Republicans in Disarray

Shane Goldmacher writes in the New York Times:

While all parties go through reckonings after losing power, the G.O.P. has lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections and, for the first time since Herbert Hoover, ceded the White House, Senate and House in a single term.

That’s got to hurt.

I have no doubt Republicans are already looking to take Congress back in the midterms. Dems hold the houses by a hair, and the president’s party usually loses seats in midterm elections. Even so, I bet the Republican establishment right now wishes it had never heard the name “Donald Trump.”

The base, however, may not let them forget.

But the most acute danger for the health of the party, and its electoral prospects to retake the House and Senate in 2022, is the growing chasm between the pro-Trump voter base and the many Republican leaders and strategists who want to reorient for a post-Trump era.

“Have you heard what some of these folks waving MAGA flags are saying about Republicans?” said Representative Peter Meijer, Republican of Michigan, whose first days in Congress this month were marked by evacuations to escape from a mob. “They don’t identify themselves as Republicans.” …

… Some party leaders fret that as of now, they cannot win with Mr. Trump, and they cannot win without him. Right-wing voters have signaled that they will abandon the party if it turns on Mr. Trump, and more traditional Republicans will sour if it sticks by him.

It’s obvious to me that the Republican Party would be best off in the long run if it let Trumpism go and resigned itself to being in the wilderness for awhile. For one, the big donors have turned against Trumpism. It’s possible they would return in time, but for now they are clearly signalling they want the pre-Trump GOP back.

It’s also the case that the Trump base has revealed itself to be a tad, um, unstable, and not necessarily interested in the serious issue of protecting the wealth of the wealthy, which has been dear to the hearts of Republicans since McKinley. The GOP has long had to pull the scam of firing up the base with culture war issues — fighting racial integration, women’s lib, affirmative action, gay marriage, etc. — and pushing different issues in government policies — deregulation; tax cuts for the wealthy.  But QAnon is like an alien life form that keeps mutating out of control. There is no guarantee that it won’t work against the Republican Party in the future.

Paul Krugman:

… it would be a foolhardy prophet indeed who looked at the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol and assumed that this time, under this pressure, the conservative coalition will finally break apart, sending the Republican Party deep into the wilderness and reshaping American ideological debates along new lines.

But breaking points do come, and the violent endgame of the Trump presidency has exposed a new divide in the conservative coalition — not a normal ideological division or an argument about strategy or tactics, but a split between reality and fantasy that may be uniquely hard for either self-interest or statesmanship to bridge.

The other problem for Republicans is that while it might be best for the party to move away from Trumpism, a whole lot of individual elected officials owe their relatively new careers to Trumpism. Will the likes of Josh Hawley or Marjorie Taylor Greene be willing to step away from the brink?

Of course, I’m also hoping that Democrats will use its majority to jump on election reform, and fast. No more voter suppression. And if they can do something about political gerrymandering that would be peachy.

It’s also the case that we haven’t yet gone through all of the fallout from the January 6 insurrection. Facts are still coming out. Today we learned that the FBI was given a stark warning about what would happen

A day before rioters stormed Congress, an FBI office in Virginia issued an explicit internal warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and “war,” according to an internal document reviewed by The Washington Post that contradicts a senior official’s declaration the bureau had no intelligence indicating anyone at last week’s pro-Trump protest planned to do harm.

Yet, obviously, preparations were not made. Requests for National Guard were denied six times while the riot was happening.  It appears that people in the Pentagon and in Homeland Security made a deliberate decision to let the insurrection take place. Possibly that’s not true, but that’s what it looks like. We need to know. It’s all still very muddy right now.

And there could still be more violence from Trump supporters, which would dig the hole for Republicans much deeper.

Oh, and Chad Wolf resigned in the middle of overseeing security for the inauguration. Way to go.

But back to the Republicans — This afternoon, the New York Times published a story by Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman saying that Mitch McConnell is pleased about impeachment.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, has told associates that he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party, according to people familiar with his thinking.

Interesting. And Liz Cheney says she will vote to impeach Trump. So these signs point to a break between the old guard and Trump. I can also see the possibility that the Trumpers could form a third party that would spllit the right-wing vote for awhile. We’ll see.

11 thoughts on “Republicans in Disarray

  1. The Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon put out a letter to the troops that they protect the Constitution, not the president. IMHO, the letter was to Christopher Miller, the Trump toadie appointed after the elections. It's not yet established publicly if Miller used his authority to hold back reinforcements. 

    Chad Wolf knows a lose-lose situation when it bites him on the ass.He can neither support or oppose the revolution without either jail or the mob after him. So he shouwed the courage of his conviction and quit. I don't know what stuff will come down this week, but Chad believes it will be serious.

    Both sides of the "donor class" is coming down on the congress-critters who tried to throw the election to Trump. They aren't being subtle about targeting the Republicans who tried to short-cirucit the election. If the Trumpsters break from the GOP, these guys will be primaried from the center. If random terrorism is the mode of resistance, the center will be bigger than the Trumpsters in some red states. If the Trumpsters bomb Amazon facilities, the opponents of the Trumpsters may have unilimited funding. 

    The police have always been more, shall we say, responsive to protecting the rich than the poor. I'm hearing the rich pretty clearly here. More cops going home in boxes won't win them friends. I do not think they see it yet – they are emboldened by the success on Capitol Hill and they're going te exert their strength now – before Trump leaves the White House. They still want him as dictator and the odds go down when he leaves the strategic ownership of the White House.

    If Mitch was trying to ave Trump's hide, he'd convine a special session and try to write the rules of the impeachmant in advance of the change in power. He's letting Chuck write the rules, which will include the intoduction of evidence. (Look up, Donnie, BUS!)

    The outcome of the impeachment will depend on what evidence there is that Trump conspired to leave the Capitol Building unguareded. The second thing that will afffect the outcome is violence. If Mitch McConnell is shot, (stop smiling) the message is that your life (real breating life, not political survival) depends on being a toadie to the cult. Even Lindsey Graham balked at that. Violence is all but certain. Extreme violence is a conviction for Trump.

    "… it would be a foolhardy prophet indeed who looked at the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol and assumed that this time, under this pressure, the conservative coalition will finally break apart"

    Krugman was describing ME! That is exactly my prediction. The politicans do not control the mob – the mob is demanding they control the party and every politician. Half of Republican voters did NOT approve of the mob violence on Capitol Hill. The violence is about to become local and random. (The Apple store at the local mall.) These kooks who listened to Rush for years see this as a do-or-die moment. If Democrats have the goverment for four years, they can never take power again. Under this pressure the break along sane vs bat-shit crazy will tear the party in two.

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  2. It's clear the establishment GOP is done with Trump. When you've lost McConnell and Liz Cheney (thought I'd never see the day)…

    Read that Forbes' content manager posted a warning to "Trump fabulists" – calling out Kelly Anne Conway and others by name – that if they get jobs fronting this or that company – Forbes will regard everything they say as a lie.  Business people don't screw around and don't have time for this nonsense.

    It's heartening to see AOC and others skewer the second tier GOP stragglers for their moral cowardice and culpability for the deaths that occurred, to say nothing of the massacre that was averted. I am really hoping the Dems can pull off expulsion for these twits.

    Impeachment looks more and more like it's going to happen and pass. The GOP sees it as a means to rehabilitate itself, in much the way that oil companies write checks to Greenpeace after a big oil spill, promising to never, ever do it again, cross my fingers hope to die. McConnell has said as much (maybe not the part about Greenpeace).

    Critical is making sure Trump can never run again, calling on dusty laws not seen since the Civil War.

    Hard jail time is coming for the saps / seditionists. It's going to separate the cosplaying goofballs from the dangerous criminals. I've got news for that clown with the Viking helmet – no organic food in prison. Better get used to it.

    And you can bet with our new trifecta, however shaky, 1) voter suppression will get a hard pushback, and 2) the truth is going to come out about Jan 6. That said, the GOP still has a stranglehold on the statehouses and redistricting. It's going to be a brief summer. I am looking forward to watching my blood pressure drop as the psychopath leaves.

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  3. I know the only reason Moscow Mitch is saying that he's "pleased" with the impeachment efforts, is to try to start to put the first layer of whitewash (of course it's gotta be WHITEwash!) on his beloved "precious," the rapidly stinkin' sinkin' ship:  The RepubliKKKLAN Party!

    Still, I'm pleased he's "pleased."  Because even if he doesn't actively add his name, by not whipping his Senate RepubliKKKLAN KKKlavern, some of them might actually vote to convict.  

    And remember, to convict in the Senate, you need 2/3rds of the Senate.  But NOT 2/3rds of the 100 total: 66 senators!

    Just 2/3rds of those PRESENT! 

    So, if you're a RepubliKKKLAN Senator who's still fraidy-scared of Benedict Donald, and the voters you led on -YOUR voters – you can say you got caught in traffic, or your mistress got pregnant and you had to fly with her to Europe for an incognito abortion!

    And after Joe and Chuck are in, it think we should ask a law that demands that Moscow Mitch have his next colonoscopy done with a rusty hand-blender.

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  4. Let’s be clear, the Turtle is only considering impeachment because donors are leaving.

    Just the same, it appears more republicans may vote to convict in the Senate to make it official.

    While that may be good news, I’d like to add about the impending battle that may occur on the 20th:
    https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/democrats-briefed-plot-overthrow-government_n_5ffd29a4c5b691806c4bf199?guccounter=1

    Note: “And remember, to convict in the Senate, you need 2/3rds of the Senate. But NOT 2/3rds of the 100 total: 66 senators!”

    The Constitution: “And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.”

    Meaning, if only 60 Senators show up to vote, they will need 2/3rds of 60! Not that I believe we won’t have a full house, but it’s possible there may be a few no shows.

  5. Btw, I forgot to add the following (which you all probaby already know):  If the Senate convicts with a 2/3rds majority, the vote to to keep Benedict Donald's fat, orange, extra-lumpy cottage cheese lookin' ass from running again, only needs a simple majority.

     

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  6. They aren't being subtle about targeting the Republicans who tried to short-cirucit the election. If the Trumpsters break from the GOP, these guys will be primaried from the center. If random terrorism is the mode of resistance, the center will be bigger than the Trumpsters in some red states. If the Trumpsters bomb Amazon facilities, the opponents of the Trumpsters may have unilimited funding. 

  7. Ah the battle for the soul of the (r)Republican party.  It kind of reminds me of the great unicorn round up.  The gap between reality and fantasy was just too big, and all the unicorns got away.  

    Ross Douthat penned a piece in the NYT where he pondered that fantasy / reality gap problem of the republican party.  I spent a little time myself pondering the same thing the other day, but only came up with a mutation from Whig to Wiggy.  It they changed to the Wiggy party and just relegated the name republican to a larva like stage in the development of the party, it could work.  The base would not have to change their dress code and any flag will do.  It is probably too much of a reach though, and the quest involves control of the party's soul.  No one really thinks that any soul worth having lives in LaLa land. 

    So Ross inspired one comment worth noting, by a commenter with the Revoltingallday handle.  His view had a rather unique angle, which deserves a quote:

    I question whether Republicans learned that repudiating crazy is not negotiable, or you will be consumed by it. The problem is crazy is like fire, once it’s out of control, it destroys everything in its path.

    Wiggy gone wild and run amok is truly quite the destructive force.  I think recent events have well demonstrated that.
    Now which hock shop did the republicans use? Where did they put that ticket?

    Opinion | How the Republican Party Could Break – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

     

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  8. The best thing that could happen is if the lunatics split off to form their own party to compete with the GOP.  It would dilute them both and clear the way for sanity to take hold in our politics.  

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