The big story of last week is not exclusive to last week nor was it apparent. Its impact is yet to be known but could put America in serious jeopardy if not end it, as we know it anyway. Let me expand and explain.
The Republican party is in serious trouble and with it America. You might ask why I care being a progressive Democrat. The answer it that before I am either of those, I am an American. The greatest threat to the GOP is its Trump problem. A significant element of it simply refuses to let him go and move on. He wants to hang around because it feeds his ego and his wallet.
The Cheney family, while I have little respect for it, is about as close to Republican royalty as you can get. They are conservatives; in my opinion to a fault. Liz Cheney is currently number 3 in House Republican leadership. It appears she is about to be replaced with Elise Stefanik. Other than graduating from Harvard Stefanik’s is a record of failure – failure of association if nothing else. She worked in the W White House – hardly a Hall of Fame administration known for its competence and accomplishments. She prepped Paul Ryan for his vice presidential debate which if you remember Joe Biden cleaned his clock in. The highlight of that debate was Biden’s “malarkey moment” where he shut down the arithmetically challenged Ryan. She backed John Kasich in 2016 and then refused to attend the GOP convention/Trump coronation. (Probably her last principled stand.) Now she is a Trump cheerleader who last week made her case for Cheney’s job on Steve Bannon’s podcast.
In the hours after his domestic terrorists attacked the Capital Building on January 6, 2021 Facebook suspended Donald Trump. Last week its “independent” advisory board punted by giving Facebook’s management six months to decide exactly what it is doing and how. (That may be an insulting oversimplification but it is deadly accurate.) I am a huge supporter of the First Amendment but all rights come with responsibility and limits. Inciting the overthrow of American democracy crosses that line.
At the state level Republicans are hard at work showing their loyalty to Trump and his Big Lie by enacting everything including the kitchen sink voter suppression laws. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis even did a Trump look alike I can write my name with a sharpie in cursive stunt live on Fox news. The Trump wannabes are doing such a “good job” that long time GOP operatives who haven’t left the party yet are concerned that they have also made it much more difficult to get out the GOP vote also.
Money is at the root of all this. That is why Trump wants back on Facebook. Currently Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene are on tour together in an effort to raise their profiles among the farthest right fringe who have proven to be easily separated from their money. (Isn’t there an adage about a fool and their money?) Make no mistake it is all about raising funds. Pledge your loyalty to Trump and watch the dollars come in.
In 2008 the Republicans ran John McCain for president. In 2012 Mitt Romney. I opposed both but while I questioned their policies, I never questioned their core integrity. Unlike Trump they were good men. The current version of the GOP, aided by Trump, had no problem getting rid of them. Trump questioned McCain’s war hero status and still received the 2016 GOP nod. Romney was booed by this year’s Utah GOP convention and narrowly escaped being censured. Today high ranking Republicans are making pilgrimages to Mar-a-Lago where Trump is in hiding and interrupting wedding receptions. (Has Trump left Florida since January 20th? Is he afraid to?)
I often quote the words of former Republican operative Rick Wilson because they are historically accurate and I fear are prophetic, “Everything Trump touches dies.” Trump is the current GOP’s biggest problem, perhaps a fatal one. In its devotion to Trump the GOP is punishing courage and the truth while simultaneously rewarding cowards and liars. Eventually the GOP will either heal itself or a be replaced by a new center-right party. My concern is that if it doesn’t happen soon enough American democracy will be destroyed from within in the process.
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