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It must be a perpetual full moon these days because the GOP has lost its ever lovin’ mind. First some facts.
Polling conducted January 4-5, 2021 before the January 6 House and Senate electoral vote count indicated fairly broad support for challenging the election. (Among more recognized polling names, Rasmussen did better with the 2020 election than many other pollsters.)
One of my favorite journalists, Mollie Hemingway, within the last 24 hours noted on social media that “Congressional approval at 15% according to Gallup. 60% in another poll say impeachment is a waste of money and time. In the same poll, 77% wish Congress were working on Coronavirus mitigation, not impeachment. And 80% of GOP voters in battleground states say they’d be less likely to vote GOP who support impeachment.”
Misthiocracy posted an article in The Link Library questioning how it was logistically possible for Trump speech attendees to reach the Capitol Building in time to participate in the riot. If the ones attending his speech were not the ones rioting, then it follows the speech was not the cause of the riot. Also interesting is Pelosi and McConnell’s high-level security people deflecting the Sergeant at Arms’ call for additional Guard help before January 6 because of bad “optics”.
The GOP at the state level is a mixed bag with the Arizona GOP chair moving to censure Gov Ducey for his lockdown policy (understandable to a point) and Cindy McCain and Jeff Flake for, among other things, opposing President Trump and in Flake’s case publicly coming out for Biden. DeSantis and company over in FL are much sharper tacks: their move to divest state funds from Apple/Facebook/Amazon/Google/Twitter will likely garner them great support among independent, center and right-leaning voters. They could grow the voter base beyond what Trump achieved with moves like that.
Now we arrive at the are-they-crazy national GOP moves: Liz Cheney and Mitch McConnell are moving (whipping?) House and Senate Republicans to join in impeaching a President whose term ends in 7 days, and House Minority Leader McCarthy is open to censure.
This is how Liam Donovan citing the New York Times on social media put it: “As stunning as Rs moving against Trump would be, the alternative is that he sticks around and makes their lives/careers hell for the next four years (at least.) If that’s going to happen anyway, a clean break looks pretty attractive. Now or never.”
Also from NYT’s Jonathan Martin:
“Biden called McConnell yesterday and asked if Senate could dual track impeachment trial and cabinet confirmations. Far from telling Biden he would not discuss the impeachment, McConnell said he would check with the parliamentarian and get back to Biden.
McConnell not only told Biden he’d be for Merrick Garland for AG, he reminded him he urged Trump to name Garland to succeed Comey at FBI.”
This is not just “how the sausage is made.” This is a craven ruling class unmoored from its citizenry. With a few exceptions, the GOP never acted as decisively to defend or assist the heartbeat of America – its working-class and small business citizens – as they are showing us they could have if they’d wanted to. Had these same Republicans thrown their weight behind demanding a swift, forensic examination of the election in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia in particular led by someone Americans could trust (hard call these days, I know) with results made public, I doubt we would have seen protesters in great numbers outside the Capitol building.
Now for some commentary after the facts. The Rasmussen polling reference at the beginning of the post included quotes from an excellent Tucker Carlson editorial. At different points in the clip, he spoke important words to two groups.
To all Americans:
“You may have nothing in common with people on the other side of the country…but you’re stuck with them. The idea that groups of Americans will somehow break off into separate, peaceful nations of like minded citizens…that’s a fantasy…. There is no such thing as a peaceful separation…. The two separate hemispheres of this country are inseparably intertwined; neither can leave without killing the other.”
To US leaders:
“When thousands of your countrymen storm the Capitol building…if you don’t bother to pause and learn a single thing from it, then you’re a fool. You lack wisdom and self-awareness. You have no place running a country.”
It could not be clearer that the GOP is as focused on purging Donald Trump as the Democrats. They’ll say it’s for what he has done, but it’s really for what they are afraid he will do to influence US voters in the future. This means it’s not really Donald Trump that’s the problem to them, it’s tens of millions of US voters. So they will try to purge him for their own good, and the democratic republic known as the United States of America can fend for itself. If more Americans become too troublesome, just pass some laws making MAGA gatherings domestic terrorism and arrest and fine them. Put them on Schumer’s no-fly lists, kick them off planes for having private conversations about Trump, make them understand they are to be silent or they will become unemployable. No need to wait for a Biden term to officially start; these are all current or in the works.
Smart, capable leaders could have built on what the Trump presidency accomplished and put whatever personal aspects they didn’t like in the rearview mirror at little cost to themselves.
Borrowing from Tucker: these people have no place running a country. Too many of them have too little imagination, and would rather perpetuate their own careers than act to alleviate or even defend the election integrity concerns of so many millions of Americans. Shortsighted of them, I must say. I cannot think of one time that I’ve gone back for another bite after someone tried to make me swallow something I didn’t like ‘for my own good’.Published in