Republicans Can’t Move Forward As Viable Entity Without An Accounting For “The Big Lie” and The Big Liar
[guest post by Dana]
As the Republican Party is embroiled in a battle for its soul, the issue continues to be whether the Party needs Trump and his corruption (because it’s a package deal) to move forward or whether the Party needs to make a clean break from him. The first option includes sacrificing integrity and embracing Trump’s big, fat election lie. The latter includes doing a Cheney and rejecting his ongoing lies about the election. To recognize and acknowledge these realities is not simply relitigating the past, as many Trump-supporting leaders would have us believe. If the Party wants to collectively move forward as any sort of united entity that values loyalty to the Constitution, these events cannot be dismissed or glossed over. Moving forward toward viability requires a full accounting of past sins. Restoration cannot and will not happen without taking that vital step. And yet, while Trump is firmly rooted in pushing a reprehensible and destructive lie about the election, his strategy could easily backfire and result in unexpected and unwanted outcomes for the Republican Party. Members who face re-election and have pledged their loyalty to the Party’s kingpin might want to take note:
Veteran GOP pollster Frank Luntz warned that former President Trump’s repeated assertions that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against him could hurt Republican efforts to take back the House in 2022.
Luntz noted in an interview on the New York Times podcast “Sway” released Thursday that “more than two-thirds of Republicans believe that the election was stolen,” warning that a widespread and unproven belief that there was rampant fraud last November could turn Republicans off from voting in the midterm elections.
“What Donald Trump is saying is actually telling people it’s not worth it to vote. Donald Trump single-handedly may cause people not to vote. And he may be the greatest tool in the Democrats’ arsenal to keep control of the House and Senate in 2022,” Luntz said.
It occurs to me that (another) across-the-board defeat precisely because of Trump’s involvement may be what it takes to bring the Republican Party to its knees. Maybe then there would be a collective acknowledgment that getting into bed with a bad actor and sacrificing principles to do so was a very bad decision.
There can be no doubt that for a shocking number of Republicans in Congress who are laser-focused on their own political futures, currying favor with Trump supersedes all else. He is the Party’s kingpin and they have made a shrewd political calculation. There are also a shocking number of true believers within the ranks. Moreover, as we can see by Trump’s recent attacks on Rep. Liz Cheney, and the push by fellow-members to oust her for speaking the truth, in today’s Republican Party there is no political reward for holding onto your ethics and honoring your sworn loyalty to the Constitution. This needs to change if the Party wants to regain its stature and value as a political party.
Here is Sen. Linsdsey Graham clearly spelling out the essential nub of the battle:
Lindsey Graham: Can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no. I’ve always liked Liz Cheney but she’s made a determination that the Republican Party can’t grow with President Trump. I’ve determined we can’t grow without him. pic.twitter.com/ptdo7AQCKD
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 7, 2021
Can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no. I’ve always liked Liz Cheney but she’s made a determination that the Republican Party can’t grow with President Trump. I’ve determined we can’t grow without him.
Yet more reassurance that leaving the Republican Party was a necessary and healthy decision for me to make.