GOP Can’t Quit Trump

A few days ago I proposed that the insider Republican establishment, led by Mitch McConnell, would cut Trump loose from the party. Others disagreed. Now it appears they were right and I was wrong, although Mitch isn’t necessarily happy about it.

Nicholas Fandos and Jonathan Martin, The New York Times:

Three times in recent weeks, as Republicans grappled with a deadly attack on the Capitol and their new minority status in Washington, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky carefully nudged open the door for his party to kick Donald J. Trump to the curb, only to find it slammed shut.

So his decision on Tuesday to join all but five Republican senators in voting to toss out the House’s impeachment case against Mr. Trump as unconstitutional seemed to be less a reversal than a recognition that the critical mass of his party was not ready to join him in cutting loose the former president. Far from repudiating Mr. Trump, as it appeared they might in the days after the Jan. 6 rampage at the Capitol, Republicans have reverted to the posture they adopted when he was in office — unwilling to cross a figure who continues to hold outsize sway in their party.

One thing I want to say about the vote on Tuesday — it’s my understanding that the motion voted on this past Tuesday was not whether Trump could be impeached after he had left office, but whether the Senate could vote on whether Trump could be impeached after he left office. Rand Paul made a motion to hold a vote on the constitutionality of the impeachment trial. Then Chuck Schumer asked for a vote to table the motion, and that’s what was voted on Tuesday. That may or may not matter going forward, but I do try to be accurate.

Michael Scherer and Josh Dawsey, WaPo, Republicans back away from confronting Trump and his loyalists after the Capitol insurrection, embracing them instead:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced little more than a week ago that the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol had been “provoked” by Donald Trump. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Trump “bears responsibility” for failing to respond more quickly to the bloody incursion.

But that was then.

The nation’s two most powerful elected Republicans have signaled that they are ready to look past questions of responsibility for the violent effort to overturn the result of the presidential election, an attempt that left a Capitol Police officer and four rioters dead, as they maneuver to avoid a divisive battle within the Republican Party and try to position it to reclaim power in 2022.

The article goes on to say that McCarthy is meeting with Trump in Florida today to “mend relations that were frayed by the Jan. 6 attack.”

As I’ve said already, IMO the Republican Party would be far better off in the long run if they moved away from Trumpism, even though that would put them at a disadvantage in 2022. It hasn’t been that long — four years, I believe — since Republicans were still claiming to be the “party of ideas” and making a show, however fictional, of having policy ideas to address the nation’s problems. In 2020 they didn’t even bother to write a platform, and nobody seemed to care.

If the GOP continues to align itself with nutjobs, terrorists, and Trumpers, IMO the primary effect will be to drive people to the polls to vote for Democrats. But until enough of them get the memo that this ain’t workin’, Republican office holders will continue to do a lot of damage.

Take Marjorie Taylor Greene, who seems to be trying to get herself expelled from the House. Over just the past few hours videos and tweets have surfaced that show Greene calling for the execution of Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi; confronting a survivor of the Parkland high school schooting —

— and she is still pushing the lie that the election was stolen from Trump. And for sheer pig-ugly stupid, you can’t do better than the ravings of Ms. Greene, prior to her election, demanding that representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib re-take their oaths of office on the Bible rather than the Q’ran, because “that’s the law.” Um, no, it isn’t.

(Update: Marjorie Taylor Greene penned conspiracy theory that a laser beam from space started deadly 2018 California wildfire at Media Matters.)

Naturally, House Republican leadership decided to assign Rep. Moron to the education committee. Nancy Pelosi is not pleased.

“It is absolutely appalling, and I think that the focus has to be on the Republican leadership of this House of Representatives for the disregard that they have for the death of those children,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol.

Pelosi said it’s “beyond the pale” that GOP leaders would place Greene on the Education panel.

“What could they be thinking? Or is thinking too generous a word for what they might be doing?” she asked.

And this takes us to Why Republicans Can’t Win on QAnon-Supporting Marjorie Taylor Greene by Philip Elliott in Time:

To say Marjorie Taylor Greene is a challenge to the Republican brand is a massive understatement. Her colleagues know it, too. …

… It’s clear that every moment spent on this is one not making the case to Americans why a conservative counter to the Democrats’ control of the House, the Senate and the White House matters. Greene is not only wasting GOP leaders’ time, she’s creating a rallying cry for the opposition. For years, Republicans have linked all Democrats to boogeymen like Nancy Pelosi, AOC and Hillary Clinton. And it goes both ways. George W. Bush by the end of his term was toxic. Greene may prove lethal.

But does the leadership marginalize her? No, they put her on the education committee. This is going to be the next two years, folks: One party will be trying to govern and the other will be running the Circus of Deranged Clowns.

Jennifer Rubin notes today that the Biden Administration is moving swiftly ahead with policy plans to address the nation’s problems. But Republicans?

Well, over in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took days to agree on an organizing resolution to get the new session underway. The vast majority of Senate Republicans said they do not want to have a trial to hold the instigator of a violent insurrection accountable. (How typical it is for them to stage a vote to tell us what they do not want to do.) They are stalling on the confirmation of a new homeland security secretary. They have no alternative relief package for covid-19. Most of their time seems to be absorbed whining about “censorship” or claiming Democrats are being “divisive.” They are offering no response to any of the multiple crises we face (e.g., climate change, the economy, health care, racial justice, domestic terrorism). Their “big idea” is to wait and see if the pandemic and economy get worse.

But what could they do? What could they possibly do, without betraying the “principles” (e.g., kneecapping government; exploiting working people; protecting the wealth of the wealthy) that guide them? All they’ve got left is stopping the Democrats from getting anything done.

16 thoughts on “GOP Can’t Quit Trump

  1. As long as Republican voters love Trump more than they do any actual Republican politicians they will never be free of him.

    Trump knows this, of course, and he will do everything in his power to maintain his little army of hateful voters. He will make the GOP miserable to the end of his days.

  2. A few days ago, Taylor Greene goes in with McCarthy, supposedly for a woodshed "talk," and comes out with a plum committee assignment.  Of all the committees they could have assigned her to, they put her on one that oversees the interests of constituents she clearly has contempt for and does not respect, being a Sandy Hook "truther" and having harassed the Parkland survivors.   Looks like McCarthy was the one that got woodshedded. 

    This is the GOP saying screw you to democrats, to democracy, and “unity;” they’re are all in with Trumpism in the form of right wing extremism,  white supremacy, violence, "Q" and assorted nut jobs.  The good news, at least thus far, is the Democrats are not scared off by the right’s hollow cries of unity and are moving forward to do what needs to be done to address the nation’s issues, including dealing with the insurrectionists.

    Democrats need to go on a campaign now to set the stage for 2022 and make Green the face of the GOP.  Start letting the public know now, when you support the GOP, the hateful lunacy Taylor-Green stands for is all you’re gonna get.


    • McCarthy is a complete fool. AOC characterized him well:

      Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to task on Wednesday night for seemingly kowtowing to the most extreme lawmakers in his caucus, explicitly saying McCarthy’s the one who “answers to these QAnon members of Congress, not the other way around.”

  3. As I’ve said already, IMO the Republican Party would be far better off in the long run if they moved away from Trumpism, even though that would put them at a disadvantage in 2022.

    That would require courage, which nearly all of these people lack. Excepting for Adam Kinzinger, an Evangelical Republican I respect.

    If the GOP continues to align itself with nutjobs, terrorists, and Trumpers, IMO the primary effect will be to drive people to the polls to vote for Democrats.

    The Republican answer? Eliminate polls and Democrats. This has been the plan since 1980.

  4. Something Rachel pointed out – McConnell refused to start an impeachment trial until Trump was out of office. 

    Then, Republicans hide behind the argument that you can't impeach a president who's no longer in office.

    Pretty clever, no?  Lucy moving the football, big-time.

    The Q-Anon Great Pumpkin

    • Ruth makes a solid point, and deserves a plug for her book,  Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present.


  5. "Outsized sway?!?"

    I that a nice way to say tRUMP is sooooo fat that his gravitational force can bend light?

  6. When I read that the Congressional district Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor "Laserbeam" Greene is from, and represents, was the setting for both the novel and the film, "Deliverance," I grokked why she's as mad as a hatter on Sunshine acid blatters!!!

    In that part of Georgia, the family trees have no branches – just all trunk.  

    It's so many generations and generations of inbreeding that they make the British Royal clan look like a family integrated from all four corners of the world!

    She needs to be disgraced, expelled, and sent back home to her family. 

    All 50,000 of 'em.

  7.  A Modest Impeachment Proposal

    I recommend that Schumer rule that the impeachment trial's evidence and testimony be public, but the balloting be in secret, to protect the jurors. That's how you try a crime lord.

    One of my brothers has objected to this plan. He says that McConnell won't cooperate, and he questions the precedent that it sets. I say that McConnell will cooperate, because his caucus needs to purge Trump from the party, and all future politics, with plausible deniability. They don't want exposure to Trump's stochastic assassins. So McConnell needs a secret ballot as much as Schumer does. It's a classic DC convergence of interests.

    As for the precedent: my brother's right, a secret ballot would be as shady as Hell. But that's appropriate! Impeachment is a sublimated assassination, just as a political campaign is a sublimated war, and an election is a sublimated revolution. All of the necessary upheaval, yet none of the blood; what a bargain! And any assassination, sublimated or not, must be as shady as Hell, to do what it must do.

    I say that this country needs fewer assassinations, and more impeachments. There haven't been enough impeachments, and none of them successful, because impeachment isn't rotten enough. I propose this filthy reform to make impeachment fit for purpose.

    I also recommend that any secret impeachment conviction be followed by a secret ballot on Amendment 14, Article 3, on barring the impeached President from ever again holding public office. When you symbolically shoot at a President, then you must symbolically kill him.

    A secret ballot to convict Trump would be corrupt. It would be betrayal. It would be a backstabbing. It would be a gross revelation of foul maneuverings by hidden cabals conspiring in smoke-filled rooms. And that too is appropriate. It's what Trump richly deserves.

    I am well aware that one day I will regret this modest proposal, for a President that I like will be impeached and secretly convicted. But I do not expect politics to be perfect. All I require is that it be for real.

    • paradoctor… I think that is a terrible idea. Whether Trump is convicted or not isn't the important thing.. To me the most important thing is to make every Senator own their vote. The game that the GOP is playing now is to provide an excuse for standing with the insurrectionist to defend Trumpism. Trying to find themselves a place to hide from honoring their oath of office.

      Trump has been a lightning rod for the GOP who draws the wrath and anger away from those who rightly deserve it. It's the modern day equivalent for these Senators of having a whipping boy. Not that Trump is so innocent, but he does serve a function of offsetting accountability for the GOP Senators. If they lose Trump they'll have to stand on their own.

      And if they were given a chance by secret ballot to vote on whether to convict or not, it would guarantee he wouldn't be convicted.

       The world has seen the evidence. Now it will be up to them to deny it or acknowledge it. I think they are running scared. Lord, take this cup from me?


  8. Let's look at things from the viewpoint of a Trumpster. Four years ago they had the House, Senate and White House. Today they have none of the above. Trump got almost NO LEGISLATION through Congress, nor did he care once his crew learned how to draft executive orders. So abortion rights were attacked, Muslim bans passed, some wall erected. inhuman policies at the border enacted. It's getting swept away faster than anything was enacted because the ACLU and others kept Trump shit tied up for years and what the courts finally upheld was watered down.

    It's dawning on them that Obamacare survived, LGBTQ rights restored, the border policies reversed, Muslim ban reversed in the first week. Bernie chairs the Finance Committee – a black woman is VP. They feel like it's all slipping away (and it is.)

    All this is cause for jubilation – and concern. They won't take it well. This is when desperate risks will be taken and blood will be spilled. I'd like to know the background of the two Capitol Police Officers who offed themselves. Were they Trumpsters who thought the revolution would succeed? 

    My prediction is that BLM will be the primary target with Democrats holding office (at any level of govt) the next targets. Strike they will and strike they must because otherwise they are defeated. Trump poisoned the well of "There's always another election." because they believe this election was stolen. The ONLY emotional outlet for the losing side in an election is gone. 

    Tens of thousands of Republicans have quit the party since November. It will be hundreds of thousands if terrorism begins. Republicans are going to "both sides do it" when there's bodies in the street, and it aint so. The most radical nut jobs will WIN in the Republican primary in 2022. They are going to fly their freak. And they will be the most numerous segment of the GOP, maybe 75% full-blown paranoids. And they will get killed in the General in every race that's up for grabs. 

    In 2022 to 2024, we can get some stuff done. If we do, we'll keep the majority for a while.


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