GOP’s future will be based on outcome of Trump trial
Published 2:15 pm Tuesday, January 26, 2021
As a candidate and president, Donald Trump completely transformed the Republican Party. Gone were the policies that promoted endless wars, open borders, and bad trade deals. Trump ushered in an “America First” platform that answered to the citizens of our country, not the elitists and special interests.
As an independent businessman who was not beholden to powerful donors, insiders and organizations that normally control politicians, Trump was a different kind of Republican. In fact, he was a breath of fresh air for a stale party that had become accustomed to losing elections.
This change was never accepted by the establishment wing of the Republican Party. This traditional power base of the GOP has been represented by the Bush family, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah), former House Speaker Paul Ryan, the late U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and the party leaders of today such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). These Republicans hate Trump as much, if not more, than the Democrats.
From the start of his political career in 2015, Donald Trump has been mistreated by the Republican Party. He won the 2016 nomination by defeating 16 party insiders. Unfortunately, GOP power brokers never accepted his nomination in 2016.
Amazingly, this did not change after his election as president. While some got involved in “Never Trump” organizations like the Lincoln Project, others continued to thwart the president’s agenda in Congress.
Once in the White House, the president tried to unite the party by including some of these establishment Republicans in cabinet and staff positions. This outreach was met with leaks, opposition and complete betrayal. It led to the Mueller investigation and the continued harassment that plagued his four years in office.
Even though the president spent the 2020 election campaigning for Republicans across the country, his display of loyalty was not returned by those who benefitted from his popularity. It was President Trump, not GOP party leaders, who helped Republicans win more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In all his rallies, the president made it a point to introduce and compliment elected Republicans. He was a team player for an organization that did not want or like him and despised his agenda and the “deplorables” across the country who supported it.
After the unprecedented election and the numerous allegations of voter fraud and irregularities, the president’s legal challenges were met with mostly silence or opposition from most of the Republicans in Congress.
Many of them, including U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who was elected by using Donald Trump’s endorsement in his campaign commercials, quickly called for the president to end his legal challenges and recognize Joe Biden as the president-elect. With such support from your “friends,” who needs enemies?
However, it has become much worse in the weeks since the Jan. 6 protest rally in Washington, D.C. In his rally remarks, the president called on his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” He never advocated lawbreaking, violence, or vandalism in the U.S. Capitol.
After the tragic events on Jan. 6 in which five people died and scores were later arrested, the Trump-hating Republicans saw their chance. His electoral fraud claims were dismissed, and the election was certified in Congress, with only a handful of GOP senators joining with most House Republicans in challenging the results.
The certification of Joe Biden as president was not enough of a defeat for Donald Trump to satisfy powerful Republican leaders in Congress. He was quickly impeached in a rushed and sham process in which 10 Republicans joined every Democrat. The betrayal was made even worse, because it included the third-highest ranking GOP House leader, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.). Donald Trump was already leaving the White House, so the only reason to pursue impeachment was to prevent the president from running for office ever again.
The president was also condemned by the top Republican officials in Congress. McCarthy said the president “bears responsibility” for the “attack on Congress by mob rioters.” Even though the president called for protesters to “go home now” and “respect our great people in law and order,” it was not enough for McCarthy. He said the president “should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.” McCarthy believes the president must accept “his share of responsibility.” In McCarthy’s view, the most “prudent” course of action is a “censure resolution” of the president.
On the Senate side, it was even worse. McConnell said the president “provoked” a “mob” that was “fed lies.” Reportedly, McConnell is “pleased” with the impeachment and is undecided if he will vote to convict.
Here is a promise, if the Senate Republicans join with Democrats and “convict” President Trump of these bogus “incitement” impeachment charges, the GOP is officially dead. The overwhelming majority of the 74.2 million voters who supported President Trump in the last election will not forgive the Republican Party for such a betrayal.
Poll results show that most Republicans do not believe Joe Biden won the election legitimately. Surely, these voters are extremely disappointed that more GOP members in Congress did not object to the certification of the electors. If they convict the president, the anger against the Republican Party will only intensify.
At that point, Donald Trump will likely say goodbye to the Republican Party and tens of millions of people will follow him. Why stay in a party that treats President Trump and his “deplorables” so poorly?
In his short, but extremely eventful political career, Donald Trump was treated horribly by the Democrats and the Deep State, and not much better by Republicans. This abuse must end for the sake of the party and the country.
Incredibly, McConnell is supposedly receiving pressure to coerce fellow Senate Republicans to convict Donald Trump. They want to end Trump’s political career. Ironically, such a move will end their political careers and only make Donald Trump even stronger.
Jeff Crouere is the host of “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 10 p.m. Sunday on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 a.m. till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. He is the political analyst for WGNO-TV ABC 26 and a columnist for selected publications. For more information, visit his web site at RingsidePolitics.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.