are chatty senators dodging reporters on Capitol Hill?
Republicans Fear Trump Will Lead To A Lost Generation Of Talent
The 45th president has brought new voices and voters to the party, but hes driven them out too. Insiders fear the repercussions.
06/01/2021 04:30 AM EDT
As Donald Trump ponders another presidential bid, top Republicans have grown fearful about what theyre calling the partys lost generation.
In conversations with more than 20 lawmakers, ex-lawmakers, top advisers and aides, a common concern has emerged that a host of national and statewide Republicans are either leaving office or may not choose to pursue it for fear that they cant survive politically in the current GOP. The worry, these Republicans say, is that the party is embracing personality over policy, and that it is short sighted to align with Trump, who lost the general election and continues to alienate a large swath of the voting public with his grievances and false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
Trump has driven sitting GOP lawmakers and political aspirants into early retirements ever since he burst onto the scene. But there was hope that things would change after his election loss. Instead, his influence on the GOP appears to be as solid as ever and the impact of those early shockwaves remain visible. When asked, for instance, if he feared the 45th president was causing a talent drain from the GOP ranks, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush perhaps inadvertently offered a personal demonstration of the case.
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Mcfeely: Why Are Republicans Afraid Of Everything
FARGO Republicans are afraid.
Afraid of Black people. Afraid of brown people. Afraid of red people. Afraid of yellow people. Afraid of women. Afraid of young people.
Afraid of young people voting. Afraid of people of color voting. Afraid of voting rights. Afraid of democracy.
Afraid of science. Afraid of medicine. Afraid of knowledge. Afraid of public education. Afraid of universities. Afraid of professors. Afraid of teachers.
Afraid of experts. Afraid of doctors. Afraid of Anthony Fauci. Afraid of masks. Afraid of vaccines. Afraid of vaccine passports. Afraid of vaccine chips. Afraid of things that don’t exist.
Afraid of history. Afraid of the truth. Afraid of those who tell the truth.
Afraid of books. Afraid of newspapers. Afraid of objectivity. Afraid of facts.
Afraid of wind towers. Afraid of solar power. Afraid of environmentalists. Afraid of the Green New Deal. Afraid of Greta Thunberg. Afraid of change.
Afraid of the media. Afraid of The New York Times. Afraid of The Washington Post. Afraid of MSNBC. Afraid of CNN.
Afraid of Twitter. Afraid of Facebook. Afraid of Google. Afraid of big tech. Afraid of the government. Afraid of the establishment.
Afraid of Democrats. Afraid of Black Lives Matter. Afraid of antifa. Afraid of Democratic Socialists.
Afraid of Bernie Sanders. Afraid of AOC. Afraid of Elizabeth Warren. Afraid of Nancy Pelosi. Afraid of Barack Obama. Afraid of Kamala Harris. Afraid of Joe Biden. Afraid of Mitt Romney. Afraid of Liz Cheney. Afraid of RINOs.
Opinion: Stop Saying Republicans Are Cowards Who Fear Trump The Truth Is Far Worse
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois, deserves great credit for demanding that his party fully repudiate Donald Trumps big lie about the 2020 election and acknowledge its role in inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection. But Kinzinger is getting one big thing wrong.
In a Sunday appearance on CBS, Kinzinger repeatedly said fellow Republicans are fundamentally driven by fear of Trump. They dont want to confront Trumps lies, Kinzinger lamented, adding that theyre scared to death of him.
As a broad description of our current moment, this is profoundly insufficient. It risks misleading people about the true nature of the threat posed by the GOPs ongoing radicalization.
With House Republicans expected this week to oust Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming from leadership for vocally making the same case that Kinzinger is, the idea that Republicans are primarily driven by cowardice is everywhere.
Liz is a living reproach to all these cowards, one friend of Cheney told the New Yorker, a quote that drew tons of Twitter approval. Similarly, former GOP speechwriter Peggy Noonan ripped into Cheneys fellow Republicans as a House of Cowards who are jumpy and scared.
Meanwhile, now that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik to replace Cheney in the House GOP leadership, Democrats are pounding McCarthy for cowardice.
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How Long Can Trumps Gop Stranglehold Last
Liz Cheneys ouster from Republican leadership on Wednesday was a big win for the man she has refused to placate Donald Trump. I spoke with Washington correspondent Olivia Nuzzi about the considerable shadow the former president continues to cast over Republicans from his perch at Mar-a-Lago.
Ben: President Trump has in some ways been reduced to a background presence in the political landscape. Facebooks ban on him was upheld for now, hes off Twitter forever, and hes churning out statements on a junky-looking website that doesnt see a lot of traffic.
But in other ways, the Republican party is as dependent on validating Trumps view of the world as ever. Lindsey Graham says the GOP cant grow without him; party leaders are making pilgrimages to Mar-a-Lago to seek his wisdom, such as it is, and approval. And, of course, Liz Cheney was ousted from GOP leadership on Wednesday for banging on too loudly about the stolen-election conspiracy theory that rules the ex-presidents world and which a large majority of GOP voters believe.
In your view, does Trump have exactly the same kind of stranglehold over the party he did when he was president? Will the GOP just continue to stay in the thrall of a losing presidential candidate indefinitely?
Olivia: I feel like Im taking a multiple-choice test Im gonna have to go with B on this one.
Ben: I was taught that C was the most common correct answer. Not sure this holds true anymore.
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Indeed, a recent poll from the Democratic firm Democracy Corps, surveying voters in battleground states and districts, found that two-thirds of GOP voters there still strongly approve of Trump. These Trump loyalists are also among the most likely to say theyre very interested in the 2022 elections at this point. And in a CNN/SSRS poll from April, 70 percent of Republican respondents said Biden did not legitimately get enough votes to win the presidency. Faced with all this, any attempt to purge Trumpian influence from the party outright is doomed.
While the electoral incentives for the party overall are to unify and look forward before the 2022 midterms, the incentives for individual politicians can be different. Josh Mandel, a candidate in whats likely to be a fiercely contested US Senate GOP primary in Ohio, recently told a crowd that the election was stolen from Donald Trump. He added: My squishy establishment opponents in this race wont say those words. But I will.
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Donald Trump And The Politics Of Fear
Trumps candidacy relies on the power of fear. It could be the only way for him to win.
People are scared, Donald Trump said recently, and he was not wrong.
Fear is in the air, and fear is surging. Americans are more afraid today than they have been in a long time: Polls show majorities of Americans worried about being victims of terrorism and crime, numbers that have surged over the past year to highs not seen for more than a decade. Every week seems to bring a new large- or small-scale terrorist attack, at home or abroad. Mass shootings form a constant drumbeat. Protests have shut down large cities repeatedly, and some have turned violent. Overall crime rates may be down, but a sense of disorder is constant.
Fear pervades Americans livesand American politics. Trump is a master of fear, invoking it in concrete and abstract ways, summoning and validating it. More than most politicians, he grasps and channels the fear coursing through the electorate. And if Trump still stands a chance to win in November, fear could be the key.
Fear and anger are often cited in tandem as the sources of Trumps particular political appeal, so frequently paired that they become a refrain: fear and anger, anger and fear. But fear is not the same as anger; it is a unique political force. Its ebbs and flows through American political history have pulled on elections, reordering and destabilizing the electoral landscape.
Senior Republicans Should Recoil In Horror At Trump But Too Many Still Fear Him
The fate of the United States now rests on the stark choice the divided party faces: Trumps way or democracy
Surely this would be the moment. Surely the sight of a horde storming the US Capitol, smashing windows and breaking down doors, determined to use brute, mob strength to overturn a free and fair election, surely that would mark the red line. After five years dismissing those who warned that Donald Trump posed a clear and present danger to US democracy, branding them hysterics suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, surely this moment when they saw the citadel of that democracy overrun by men clothed in the slogans of neo-Nazism , waving the Confederate flag of slavery, racism and treason and carrying zip ties, apparently to bind the wrists and ankles of any hostages would, at long last, make Republicans recoil from the man who had led them to this horror.
Hours into the attempted and planned insurrection, Trump again made plain the bonds that connect him to the men of havoc. We love you, he told them in a video message, gently suggesting they go home. Youre very special. None of that is a surprise. They were only there for him, summoned to Washington by Trumps big lie that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen through fraud that they had been robbed of their champion by a wicked conspiracy that took in everyone from the Chinese Communist party to his own vice-president.
Jonathan Freedland is a Guardian columnist
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John Kasich Says Republicans Are ‘afraid’ Of Trump
Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks with NPR’s Leila Fadel about the GOP’s unwillingness to stand up to President Trump, who still refuses to accept the results of the presidential election.
LEILA FADEL, HOST:
Last night, President Trump received another loss in court. A federal judge in Pennsylvania dismissed the campaign’s attempts to stop the certification of Pennsylvania’s votes. This is just the latest of more than two dozen failed challenges brought by the Trump campaign to overturn the election results. President Trump refuses to concede, and for the most part, his party has supported his efforts to pursue legal challenges based on false allegations of widespread voter fraud.
Very few high-profile Republicans have publicly acknowledged Joe Biden as the winner, but one of them is John Kasich. He’s the former governor of Ohio and a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, and he joins us now.
Governor Kasich, welcome.
JOHN KASICH: Thanks, Leila. Glad to be with you.
FADEL: So you endorsed President-elect Joe Biden. He won this election. What do you make of President Trump’s attempts to overturn the results?
KASICH: It’s just absurd. The whole thing is – it’s just – it’s ridiculous. I mean, he has clearly won this election. And it is just sort of amazing to me that Republicans just keep sitting on their hands. It makes no sense.
FADEL: That was the former Republican governor of Ohio, John Kasich.
Governor Kasich, thanks for speaking with us.
This Next Presidential Nomination Could Improve Things Or Make Them Even Worse
Is there a way out of this downward spiral? The optimistic case offered by Republicans who dislike the trends toward conspiracism in the party is pretty simple: They want to hang on and deal with Trump until 2024, and hope whoever wins the nomination will help steer the party in a healthy direction.
The Washington Examiners Byron York laid out this line of thinking in a recent column. There is a robust field of Republicans preparing to run. DeSantis, Pompeo, Pence, Haley, Cotton, Hawley, Noem, and several other possible candidates, York writes. Put them together and that is a strong group of contenders, all of whom will run on some theme of incorporating Trumps achievements into a new kind of Republican platform.
Theres variation among these Republicans about just how indulgent they were to Trumps stolen election claims Hawley was clearly the least responsible of that bunch. But most of the others indeed seem unlikely to push things anywhere near as far as Trump would if they end up losing the 2024 general election. And while they may have their faults, they seem unlikely to make conspiratorial thinking as central to their politics as Trump did.
The more unsavory tendencies in the Republican base surely wont vanish entirely if a more traditional Republican wins. But if the leader of the party stops throwing fuel on that fire, their influence would likely weaken.
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What Are Republicans So Afraid Of
Instead of conspiracy-mongering about an election they did well in, they could try to win real majorities.
There was a time, in recent memory, when the Republican Party both believed it could win a national majority and actively worked to build one.
Take the last Republican president before Donald Trump, George W. Bush. His chief political adviser, Karl Rove, envisioned a durable Republican majority, if not a permanent one. And Bush would try to make this a reality.
To appeal to moderate suburban voters, Bush would make education a priority and promise a compassionate conservatism. To strengthen the partys hold on white evangelicals, Bush emphasized his Christianity and worked to polarize the country over abortion, same-sex marriage and other questions of sexual ethics and morality. Bush courted Black and Hispanic voters with the promise of homeownership and signed a giveaway to seniors in the form of the Medicare prescription drug benefit. He also made it a point to have a diverse cabinet, elevating figures like Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Alberto Gonzales.
Whether shrewd or misguided, cynical or sincere or outright cruel and divisive these gambits were each part of an effort to expand the Republican coalition as far as it could go without abandoning Reaganite conservatism itself. It was the work of a self-assured political movement, confident that it could secure a position as the nations de facto governing party.
Why Dont Republicans Stand Up To Trump Heres The Answer
Rep. Mark Sanford
If youre still flummoxed by the abject servility of congressional Republicans, by their refusal to confront Trump and stand up for American values, check out last nights primary election in South Carolina. The purging of Mark Sanford says it all.
Sanford is a long-serving conservative lawmaker who typically votes with his party, but on a few public occasions, he has actually dared to suggest that Trump is not the supreme very stable genius that the deluded Republican base deems Trump to be. The result: Sanford loses his job.
For the inexcusable sin of speaking his mind about factual reality, the Republican base voters in Sanfords House district threw him out last night, handing the GOP nomination to a far-right Trumper who repeatedly denounced Sanford as disloyal.
This is why rank-and-file Republican lawmakers refuse to speak out. Theyre afraid of their own constituents. Its Trumps party now, and the constituents in red districts virtually worship the guy. Forget about putting country over party, because its actually worse than that. Sanfords colleagues wont put country over career. Theyll vow that what just happened to Sanford will not happen to them.
As conservative commentator Erick Erickson said today, Mark Sanford losing in South Carolina is pretty much proof positive that the GOP is not really a conservative party that cares about limited government. It is now fully a cult of personality.
I stand by every word.
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