A Trump “destroyed” Republican Party is a fiction that doesn’t exist and won’t last long We’ve heard it a lot in recent times, that Donald Trump has “ruined the Republican Party.”
Since roughly half of Americans and the world have been engaged in a gigantic game of “Let’s Pretend” over the past year, perhaps now is a good occasion to examine the question of Donald Trump’s “damage” to an entity that, at its purpose level, exists only to get candidates elected. The same media that regularly freaks out over Republicans and Democrats -- to them, the former being the human embodiment of all things anti-progressive (and hence regressive, backwards, ignoble and inspires comparisons to knuckle-dragging cave dwellers) and the former being the equal summation of all things enlightened, virtuous, forward-thinking and “woke” -- appears to claim the GOP is now in tatters and ruins thanks to the outgoing chief executive Donald John Trump. Hearing the unending refrains, I’ve racked my brain trying to discern how Trump ruined the party. Seriously, no joke. There aren’t any objective, outward signs, are there? I haven’t personally checked, but I’m certain that party headquarters is still right down the street from the vaunted U.S. Capitol building. No Republicans that held office prior to the shocking and shameful storming of Congress last week have been officially kicked out of their posts. There’ve been a number of resignations and a virtual stampede of establishment GOPers jumping off of Trump’s bandwagon, but nothing’s been etched in stone -- or ink. The national election was held in early November where Democrats did manage to pick up the presidency (the election might not have been “stolen” but the mass quantity of evidence suggests system-wide funny business that still needs thorough investigation), but didn’t gain the dozen or so seats they figured they’d capture in the House of Representatives. In fact, they lost thirteen seats, cutting Nancy Pelosi’s majority down to eleven total. This means there are 212 Republicans in the House today, a ton more than were there in 2009 when ruling class-darling George W. Bush ceded the nuclear launch codes. In 2009, when Barack Obama took over, there were 33 fewer Republicans in the House (179 total). 255 Democrats haunted the halls back then compared to 223 now. Over in the senate, Republicans lost three seats this cycle but still hold a total of 50 (yes, even counting last week’s tragic double failure in Georgia). Democrats failed to pounce on the supposedly destroyed Republican Party in November, losing a handful of winnable seats in North Carolina, Iowa, Maine and Montana. True, they now have 50 dedicated liberals literally itching to push through a progressive agenda, but they’ll have to maintain perfect party discipline to get it -- and that includes having new Vice President Kamala Harris (cringe) cast a deciding vote in the event of a deadlock. This isn’t the time or place to talk about the filibuster, is it? Well, maybe it is, considering Democrats held a filibuster-proof 60 seats (for a period of 72 legislative days) in 2009, until Teddy Kennedy’s death and subsequent special election produced Senator Scott Brown. They could theoretically do anything they wanted back then, not needing to worry themselves with the opinions or concerns of Mitch McConnell and his comparatively tiny band of Republican obstructionists and anti-Hope and Changers. Governing a conglomeration of self-interested politicians ain’t as easy as it sounds, though. The old analogy of herding cats definitely applies to every political situation.
Then there’s the state level where Republicans didn’t lose control of a single legislative chamber and even picked up two (upper and lower) in New Hampshire. This is crucial since the non-Trump destroyed Republicans -- not the virtuous Democrats -- will largely control the redrawing of districting maps. In case you haven’t heard, the big blue states are losing population -- and seats -- to those rube-infested red states. Here’s thinking the current House majority is in serious jeopardy after the 2022 election.
How about the grassroots? Several days have passed since the riot last week and Trump’s popularity among Republicans is holding steady -- if not going up. Rasmussen Reports (yesterday) showed 48 percent of likely voters approved of Trump’s job performance. With the almost total stifling of conservative opinion on social media, the word isn’t getting out as it should. But Trump’s voters aren’t abandoning him. Far from it. I personally don’t know a Trump supporter who’s wholesale changed his or her mind about the value of the last four years. We see the news. We rationalize. Only a pathetically small percentage of Trump backers violated the Capitol building. Welcome? Definitely not. But it didn’t cause many to believe Trump is as bad as the media -- and establishment Republicans -- make him out to be.
Time -- and months’ worth of watching Joe Biden and congressional Democrats run in circles trying to pass their disastrous agenda -- will add new elements to the political equation. Donald Trump didn’t destroy the GOP. He’s leaving office with his party in relatively good condition, actually, even if there’s a hasty drive among the weak-kneed to cast him into the dustbin of history right alongside the likes of Richard Nixon and James Buchanan. The ruling class will fret and worry about “damage done,” but we won’t know if there’s any for quite a long time.
Didn’t Barack Obama leave his party in much worse shape at all levels (meaning Republican majorities in the House, Senate and possession of the presidency and state legislatures controlled by the GOP)? Do numbers mean nothing? Facts aren’t important? Feelings of bitterness count for more than objective figures? To this day Obama is held on a pedestal by his own party, not a single person on his side of the aisle ever (to my knowledge) suggested he destroyed the Democrats. But it took a feckless GOP establishment, a Chinese virus, some questionable vote-counting practices, a ferocious partisan media and a lot of luck to win back liberal majorities.
If the Democrats overreach -- which they’re already tossing ample hints (impeachment?) of doing -- the pendulum will swing back faster than a teeny bopper double-take at ajunior high school dance.
There’s little doubt that the Republican Party took a hit last week, but it’s a bit early to declare that anything’s been “destroyed”, “wrecked”, “shattered”, “demolished” or “annihilated” by one man. It’s a figment of the media’s imagination, trying in vain to give the people the impression that Trump is the demon they worked so hard to ruin for five and a half years -- and then supposedly succeeded.
We’ve had the years-long witch hunt -- and they’ve found one -- let the witch trials commence!
Predictably, liberals are trying to milk the “crisis” for all its worth, calling for impeachment and post-9/11-style investigations. In a piece titled, “Trump’s Effort To Overturn The Election Should Be Investigated Like 9/11,” Liberal Trump-hating Politico founding editor John Harris wrote at his publication, “Trump’s transition… has been a comprehensive outrage, and therefore needs a comprehensive examination. Many of Trump’s actions, or those of his allies, may not be narrowly illegal but could still raise foundational issues of a political or policy nature. Punishing the guilty is one task. Illuminating the public record in an authoritative way is another. And this illumination should be insulated as much as possible from partisan influence.
“That’s why the 9/11 Commission comparison is relevant. The commission had a mandate to look at systemic factors that preceded the 9/11 attacks, and recommendations for what the government should do in the future...
“Trump’s effort to undermine an effective transition and public confidence in the legitimacy of the presidential election is an assault on the nation’s system of governance that must be avoided in the future. A commission with credible figures from both parties on it could take into account the need to protect ongoing criminal prosecutions and executive privilege.”
You gotta love Harris’s call for “a commission with credible figures from both parties”, which is hilarious on its face. What “credible” Democrats are there in this regard? Has there been a single liberal party member who’s spoken out on the need to get to the bottom of the multitude of election irregularities that took place on the night/morning of November 3rd and 4th (and the days that followed)? Reasonable minds could conclude that Trump’s been a bit extreme in claiming he won the election “by a landslide” but he’s been within the realm of believability by calling attention to a LOT of curious actions at the state level.
Trump was in the process of laying out some of those strange happenings (like more votes appearing in numerous jurisdictions than there were registered voters) during his speech on Wednesday. Media commentators like Harris love to home in on what happened after Trump exited the dais, but did anyone stop to listen to what he actually said?
Democrats are quick to toss out terms like “sedition” and “treason” for questioning the results. If that’s the case then most Republicans are guilty. Grampa Joe Biden and crew had better get busy building big prisons to hold all the election skeptical seditionists and traitors. Some Democrats are even suggesting Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley resign because they dared object to the electors. What happened to healthy dissent and debate?
What “credible” Republicans would be allowed on the commission? How about Colin Powell? Oops, he said over the weekend that he no longer considers himself a Republican (like he voted for any of the party’s candidates after 2004, right?). Let’s see… there’s Mitt Romney (he was the GOP nominee in 2012, wasn’t he?), perhaps Ben Sasse (he’s a current senator), John Kasich (longtime member of the House and Governor of Ohio), Cindy McCain (wife of the dearly departed John McCain who was heralded by the media for his “straight talk”) … and the list goes on and on!
Such a “commission” and investigation would spend lots of money, a decent amount of time and pick and nitpick every communication that could possibly be construed as damaging to the maniac former President Trump. They’d be teeing him up for prosecution, conviction and an unceremonious drumbeat out of town, possibly stripped to the skin and bearing his basketful of executive orders strapped to his back. If they can’t kill the movement, the least they can do is utterly discredit its figurehead.
Expect to hear a lot of this type of thing in the months and years ahead. They’ll be “saving democracy” and “regaining the government’s legitimacy.” What a crock.
Trump is done, so will the #NeverTrump faction take over as party leaders?
Naturally, since the establishment media, elitist Republicans and all Democrats are united in claiming that Donald Trump ruined the GOP, there must be some person or group that’s primed to pick up the smashed pieces of the conservative/populist coalition that Trump’s left behind. Regardless of whether Trump is somehow able to reestablish his reputation as a successful outsider who perhaps just lost it in the heat of the moment, someone has to take over as leader.
Here’s thinking the ruling class Republicans enjoyed having Trump out front for over half a decade. With him seemingly relishing taking most if not all of the incoming fire from the somewhat less than loyal opposition Democrats and the snooty opportunists in Republican-land (yes, this means you, Paul Ryan), they haven’t had to work nearly as hard as they did in the George W. Bush years.
If something ever went wrong, simply join the boo-birds in blaming Trump! The media liked it too, since not only did they have a cauldron full of accusatory quotes from Nancy Pelosi, they also could run to any number of Republicans and get a “well, his rhetoric is certainly over-the-top”, or “this isn’t who we are.”
What about now? #NeverTrumpers find themselves even farther mired in no-man’s land. Having ultimately gotten what they wanted -- the complete and utter purge of Donald Trump from the good graces of the American political ruling class -- they find themselves in a tricky spot. The so-called “conservatives” are staring in the faces of voters with long memories who saw them fighting against practically everything they ever professed to believe in on the policy front.
Trump was an anomaly, but the #NeverTrumpers wouldn’t take “yes” for an answer. It won’t be them who rises from the ashes. No one trusts them any longer. They’re just as gone now as they were prior to the election -- and last Wednesday doesn’t change the calculation.
Who then? Time will tell.
The media’s feeding frenzy has continued at full bore ever since the first misbehaving Trump supporters breached the Capitol building last Wednesday, but soon their fuel -- or food in this instance -- will burn itself out. As of today, Donald Trump has a little over eight days left. He won’t be at Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony -- I think everyone in the country is relieved -- legal process will have removed his official power at noon on the 20th. When Biden raises his right hand and recites the magic words, the problems are all his. Good luck, Joe!