Magnificent Seven: Republicans Who Voted To Convict Trump Face Blowback For Having A Spine (update added)
[guest post by Dana]
Of course, this isn’t surprising. We saw Rep. Liz Cheney censured over her vote to impeach Trump, let alone seven Republican senators voting to convict him at last week’s impeachment trial. And let’s be straight about it: The Republican Party of Trump wouldn’t be what it is today if the seven members, whose loyalty to the Constitution demanded they act as they did, weren’t punished for doing the very thing the Republican Party of yore once stood for. As it is, in this new Republican party, one’s allegiance to the GOP supersedes all else-even if it requires the sacrifice of one’s conscience and a turning away from the oath to support and defend the Constitution.
As such, some Utah Republicans are proposing that Mitt Romney be censured:
Within 24 hours of that vote, a petition to censure Romney started making the rounds in some Utah Republican social media circles. You may remember the Utah Republican Party State Central Committee wanted to censure Romney after he voted to convict Trump in his first impeachment trial last year but opted instead to praise the former president.
A tipster sent along a link to the proposed censure of Romney and it’s…something. Here’s a taste:
Whereas; Senator Willard Mitt Romney misrepresented himself as a Republican.
Whereas; Senator Willard Mitt Romney has prioritized his personal and political vendetta against President Donald J. Trump ahead of the Constitution of the United States, the interest of We, the People, and the advancement of the Republican Platform.
The censure then slams Romney for “embarrassing the state of Utah” for being the only Republican to vote to convict Trump during his first impeachment trial. It also scolds Romney for voting against Sen. Rand Paul’s motion to declare the second impeachment trial unconstitutional and to vote in favor of calling witnesses on Saturday.
Here’s the kicker:
Whereas, Senator Williard Mitt Romney appears to be an agent for the Establishment Deep State.
Welp. That tells us all we need to know, I think…
Other Republicans who voted to convict Trump are facing blowback as well:
The state’s Republican attorney general, Jeff Landry, said [Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana] had “fallen into the trap laid by Democrats to have Republicans attack Republicans” — a candid summation of the challenges facing a party splintering into camps divided by loyalty to the former president.
And although they are not seeking re-election, Senators Richard M. Burr of North Carolina and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, were rebuked:
Lawrence Tabas, the chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party, called the trial “an unconstitutional theft of time and energy that did absolutely nothing to unify or help the American people,” adding, “I share the disappointment of many of our grass-roots leaders and volunteers over Senator Toomey’s vote today.”
In North Carolina, the chairman of the state Republican Party, Michael Whatley, said Mr. Burr’s vote was “shocking and disappointing.” Representative Dan Bishop, Republican of North Carolina, expressed support for censuring him.
So far, Sen. Ben Sasse was spared a trip to the woodshed because of the weather:
Subzero temperatures and punishing winds forced the postponement of a state central committee meeting planned for this weekend, according to a party official.
And Sen. Lisa Murkowski has also been spared any blowback from her party, at this point in time. We’ll see how she fares in the 2022 election.
Meanwhile, it appears that the schism within the Republican party is widening. Gallup is reporting that Republicans desire for a new third party is now at an all-time high:
Americans’ desire for a third party has ticked up since last fall and now sits at a high in Gallup’s trend. Sixty-two percent of U.S. adults say the “parties do such a poor job representing the American people that a third party is needed,” an increase from 57% in September. Support for a third party has been elevated in recent years, including readings of 60% in 2013 and 2015 and 61% in 2017.
Independents are usually much more likely than Republicans or Democrats to favor a third political party, but in the current poll, Republicans are nearly as likely as independents to hold this view, 63% to 70%. That represents a dramatic shift for Republicans since last September when 40% favored a third party.
Republicans’ current level of support for a third party is also the highest Gallup has measured for Republicans or Democrats in Gallup’s trend. The previous high was 54% for Democrats in 2018. Currently, 46% of Democrats endorse a third party, down from 52% in September.
Interesting too is the direction that respondents said they wanted to the Republican party go:
The survey asked Republicans and Republican-leaning independents what direction they would like to see the party move in the future. A 40% plurality want the party to become more conservative, while 34% want it to stay the same and 24% to become more moderate. While Republican identifiers are about twice as likely to say the party should become more conservative than moderate (44% to 21%), Republican-leaning independents are split, with 36% wanting it to move further to the right of the ideological spectrum and 30% to move toward the center.
UPDATE: The Utah GOP has decided not to censure Sen. Romney:
Utah GOP out with a statement supportive of both Mitt Romney and Mike Lee on impeachment: "The differences between our own Utah Republicans showcase a diversity of thought." pic.twitter.com/WzfYrsn7Lt
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) February 15, 2021