Trump’s violent MAGA mob shows the Republican Party isn’t worth saving. Disband it and start over.
“F— the GOP feelings, we need to restart. Conservatives need to go into a rehab facility.”
That’s what one former Trump administration official, who previously worked for a Republican congressperson, told me Wednesday, after hundreds of the president’s supporters violently stormed the Capitol, temporarily halting Congress’ perfunctory confirmation of the Electoral College.
This veteran Republican official is correct.
There’s nothing left to save or reform in the Republican Party. It is a rotting husk of itself. The events that unfolded on Wednesday proved once and for all that the party is nothing more than a personality cult built around Trump.
Trump hasn’t just permanently stained the GOP, his enablers in Congress that were opposing Electoral College certification debased themselves and their party, too.
That’s why any honest conservative with a shred of dignity or belief in democracy should leave the Republican Party, immediately.
They shouldn’t wait to form a caucus. They shouldn’t workshop a new name. Just leave.
Rip up your GOP card and figure out the details later.
The siege of the Capitol is the lasting legacy of Trump
Prior to the mob’s treasonous rampage, the Republican Party had already surrendered its principles to Trump.
Trump’s despotic refusal to accept the will of the people led him, his supporters in the media, and his blundering legal team, to wholly invent a fake narrative of widespread election fraud.
Republicans lost the White House in large part because of Donald Trump’s buffoonish handling of the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, they lost the Senate because of Trump’s failed, tragicomic putsch.
This strategy of delegitimizing elections likely depressed GOP voter turnout in Georgia, and repulsed the suburban voters without which Republicans can’t hope to win a statewide race in swing areas.
Then, roughly 150 GOP members of the House and Senate participated in an ignoble, doomed-from-the-start spectacle that served no purpose other than to stay in Trump’s good graces.
It was only when Senate Majority (now Minority) Leader Mitch McConnell said in plain language that it was over, Trump lost, that it seemed sanity might prevail.
And then Trump’s mob breached the Capitol. And one of the darkest days in the history of the Republic unfolded further.
Trump has encouraged violence from his supporters. He’s said he won’t accept an electoral defeat. And on the morning of the insurrection his lawyer Rudy Giuliani called for a “trial by combat.”
Before the Capitol had even been retaken by law enforcement, Trump tweeted his support of the “great patriots” who did his dirty work in subverting democracy.
It was a coup attempt. It was an act of terrorism. And it was Trump’s doing.
It’s Trump’s party. And it’s not worth saving.
As Donald Trump Jr. put it during a rally for Trump supporters on Wednesday morning: “This isn’t their Republican Party anymore! This is Donald Trump’s Republican Party!”
Lil’ Don is right.
Any conservative with shred of dignity or principle remaining should understand that there’s nothing left to save in the Republican Party.
Every looted item from a congressional office, every Confederate flag marched through the rotunda, every broken window in the Capitol represents a fatal blow to the GOP.
The party, Trump’s party, is a decomposing corpse. Honest conservatives should run from it before the flies swarm them, too.
Congressional Republicans who opposed election certification know that Joe Biden won the election. But as one Republican official told Fox News, they also know that failing to toe the Trump company line “will be a great disappointment to the president, their constituents.”
In other words, they’re spineless and afraid Trump will support a primary opponent. They don’t stand for anything but keeping their cushy seats on Capitol Hill.
There are still Republicans who believe in the rule of law, like Trump-supporting Indiana Sen. Todd Young, who faced down angry Trump supporters on his way to vote. These people aren’t particularly brave, but the country needs them.
If you’re a conservative — a real conservative and not just an anti-PC grievance addict with a penchant for conspiracy theories — you can’t accept that Trump’s GOP is the best right-leaning party America could hope for.
It’s not the party of Lincoln, and hasn’t been for a real long time.
It’s the party of QAnon, the Proud Boys, and the Trump kids.
Republicans might be afraid of facing Trump-backed primary challenges, but the Georgia Senate runoffs suggest fealty to Trump isn’t a guaranteed ticket to victory anymore — not even in the deep South.
Rather than looking at Trump as the loser who flipped a deep red state to the blue column with his incompetence and divisiveness, Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue cravenly doubled-down on their myopic support of the party’s Dear Leader.
And still, they lost.
Trump will remain influential and sorely problematic for conservatives. His know-nothing populism isn’t going to be usurped any time soon by a renaissance of Ronald Reagan’s free market, pro-immigration “big tent conservatism.”
But for the benefit of the country, and even for the sake of preserving conservative values, principled Republicans should leave the party. Let it wither and die. Run as independents or launch a party beholden to an actual philosophy and not a strongman avatar.
It will cost the right dearly in the short term, but America remains pretty much a center-right electorate. Americans don’t want permanent majority rule by the Democrats, or any party.
They voted for a close split in Congress and elevated the centrist-by-comparison pragmatic aisle-crossing dealmaker Joe Biden to the White House.
For the sake of the country, we need a center-right party that isn’t beholden to the tantrums of a loser gangster.
Republicans who still believe in democracy shouldn’t fear leaving the “R” brand behind, they should take it as an opportunity to tell the America: “I’m not with stupid.”
After the shame of Wednesday’s coup attempt, it should be a lot easier for honest conservatives to distance themselves from Trump, and the party he destroyed.