The Republican Party Purge of Donald Trump
I know Republican leadership sounds like an oxymoron, except for Mitch McConnell’s laser focus on getting ultra-right-wing judges on the federal bench and Supreme Court. There hasn’t been an example of leadership in the Republican Party worth mentioning. One man controlled everything he noticed in the Republican Party. Anything that got done by the alleged leaders was only because Trump wasn’t paying attention.
Because there was no clearly defined leadership, the wannabe leaders took it as if there were a void and began positioning themselves to be the next Trump. It’s how we got a Senator Josh Hawley or Senator Ted Cruz going off the rails and contributing to the White Supremacist Gone Wild Day at the US Capitol on January 6th.’
There was no Republican leadership because every last one of them lived in fear of Donald Trump. Even after he lost the 2020 presidential election, they still dreaded his power to tweet them out of political relevance if they didn’t cater to his every whim. There was also the fear he would run again in 2024 and suck out all the oxygen in the party because he seemingly controlled a loyal base they coveted and wished to have for their own.
They all bowed down to Trump, some embarrassingly so like Ted Cruz, who let Trump call his wife ugly and linked his father to JFK's assassination and still kissed Trump’s behind. None of them liked Trump. Whether they deserved it or not, they all had some pride, and Trump forced them to reverse all their previously held beliefs, forcing them to show fealty and kiss the ring as well.
Then Trump incited a mob to attack the Capitol, and ever the opportunists, the “leaders” saw their chance to rid themselves of the menace called Trump. Trump became the first President in history to get impeached twice, and Republicans weren’t against it as much as they pretended the first time. Rep. Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice-President Dick Cheney and the third highest-ranking Republican in the House, said this:
“On January 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes. This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic.
Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.
“I will vote to impeach the President.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell freed his caucus to “vote their conscience” and isn’t forcing Republican Senators to back the President. The Senate trial won’t be completed until Trump’s term is over anyway. The key thing the Republicans want to accomplish is a second Senate vote banning Trump from ever holding office again. None of them want Trump lingering around until 2024. The party is in shambles as it is, and a candidate Trump, would only make things worse. It doesn’t take much to imagine another political season of name-calling and lies.
Republican after Republican has come out to indicate they will vote to impeach Trump. Ten Republican House members voted against Trump, which would have been unheard of a year ago during his first impeachment. There is a fair chance the Senate will find Trump guilty at their trial, requiring a two-thirds majority meaning Republicans have to join Democrats to convict him. McConnell himself hasn’t ruled out finding Trump guilty.
It’s likely none of these Republicans would have mustered up the nerve to side against Trump except for him being temporarily/permanently banned from Twitter and Facebook for continuing to incite violence. Trump is enraged about being silenced, and elected Republicans are taking advantage of the quiet to try to push him out entirely. They still fear retribution from the Trump base but have finally reached the point where they have nothing left to lose.
They really want in their heart of hearts for Trump not only to get convicted at the Senate trial and not be able to run for office again. They’d like social media bans to become truly permanent and for Trump to spend the next few years fending off civil and criminal litigation. If he actually went to jail, that would be a bonus. Hopefully, they could blame Democrats for malicious persecution/prosecution, but anything to keep Trump quiet will be appreciated.
Republicans, at least the elected ones, are done with Trump. Sure, there are a few out there like Louie Gohmert and Jim Jordan that don’t know any better, but most others have read the tea leaves and are looking for a way to move forward… without Donald Trump. For once, their goals and mine are totally aligned, and I hope they get everything they wish for.