Republican/Trump Voters Reject McConnell-Haley Narrative

 

Bill of Rights and TrumpSenate Minority Leader (again) Mitch McConnell and Nikki Haley badly miscalculated the American electorate, unless they are willing servants of Xi and the Thirty American Tyrants, furthering what Time proudly celebrated as a grand and good conspiracy against real, legitimate voters in their several states producing the wrong result again. To the extent the McConnell-Haley contingent succeed in clinging to control of the Republican Party, while the left asserts full control over the Democratic Party and the instruments of national power, they will hasten the end of the Republican Party, like the Whigs before them. President Trump and the portion of the real electorate that does not want a socialist America is signaling clearly that they intend to transform the Republican Party, rather than creating a new party from scratch. We are living in very interesting times.

Trump 2020 voters speak clearly:

Suffolk University, in collaboration with USA TODAY, conducts regular polling at the state and national level, along with special topic surveys. The first special topic poll for 2021 has already generated a series of articles and bold headlines. It is well worth your while to read the seven page questionnaire with answers. This is not dense print. It is a few easily read short questions and polling worker instructions, combined with tabulated responses. The instructions indicate that the survey should take six minutes to answer over the phone.

The population being sampled was just those people who indicated last fall that they intended to vote for President Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Given that virtually everyone who actually voted chose Trump or Biden, this population will make or break any candidate running as a Republican in a primary or general election. The survey was conducted after the conclusion of the second Senate impeachment trial, February 15-20, with a sample size of 1,000.

Having already staked out positions in stark opposition to President Trump, the McConnell-Haley contingent, who will not be at this year’s CPAC, have a very hard row to hoe. They have likely terribly miscalculated from the Contract with America* and Tea Party** defeats by the party of big business. Connecting the dots of 1995-1998, 2011-2012, and 2016-2020, a creature of the establishment might conclude that their class always triumphs in the middle to long term, even without special fiddling of elections, as Lisa Murkowski’s gang has just done in Alaska.***

By this view, Reagan was the longest disruption, with the Tea Party and Gingrich Speakership each mere speed bumps. Trump’s influence, in this context, would seem to fit somewhere in the middle, but not a qualitatively or quantitatively more serious threat to the self-selected ruling elite. It ain’t necessarily so. Politicians and pundits would do well to listen carefully to what Trump 2020 voters are now saying.

The Suffolk University poll, after verifying demographic information, asks a standard right direction-wrong track question and a favorable-unfavorable question, before validating the self-identified Trump supporter actually voted for Trump in 2020. 90% were willing to say they voted for President Trump, with 3% saying they voted for Joe Biden and another 5% avoiding admitting they voted for any particular candidate. So, we can be highly confident that this sample accurately represents those who supported the reelection of President Trump.

In this context, consider the opinions expressed. The Republican Party is less favorably viewed than President Trump: 57% to 82% favorable. Flip to unfavorable and the GOP gets 28% to Trump’s 12%. 89% believe the country is on the wrong track. 90% view Joe Biden unfavorably and 87% disapprove of the job Joe Biden has done as president. Nor are they in any mood to join hands and sing kumbaya.

President Biden says he wants to pursue bipartisanship and reduce the nation’s polarization. Which comes closer to your view? {ROTATE} [This tells the poll taker to rotate which answer is offered first from one call to the next, to minimize any effect of the answer order.]

Congressional Republicans should do their best to work with Biden on major policies, even if it means making compromises —————————————- 262 / 26.20%

Congressional Republicans should do their best to stand up to Biden on major policies, even if it means little gets passed ———————————— 622/ 62.20%

Undecided——————————————————— 116/ 11.60%

After all the concerted efforts, what Time proudly styled a “conspiracy,” to stop us reelecting President Trump and then to enforce the preferred outcome in January, how have all the “conservative” editors, networks, and politicians done in beating their narrative into our brains? Very poorly.

Do you believe Joe Biden was legitimately elected president – yes or no?

Yes (17.30%) / No (73.10%)/ Undecided (9.60%)

Of the following words, which do you believe best describes the events at the Capitol on January 6th? Would you say it was … {RANDOMIZE .1-.5} [Randomize answer order from one call to the next, to minimize any effect of the answer order.]

There were two clearly negative choices: a riot (30.50%)/ an insurrection (5.40%). There were three positive or neutral choices, plus Undecided (9.60%): a protest (34.30%), a demonstration (14.30%), a gathering (5.90%). Notice that negative terms got 35.90% versus neutral or positive getting 54.50% from Trump 2020 supporters. This then suggests that the rest of the narrative was not selling so well, as responses to the next three questions quantified.

16. Which of the following best describes what happened at the U.S. Capitol on January 6?

An attempted coup inspired by President Trump: 35/ 3.50%

A rally of Trump supporters, some of whom attacked the Capitol: 278/ 27.80%

Mostly an Antifa-inspired attack that only involved a few Trump supporters: 581/ 58.10%

Undecided: 106/ 10.60%

17. Would the people who stormed the Capitol have done so without President Trump’s prompting – yes or no?

Yes ( 77.50%), No (13.20%), Undecided (9.30%).

18. Do you believe Donald Trump was guilty of inciting an insurrection, as the Article of Impeachment charged – yes or no?

Yes (5.10%), No (93.40%), Undecided (1.50%). Notice how small the undecided percentage is. The opinion here is overwhelmingly favorable to President Trump. Trump 2020 reelection supporters firmly rejected the narrative pushed on every major media platform, all of social media, and by the GOP old guard leadership.

After the Russia hoax and the Ukraine sham, we should hardly be surprised by these voters’ assessment of the January show trial.

As you may know, the Senate acquitted former President Trump in his second impeachment trial which just ended last week. Which of the following three statements comes closest to your view? {RANDOMIZE .1-.3}

Trump should never have been impeached by the House (88.90%)

The House did the right thing in impeaching Trump, and the Senate did the right thing in acquitting him (5.10%)

The House did the right thing in impeaching Trump, and the Senate should have voted to convict him (5.20%)

Undecided (0.80%)

There is no indecision here, no unwillingness to express a clear opinion. Overwhelmingly, the voters who every Republican office seeker must attract reject the entire proceedings, as well as strongly rejecting the supposed premises behind the impeachment. The question prompts respondents to consider that President Trump is twice impeached before they consider what should have been done. This did not have the desired effect. If anything, these voters were reminded of all the preceding wrongs done by the political class in Washington to their man, their choice, their President Trump.

Indeed, the Senate trial made 42% more supportive of Donald Trump, while 54% were unchanged in their support. At the same time, these voters had a very negative response to the Republican senators who voted for conviction. 80% said these senators did so out of political calculation, while only 11% credited the senators’ claims of being motivated by their consciences. 80% of Trump 2020 supporters are less likely to vote for a generic Republican candidate who supported Trump’s impeachment.

So what about the future? 59% want Donald Trump to run for president again in 2024, 76% would support him for the Republican nomination, and if Trump won the Republican nomination for president in 2024, 85% of those who supported him in 2020 now say they would vote for him in the next presidential election. The voters come to this from a view that his first term marks him as a great (45%) or good (25%) president. 13% consider the last four years to be a failed presidency, but this might well reflect an assessment that the Swamp defeated their hopes.

The Trump 2020 voters feel more loyalty to Donald J. Trump (54%) than to the Republican Party (34%). Indeed, 46% would support a “Trump Party” over the GOP (27%), while 27% are undecided on this possible development. Trump understands this and is clearly moving to push a much broader slate of MAGA candidates to tear control of the Republican Party out of the hands of McConnell and his fellow globalists. Only 14% think the GOP is headed in the right direction, while 50% believe the GOP “needs to become more loyal to Trump, even at the cost of losing more establishment Republicans. Only 19% believe the reverse, which seems to be the position staked out by McConnell and Haley.

Trump and the Future of the Republican Party:

Nikki Haley took the position, just before the sham impeachment, that President Trump and his son, Don Jr., were responsible for what happened and that what happened was as characterized by Pelosi and McConnell. She did so in a concluding interview in a series of post-election interviews with a Politico reporter/leftist propagandist, so she knew how her words would be used. I am sorry to see her fall in this way, as I had greatly admired her heretofore (see my three posts praising her over the past several years****).

She took a breath. “Fast forward, I’m watching the television the morning of the 6th and I see Don Junior get up there,” she said, reciting the president’s son’s calls to action against Republican leaders, closing her eyes as if reimagining the scene. “And then I hear the president get up there and go off on Pence. I literally was so triggered, I had to turn it off. I mean, Jon [Lerner] texted me something and I said, ‘I can’t. I can’t watch it. I can’t watch it,’ because I felt the same thing. Somebody is going to hear that, and bad things will happen.”

I asked Haley whether she has spoken to Trump since January 6. She shook her head.

“When I tell you I’m angry, it’s an understatement,” Haley hissed, leaning forward as she spoke. “Mike has been nothing but loyal to that man. He’s been nothing but a good friend of that man. … I am so disappointed in the fact that [despite] the loyalty and friendship he had with Mike Pence, that he would do that to him. Like, I’m disgusted by it.”

[ . . . ]

“I think he’s going to find himself further and further isolated,” Haley said. “I think his business is suffering at this point. I think he’s lost any sort of political viability he was going to have. I think he’s lost his social media, which meant the world to him. I mean, I think he’s lost the things that really could have kept him moving.”

I reminded her that Trump has been left for dead before; that the base always rallied behind him. I also reminded her that the argument for impeachment—and conviction—is that he would be barred from holding federal office again.

“He’s not going to run for federal office again,” Haley said.

But what if he does? Or at least, what if he spends the next four years threatening to? Can the Republican Party heal with Trump in the picture?

“I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture,” she said, matter-of-factly. “I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far.”

This was the most certainty I’d heard from any Republican in the aftermath of January 6. And Haley wasn’t done.

“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” she said. “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”

The globalist mouthpiece Wall Street Journal was quite happy to publish Mitch McConnell’s screed, “Acquittal Vindicated the Constitution, Not Trump.”

Jan. 6 was a shameful day. A mob bloodied law enforcement and besieged the first branch of government. American citizens tried to use terrorism to stop a democratic proceeding they disliked.

There is no question former President Trump bears moral responsibility. His supporters stormed the Capitol because of the unhinged falsehoods he shouted into the world’s largest megaphone. His behavior during and after the chaos was also unconscionable, from attacking Vice President Mike Pence during the riot to praising the criminals after it ended.

It is not just that Republican voters still strongly support President Trump, it is also clear now that most Republican voters strongly reject McConnell and Haley’s assessment and characterization of the election aftermath, especially including January 6. No wonder, then that neither Haley nor McConnell will be at this year’s CPAC. Oh, Minority Leader McConnell was quite happy to appear back in 2013, when he peddled the self-serving lie that Congress would stop Obama if only the American electorate, which had already been conned into giving the Republicans the House without holding them strictly accountable to actually use the power of the purse, would also give him the valuable prize of the Senate majority. See his 2013 and 2014 CPAC appearances. Now, he apparently calculates his crowd does not need conservative activists and voters.

In light of the Suffolk University poll, it is worth watching who is and is not speaking at CPAC. Breitbart reports on some of the big names:

Other notable speakers at the conference include Trump’s former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump’s former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), Trump’s former press secretary Sarah Sanders, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R).

Vice President Mike Pence, who has distanced himself from Trump ever since the November election, will not be making an appearance at CPAC.

The CPAC 2021 Speakers page shows Senators Cruz, Lee, and Hawley will be there, but not Rubio or McConnell, in contrast to House Minority Leader McCarthy, who will appear because he recognizes on which side his political bread is buttered. Among those who will NOT be there: Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, and Mitch McConnell.

We are in a very tough time, with an electoral deck more stacked than at any time before in the history of our republic. And yet, we have people willing to contend for our constitutional republic, state-by-state and office-by-office. It ain’t over until it’s over. The left’s supposed arc of history is ultimately a fiction. We may yet have another political springtime in America.


* The Contract with America:

The Contract with America

Beyond the Contract

As one senior aide to an up-and-coming freshman lawmaker told me: “The contract is a political document for 1996. It was never meant to be a governing document. We don’t care if the Senate passes any of the items in the contract. It would be preferable, but it’s not necessary. If the freshmen do everything the contract says, they’ll be in excellent shape for 1996, and we can add to our majority in Congress. But if we compromise the contract in order to pass laws, we lose support.”

Time for a New Contract with America

But in the 62 years since 1932, the Republicans had controlled both houses of Congress for only two terms, 1947-49 and 1953-55. Ronald Reagan’s coattails had produced a Republican Senate in 1980, but that majority slipped away in the 1986 midterm. By 1994 the Democrats had controlled the House of Representatives for 40 straight years and many thought that would become a permanent condition.

Instead, the election that year was an epic slaughter of the majority party in Congress. The Democrats lost 54 House seats and nine Senate seats. And that was the least of it. The Speaker of the House, Tom Foley, was defeated for re-election, the first time a sitting speaker had lost his seat since 1862. Also defeated for re-election were the chairmen of the Intelligence, Judiciary, Ways and Means, and Appropriations committees, all of whom had served in the House for decades.

[ . . . ]

The main reason was surely the Contract with America, devised by House Minority Leader Newt Gingrich and Republican whip Dick Armey. Pooh-poohed by the Washington political establishment — overwhelmingly liberal and overwhelmingly intellectually insulated from the country at large — it turned out to be a brilliant political ploy. The contract tuned in to the American electorate’s deep yearning for reform in Washington, a yearning that had expressed itself in the elections of both Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

** Tea Party

https://www.newsmax.com/scottrasmussen/rick-santelli-tea-party-launch-cnbc/2019/02/19/id/903394/

https://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/about_us/public_relations/press_room/press_releases/mad_as_hell_how_the_tea_party_movement_is_fundamentally_remaking_our_two_party_system

https://www.dailysignal.com/2019/01/11/conservative-groups-targeted-in-lois-lerners-irs-scandal-receive-settlement-checks/

*** Alaska now permanently rigged for Murkowski and the Democrats:

https://www.adn.com/politics/2021/02/17/local-alaska-republicans-censure-alaska-sen-lisa-murkowski-citing-impeachment-vote-and-other-issues/

Murkowski no longer has to pass through a Republican primary election like the one she lost in 2010. (A nearly unprecedented write-in campaign saw her reelected in November that year.)

Some Republicans are suspicious of the measure and believe Murkowski was behind it, citing the involvement of former Murkowski campaign officials and staffers who were deeply involved in the pro-measure effort.

“Everyone I talk to on the Republican side thinks it’s idiomatic — meaning, you know, A follows B, it’s about as proven as it needs to be,” Faulkner said. “I think that if you’re reporting on it, her fingerprints are all over.”

Ballot Measure 2′s principal author, a former Murkowski campaigner, has denied that the measure was intended to benefit her.

https://ballotpedia.org/Alaska_Ballot_Measure_2,_Top-Four_Ranked-Choice_Voting_and_Campaign_Finance_Laws_Initiative_(2020)

**** My previous posts on Nikki Haley:

Published in Elections
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  1. Patrick McClure Coolidge
    Patrick McClure
    @Patrickb63

    I voted for Senator McConnell in every election from 1984 to 2020. Primary and general. At his age, I think this is his last term. If not, I already plan to vote against him in the primary, and leave my vote blank in the general if he is the Republican candidate. He didn’t need to agree with President Trump all the time. No one should. But to falsely accuse the President of responsibility for what happened at the Capitol is a step too far.

    • #1
  2. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    The greatest service President Trump provided me was opening my eyes to just how corrupt and self serving the Uniparty, Chamber of Commerce, GOPe had become.  Not going back.  Primary them at every step, walk away if they are the nominees.  No more.

    • #2
  3. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Patrick McClure (View Comment):
    I voted for Senator McConnell in every election from 1984 to 2020. Primary and general. At his age, I think this is his last term.

    I think McConnell is going to use this last 6 year term to maximize his family profit.  He has the perfect president to sell out to and the sky is the limit on corruption under/with Biden.  He might retire a billionaire, which goes a long way in Kentucky.

    • #3
  4. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    I would like to get an Alaska perspective on their latest election system, which seems to me concocted to defeat the Republican voters in 2022. Even if the voters find the system repulsive in its operation and change the system back to a party primary and plurality winner system, Lisa will have gotten her family’s seat for another 6 years.

    I think there is a sophisticated voting strategy to defeat the left and the GOPe in this new system. I think you have to instruct every Republican/Trump voter to vote ONLY for one candidate and to refuse to rank order any other candidate on the ballot for that position. That way, your lesser preferences (2nd-4th) cannot be used to actually reelect Lisa Murkowski.

    • #4
  5. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    We are in the midst of “the great breaking”. Where we end up I do not know.

    • #5
  6. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Patrick McClure (View Comment):

    I voted for Senator McConnell in every election from 1984 to 2020. Primary and general. At his age, I think this is his last term. If not, I already plan to vote against him in the primary, and leave my vote blank in the general if he is the Republican candidate. He didn’t need to agree with President Trump all the time. No one should. But to falsely accuse the President of responsibility for what happened at the Capitol is a step too far.

    I was going to say the polling above offers a broad view that is more relevant to the election of a President than to election of Congressmen. If most people nationally dislike McConnell, that doesn’t mean local citizens will vote him out. 

    But perhaps there’s a significant change in local support as well.

    • #6
  7. D.A. Venters Member
    D.A. Venters
    @DAVenters

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Patrick McClure (View Comment):

    I voted for Senator McConnell in every election from 1984 to 2020. Primary and general. At his age, I think this is his last term. If not, I already plan to vote against him in the primary, and leave my vote blank in the general if he is the Republican candidate. He didn’t need to agree with President Trump all the time. No one should. But to falsely accuse the President of responsibility for what happened at the Capitol is a step too far.

    I was going to say the polling above offers a broad view that is more relevant to the election of a President than to election of Congressmen. If most people nationally dislike McConnell, that doesn’t mean local citizens will vote him out.

    But perhaps there’s a significant change in local support as well.

    I doubt McConnell will run again.  He just won re-election last year and he’s 78 or 79 years old, I think.  So he’d be 84 or 85 when he runs again and over 90 by the time he would finish his next term.  Not impossible, but I’d be surprised.

    This polling is certainly depressing for someone like me, a treacherous, elitist supporter of the GOPe swamp creatures and apparently, an opponent of all the real, legitimate voters who all voted only for Trump.  (They let me zoom into Georgetown cocktail parties from my small town in Ohio.  It’s awesome, but I have to change the subject whenever a conversation veers too close to the topic of alma maters, lest they discover I only have degrees from state universities west of the Appalachians.)  It doesn’t do much to disprove the concern and the criticism that Trump’s brand of politics, and to smaller but noticeable degree Trump’s cult of personality, has taken over the party.

     

     

    • #7
  8. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Patrick McClure (View Comment):

    I voted for Senator McConnell in every election from 1984 to 2020. Primary and general. At his age, I think this is his last term. If not, I already plan to vote against him in the primary, and leave my vote blank in the general if he is the Republican candidate. He didn’t need to agree with President Trump all the time. No one should. But to falsely accuse the President of responsibility for what happened at the Capitol is a step too far.

    I was going to say the polling above offers a broad view that is more relevant to the election of a President than to election of Congressmen. If most people nationally dislike McConnell, that doesn’t mean local citizens will vote him out.

    But perhaps there’s a significant change in local support as well.

    Polls in Kentucky have his support dropping by 29% to 41% from 70% among Republicans.

    • #8
  9. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    I think you have to instruct every Republican/Trump voter to vote ONLY for one candidate and to refuse to rank order any other candidate on the ballot for that position.

    I’m not so sure that would work.  I think if your ballot does not have other “choices” ranked it is considered “exhausted” and is discarded.  I like this explanation from an op-ed in The Daily News.  In any event, ranked choice voting just seems to be yet another way to manipulate elections so that people otherwise not qualified or supported can get or stay in office.  If even Ann Arbor, MI repealed ranked choice voting, it has to be a mess.

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I admired Nikki Haley, too. Now, I’m disappointed in her. But I can understand her response to Trump, too; he acted like a jerk toward Mike Pence. I tolerated four years of Trump because he did great work. He also said and did many foolish, immature and unwise things. I know this is probably selfish on my part, but I would dread four more years of him. I’d love to see DeSantis run, although we would miss him in FL.

    Edit: I’m not saying I wouldn’t vote for him again. I’m just sayin’ I hope I don’t have to.

    • #10
  11. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Excellent article.

    I have always wondered whether what happened to National Security Advisor Flynn didn’t have lots and lots of Pence’s fingerprints all over them. Flynn was the antithesis of the foreign policy Pence would advocate.

    What’s even more humorous about Nikki Haley is that after all this she was asking to have a meeting with Trump at Mar a Lago to get an anointing for her 2024 candidacy. Fortunately, Trump now sees her for the viper she is.

    Why the Republicans in the Senate keep McConnell around as Majority Leader is a huge mystery. He has a terrible election track record of picking candidates in his own corporatist mold totally out of step with everyone but the Chamber of Commerce.

    • #11
  12. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    This polling is certainly depressing for someone like me, a treacherous, elitist supporter of the GOPe swamp creatures and apparently, an opponent of all the real, legitimate voters who all voted only for Trump.

    Okay, I appreciate that for a rock-ribbed Republican Party stalwart, the Trump phenomenon is problematic at best, and maddening at worst. Be that as it may, what do the GOP leadership at the state and national levels plan to do about it? Dismiss the pro-Trump voters as irredeemably lost to their own ignorance (racism, backwardness, stupidity?) or start looking for common ground with them in order to reforge an effective coalition against the Progressives?

    Right now, it looks to me (as an outsider who is a registered member of the Constitution Party) as though the GOP can’t make up its collective mind about which direction it wants to go in. It appears that a significant segment of the party really just wants to return to being the permanent minority party within a Democratic-dominated elite. As yet, I don’t see any GOP leadership stepping forward to express a vision of a post-Trump Republican party that represents the interests or small businesses and blue-collar workers, stands for strengthening the US economy without sacrificing US sovereignty, and will work to bring government spending under control.

    Trump wasn’t any better than 50% on these issues, but that’s 50% better than any of alternatives in either ’16 or ’20.

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    Right now, it looks to me (as an outsider who is a registered member of the Constitution Party) as though the GOP can’t make up its collective mind about which direction it wants to go in.

    I agree, Hoplite. I don’t see any meaningful effort. It might be interesting to see what Trump says at CPAC; will he indicate whether or not he’s running, or if he sees a way to come together? He may have given up on “unifying” the party after all the grief the Never Trumpers gave him. But I see no one else speaking up; it’s probably too early for some, like DeSantis.

    • #13
  14. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    Trump wasn’t any better than 50% on these issues, but that’s 50% better than any of alternatives in either ’16 or ’20.

    And possibly going forward too. The 50 percent of the issues he was right about remain a weighted 50 percent. :-) In other words, those issues matter a great deal to the majority of Republicans.

    Nothing like watching Biden cozy up to Xi (including resurrecting our membership with the World Health Organization), reinstate the Iran Deal, cancel the pipeline project, reenter us into the Paris climate accords, support BLM, and put clearly incompetent people to run the federal bureaucracy in the name of sexual orientation diversity to fire up Trump’s supporters.

    Trump’s supporters are looking for strength in the face of the Democrats’ destructive and costly agenda.

    If the Republican cabal spent as much time trying to defeat the Democrats as they do trying to defeat Trump, perhaps they’d stand a chance of gaining support from the rank-and-file Republicans.

    • #14
  15. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Watching Biden these past few weeks has supported my sense that Trump was frantic about the election not because he wanted to continue being president (which I know he did in some ways) but because after November 3, he saw clearly what the Democrats had in store for us.

    • #15
  16. D.A. Venters Member
    D.A. Venters
    @DAVenters

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    This polling is certainly depressing for someone like me, a treacherous, elitist supporter of the GOPe swamp creatures and apparently, an opponent of all the real, legitimate voters who all voted only for Trump.

    Okay, I appreciate that for a rock-ribbed Republican Party stalwart, the Trump phenomenon is problematic at best, and maddening at worst. Be that as it may, what do the GOP leadership at the state and national levels plan to do about it? Dismiss the pro-Trump voters as irredeemably lost to their own ignorance (racism, backwardness, stupidity?) or start looking for common ground with them in order to reforge an effective coalition against the Progressives?

    Right now, it looks to me (as an outsider who is a registered member of the Constitution Party) as though the GOP can’t make up its collective mind about which direction it wants to go in. It appears that a significant segment of the party really just wants to return to being the permanent minority party within a Democratic-dominated elite. As yet, I don’t see any GOP leadership stepping forward to express a vision of a post-Trump Republican party that represents the interests or small businesses and blue-collar workers, stands for strengthening the US economy without sacrificing US sovereignty, and will work to bring government spending under control.

    Trump wasn’t any better than 50% on these issues, but that’s 50% better than any of alternatives in either ’16 or ’20.

    That’s a really good question and I don’t have a good answer.  I guess if I were a candidate on the GOPe side I would simply emphasize the issues (small government, free trade, pro-life, school choice, religious freedom, etc) and try not to get drawn into discussions about Trump and avoid the elite vs. the common man populist narrative.  I don’t have any illusions that such a strategy would work in a primary if the opponent is stroking the base’s fear of globalists, the deep state, socialist takeovers, the enemy within, vague conspiracy theories, etc…  That is unfortunately what seems to be driving the Republican bus lately.  I think it is the product of echo chambers and bubbles rather than the reality, but that’s where we are. 

    The left is doing it, too, I don’t mean to pick on the right.  The hilarious thing is that both extremes think their own leadership is feckless, weak, and too corrupted by Washington to really make any progress for their side, and that the opposing leadership is pulling all the strings and winning every time.  They are a mirror image of each other.

    • #16
  17. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Clifford A. Brown: “…President Trump and the portion of the real electorate that does not want a socialist America…”

    The intellectuals who laid down the abstract principles of what became the American Revolution asked these abstract questions and gave these abstract answers:

    Abstract Question 1: “Ought a nation to be regarded as a set of classes, defined by a self-appointed elite class, with a hierarchy of honors, privileges, and responsibilities dictated by that elite class?” (This was the condition of England, our colonial masters.)

    Abstract Answer: “No.  The people ought to be regarded as morally equal individuals”.

    Abstract Question 2: “Ought the people to own government and themselves, or ought the governors to own the people and the government?”

    Abstract Answer: “The people ought to own government and themselves”.

    These were the founding principles of the Republican Party.

    “Conservative Republicans”, as we are called to distinguish us from Trump, want to see the Republican Party, and America, return to those founding principles.  Without conservatives, the Republican party would be a small, ineffectual group of voters.

    It is very true that we do not want a socialist America.

    But it is a profound misunderstanding of this large faction to define us by that desire.  We reject socialism only because it is one particular scheme for violation our permanent principles, the principles of the American Revolution.

    It would be a practical political blunder to confuse us with Trump.  Socialism is not a violation of any permanent principle to be found in Trump’s moral character.  Were he and those of like mind to gain control of the Republican Party, and get the America they want, if it were through socialism they would have no objection based on abstract principles.

     

    • #17
  18. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    It doesn’t do much to disprove the concern and the criticism that Trump’s brand of politics, and to smaller but noticeable degree Trump’s cult of personality, has taken over the party.

    You’re mistaking devotion to rule of law for loyalty to Trump. Greenlighting proceedings for impeachment of former officials and refusal to address widespread distrust in elections by supporting investigations is ruinous to the republic even if Trump disappears entirely. 

    • #18
  19. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Before reading other’s comments, I would like to thank you, Clifford, for putting this piece together. I too have thought highly of Nicki Haley in the past. The job she did at the U.N. was superlative while working for President Trump and supporting his positions. I was surprised to see her leave not only that job, but the entire administration, so early. Yet I still harbored no animosity towards her, assuming she must have had personal reasons for leaving the public sphere at that time. I will add that Sundance, over at the CTH website has had a rock in his shoe concerning Ms. Haley for a long time. I always wondered why. After all, these politicians are individuals. Just as the Founding Fathers argued for days to come to agreements, fellow conservatives do the same. Mitch McConnell is another story altogether, along with Richard Burr, Lyndsey Graham, and a number of others who were from the beginning encouraging the Russia Hoax against Trump. They are beyond dissenters of policy. They are traitors to their President. Now comes Liz Cheney and her buddies in the House to join in. 

    What disturbs me greatly about the January  6th event was, first the cowardly hysterics emitted by certain members of Congress. One would expect such behavior from Democrats, but coming from Republicans, it is disappointing. First, where have all the outrage and calls for National Guard been during the times last summer when defenseless citizens were having their businesses burned to the ground, or being physically attacked while having lunch at a cafe or walking down the street minding their own business? Secondly, where is the evidence of real danger to members of Congress. The only gun was used by a policeman, who shot an unarmed rioter who wasn’t threatening anyone’s physical safety. We still do not know who that “policeman” was. As opposed to the narrative, no one else was killed due to that outbreak. Many of the people wandering around inside the building were actually allowed in by the Capitol Police. It was an ugly scene, but the hyperbolic talk of an INSURRECTION is ridiculous.

    As concerns Mike Pence and the tearjerking calls for Trump’s loyalty to him, well isn’t that backward? Isn’t it Pence who owes loyalty to Trump? I am not saying that Pence should not be true to his own moral values. That should come first for him, for sure. But after four years of standing beside Trump, Pence moved away. It wasn’t Trump, but Pense who lacked loyalty in the final analysis. I don’t hold it against Mike Pence, but I sure don’t feel sorry for him either.

    So now I will go back and read the comments. I am certain to learn more as I do.

    • #19
  20. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Mark Camp (View Comment): “Conservative Republicans”, as we are called to distinguish us from Trump, …

    That part made me giggle.

    • #20
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    @cdor, I agree with much of what you’ve said, but I had a couple of questions. Did Lindsey Graham join in on the Russian Hoax? And in  what way did Pence lack loyalty to Trump? Thanks for clarifying.

    cdor (View Comment):
    It wasn’t Trump, but Pense who lacked loyalty in the final analysis. I don’t hold it against Mike Pence, but I sure don’t feel sorry for him either.

    cdor (View Comment):
    Mitch McConnell is another story altogether, along with Richard Burr, Lyndsey Graham, and a number of others who were from the beginning encouraging the Russia Hoax against Trump.

    • #21
  22. Jim Beck Member
    Jim Beck
    @JimBeck

    Morning D. A.

    I am not sure the extremes of the left are equivalent to the Trump supporters in their disappointment in their leadership.  The leadership of the left has again made a top priority of systemic racism, the “climate crisis”, and shown that the law can be applied differentially. The leadership of the left has effectively promoted transgender policies, has continued to marginalize the family, has continued to push religion from the public square, and has continued to disenfranchise voters and empower bureaucrats.  The advances of the left are close to the hopes of all but the most extreme (Angela Davis) followers.  Neither Trump supporters nor the Tea Party voters were very far from conservatives of earlier generations, yet GOPe has been entirely indifferent in building on these natural constituencies.  The leadership on the left refuses to criticize even the most extreme elements, like the rioters.  The leadership on the GOPe seems to view criticism of Trump supporters as a badge to be proudly worn.

    You say as a GOPe candidate that you would run on small government, free trade, pro-life, school choice, religious freedom.  Why would anyone believe you? When we had the presidency, and both houses what advances were made on any of these areas?  I would argue none, and that the GOPe has not shown any interest in representing their constituencies since H.W. Bush.

    • #22
  23. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    I don’t begrudge Pence his decision on the 6th. But it’s ridiculous that Trump would not have been made aware before he voiced that decision publicly. 

    Risible as Trump’s rhetoric might have been, it was not more aggravating than many speeches before mass gatherings in recent decades. Nor is it new for public officials to voice doubts about election integrity, as Democrats have done regularly in recent decades… including Democrat complaints about Dominion voting machines. 

    It is not by Trump’s word that so many Republican voters doubt the integrity of elections. It is by the various arguments of dozens of unconnected election observers, statisticians, lawyers, commentators, and others over a course of months, beginning with objections to the hundreds of lawsuits brought by Democrats in 2020 to challenge laws intended to secure elections. 

    • #23
  24. D.A. Venters Member
    D.A. Venters
    @DAVenters

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    It doesn’t do much to disprove the concern and the criticism that Trump’s brand of politics, and to smaller but noticeable degree Trump’s cult of personality, has taken over the party.

    You’re mistaking devotion to rule of law for loyalty to Trump. Greenlighting proceedings for impeachment of former officials and refusal to address widespread distrust in elections by supporting investigations is ruinous to the republic even if Trump disappears entirely.

    Respectfully, I see it differently.  It appears from my perspective that Trump supporters are willing to chuck the rule of law in support of Trump – the whole post-election debacle, culminating in the capitol assault, being the prime example of that.  He was impeached while he was president, it was only the trial that was held after he left.  While its certainly arguable whether the constitution allows the trial to proceed against a former official, there was a very good argument that it does.  Its no offense to the rule of law to come down on that side of things.  What Trump was attempting in trying to remain in power was manifestly against the rule of law.  He tried to pressure the VP into grossly violating his legal duties, and while the mob was in the capitol looking for him, continued to tweet out that the VP had failed them.  If you are ok with that, you’re not a stickler for the rule of law.

    On the issue of the election fraud – widespread distrust in elections does not, under the rule of law, justify overturning them.  The issue was brought to courts many times, evidence presented to try to get courts to issue injunctions, stay the certification, etc.. and there was just never enough evidence to legally justify those things.  These rulings are not hard to find.  While some of the courts ruled on procedural matters (which are part of the rule of law, by the way), many of them did look at the merits of the claims, the quality of the evidence, at least for the relatively limited purpose of issuing injunctions.  So many of Trump’s supporters election claims turned out to be so wrong that it really hurt their credibility on everything.  I’m sure there were shenanigans here and there, but there has never been proof of anything that would change the outcome. 

    My point here is just that loyalty to the rule of law does not explain the support of Trump and Trump’s brand of politics.   

    • #24
  25. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Patrick McClure (View Comment):

    I voted for Senator McConnell in every election from 1984 to 2020. Primary and general. At his age, I think this is his last term. If not, I already plan to vote against him in the primary, and leave my vote blank in the general if he is the Republican candidate. He didn’t need to agree with President Trump all the time. No one should. But to falsely accuse the President of responsibility for what happened at the Capitol is a step too far.

    Mitch’s last two opponents for the Senate (Alison Lundergan Grimes and Amy McGrath) weren’t exactly world class contenders so he lucked out there. 

    I suppose that I’ll always thank Mitch for his work on getting halfway decent folks into the Federal Judiciary but I agree that he should have just kept his mouth shut when it came to blaming Trump for January the 6th.

    • #25
  26. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    he acted like a jerk toward Mike Pence.

    Screw Mike Pence.  He had one job in 2020, manage the Wuhan Lab Flu Task Force.   He totally failed.  The science was crap.  The scientists were able to run the country according to their political preferences.  Effective treatments were blocked by Big Pharma.   Testing used the wrong thresholds the entire time.  Personal is policy and Pence picked people that cost this country thousands of lives and trillions of dollars and Trump the re-election.  Chairman Xi would not have done it any differently. 

    • #26
  27. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    I doubt McConnell will run again. He just won re-election last year and he’s 78 or 79 years old, I think. So he’d be 84 or 85 when he runs again and over 90 by the time he would finish his next term. Not impossible, but I’d be surprised.

    Another important factor, there are strong alternative candidates available.  Daniel Cameron (AG) is a rock star and would get Trump’s backing.   I’d prefer him as the 2024 presidential candidate (vote Cameron/Hawley), but would settle for him as Senator. 

    • #27
  28. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    @ cdor, I agree with much of what you’ve said, but I had a couple of questions. Did Lindsey Graham join in on the Russian Hoax? And in what way did Pence lack loyalty to Trump? Thanks for clarifying.

    cdor (View Comment):
    It wasn’t Trump, but Pense who lacked loyalty in the final analysis. I don’t hold it against Mike Pence, but I sure don’t feel sorry for him either.

    cdor (View Comment):
    Mitch McConnell is another story altogether, along with Richard Burr, Lyndsey Graham, and a number of others who were from the beginning encouraging the Russia Hoax against Trump.

    Trump was attempting, it appeared, to raise objections to the electors from certain States. While Pence was in a tough position, no doubt, he didn’t seem to support Trump in those objections. Lyndsey Graham is a windsurfer. Whichever way the wind blows, that’s the way Lyndsey Graham goes. In the beginning, he did nothing to stop the Mueller investigation.

    • #28
  29. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    This polling is certainly depressing for someone like me, a treacherous, elitist supporter of the GOPe swamp creatures and apparently, an opponent of all the real, legitimate voters who all voted only for Trump.

    Okay, I appreciate that for a rock-ribbed Republican Party stalwart, the Trump phenomenon is problematic at best, and maddening at worst. Be that as it may, what do the GOP leadership at the state and national levels plan to do about it? Dismiss the pro-Trump voters as irredeemably lost to their own ignorance (racism, backwardness, stupidity?) or start looking for common ground with them in order to reforge an effective coalition against the Progressives?

    Right now, it looks to me (as an outsider who is a registered member of the Constitution Party) as though the GOP can’t make up its collective mind about which direction it wants to go in. It appears that a significant segment of the party really just wants to return to being the permanent minority party within a Democratic-dominated elite. As yet, I don’t see any GOP leadership stepping forward to express a vision of a post-Trump Republican party that represents the interests or small businesses and blue-collar workers, stands for strengthening the US economy without sacrificing US sovereignty, and will work to bring government spending under control.

    Trump wasn’t any better than 50% on these issues, but that’s 50% better than any of alternatives in either ’16 or ’20.

    That’s a really good question and I don’t have a good answer. I guess if I were a candidate on the GOPe side I would simply emphasize the issues (small government, free trade, pro-life, school choice, religious freedom, etc) and try not to get drawn into discussions about Trump and avoid the elite vs. the common man populist narrative. I don’t have any illusions that such a strategy would work in a primary if the opponent is stroking the base’s fear of globalists, the deep state, socialist takeovers, the enemy within, vague conspiracy theories, etc… That is unfortunately what seems to be driving the Republican bus lately. I think it is the product of echo chambers and bubbles rather than the reality, but that’s where we are.

    The left is doing it, too, I don’t mean to pick on the right. The hilarious thing is that both extremes think their own leadership is feckless, weak, and too corrupted by Washington to really make any progress for their side, and that the opposing leadership is pulling all the strings and winning every time. They are a mirror image of each other.

    @daventers – as one of those voters worried about the Deep State / globalists / etc, let’s think about this.  The key is to avoid treating voters with contempt – if you want to distance yourself from Trump, don’t go after his supporters.

    Trump supporters do not trust China or view it to be a good actor in any way.  If you were to shift the Free Trade rhetoric toward allies of the US like Britain, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, India, etc and treat China how Reagan and Cold War GOP treated the Soviet Union, we could have common ground.  A lot of the fear of globalists is based on the sense that Chinese cash is buying off politicians and working against natural patriotism.  This is also a great place to play the religious freedom card – China has no functional religious freedom.

    Trump supporters expect woke cancel culture to come for them and their children.  Recognize this and push back – these corporations are run like a Berkeley faculty lounge.  To be blunt, the traditional response has been to tell people to build their own platform, and we have seen multiple cases of the new platform being torn down.  Does that sound like a free market to you?  

    School Choice is a winning issue for the GOP, and pushing back on regulations is another.  They are broadly supported even outside of the GOP, and they were part of the Trump platform.  Pro-life is another winner.

    One final issue – support election integrity.  Advocating for voter ID, paper ballots, in-person voting, rigorous enforcement of election laws is a very widely acceptable position.  People who think the election was a fraudfest and those who don’t should agree that holding the US to the standards we use overseas to describe free and fair elections is a good thing.

    • #29
  30. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    One final issue – support election integrity. Advocating for voter ID, paper ballots, in-person voting, rigorous enforcement of election laws is a very widely acceptable position. People who think the election was a fraudfest and those who don’t should agree that holding the US to the standards we use overseas to describe free and fair elections is a good thing.

    And make sure those ballot boxes don’t come pre-filled with those paper ballots.

    • #30