Opinion How McConnell can show that the GOP is no longer under Trump’s thumb

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
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By Jennifer Rubin
Columnist |
November 15, 2022 at 7:45 a.m. EST


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) will remain the minority leader, and it is almost entirely because he and the rest of the Republican Party never had the nerve to reject Donald Trump and his crackpot MAGA nominees. Lost opportunities and defeats will continue to plague the GOP unless Republicans offload the former president and drop the election-denying, conspiracy-mongering MAGA extremism that now defines the party.


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In the spirit of preserving a two-party system and baby-proofing democracy against the Mar-a-Lago infant, let me offer McConnell and his cohorts some advice.
First, the GOP message and messengers are toxic. Forced-birth policies are losers, even in red states such as Kansas. Put the kibosh on any more talk of a national abortion ban. The overall tone — angry, mean and defiant — is a big turnoff to women, the largest segment of the electorate. And stop cruel stunts such as shipping asylum seekers to other states and picking on LGBTQ kids. If these are the only things that get the GOP base to the polls, the party is in deep trouble.






Second, welcome the findings of the House Jan. 6 select committee (supported primarily by testimony and documents from loyal Republicans). Once upon a time, after foolishly voting to acquit Trump in his second impeachment trial, McConnell recognized Trump’s responsibility for Jan. 6 and insisted the legal system could hold him accountable. Now it’s time to greet accountability with open arms.
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Third, Republicans must pick someone to lead the National Republican Senatorial Committee who did not vote to overturn the 2020 election results and has not proposed to cut Social Security. This will be essential for their 2024 prospects, when Republicans will have a shot to pick up seats in Ohio, Montana and Arizona. And wherever possible, it makes sense for the party to back non-election deniers or the least nutty candidate in each race.
Fourth, use the lame-duck session to swiftly reach agreement with Democrats on reforms to the Electoral Count Act. It’s in everyone’s interest to deny characters such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) the ability to challenge electors.







These steps would not only help secure free and fair elections but also signal that the GOP is no longer under Trump’s thumb. No pro-democracy Republican should have a problem with any of these.
Beyond these issues, McConnell and his crew will have to grapple with a likely Trump indictment, either in the investigation in Georgia into his efforts to pressure election officials into flipping the state’s 2020 results, or in the Mar-a-Lago documents case (or both). McConnell could choose to cry foul and paint a target on the backs of the FBI and Justice Department lawyers, as Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and others have done. But that is precisely the sort of behavior that has convinced Americans that Republicans are too irresponsible to hold power.
Perhaps McConnell can call on elected Republicans to avoid comment and let the cases play out in the legal system. And in terms of Trump’s presidential campaign (expected to be announced this week), the patriotic and decent thing to do would be for McConnell to reject him out of hand. But if that’s too much, at the very least McConnell should refuse to intervene in the GOP primaries (which might feature his own members).







These steps would not shut down the cult of Trump. The hardcore MAGA followers will stick with him no matter what. But that’s not the point. The point for McConnell and fellow senators is to separate the party from Trump and return the GOP to the status of a normal political party. If McConnell ever wants to return to the majority (where Republicans can continue handing out tax cuts to the super rich and politicizing the judiciary), he can no longer simply hope that Trump goes away on his own.
Would such actions tempt Trump to run as an independent to spite the GOP? Perhaps, but then he wouldn’t enjoy the infrastructure and money the party provides. Even Trump understands what becomes of third-party candidates. Could Trump urge his cult members to say home in the 2024 election if he is not the nominee? I suppose, although tens of millions of Republicans will still turn out, demonstrating Trump’s impotence.
On balance, the riskier move for Republicans would be to continue to genuflect to Trump. While many of Trump’s election-denying candidates lost in the midterms (so far failing to win every governor or secretary of state race in swing states), non-election deniers have done quite well in 2022. GOP governors Brian Kemp of Georgia, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Phil Scott of Vermont and Chris Sununu of New Hampshire all won. There is not a lothttps://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/15/mcconnell-republican-party-dump-trump/ of evidence that separating oneself from the Trump cult costs Republicans in general elections, and there is plenty of evidence that clinging to Trump is a political death warrant.
McConnell could well continue to refuse to rock the boat, meekly accept Trump’s primary picks and remain quiet when Republicans use violent rhetoric. But McConnell’s timidity has left him in the minority. Maybe it’s time to try a different formula. Or maybe he would be happier — like former House speaker John A. Boehner! — in retirement.
 
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littlez

HR Heisman
Jan 29, 2003
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By Jennifer Rubin
Columnist |
November 15, 2022 at 7:45 a.m. EST


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) will remain the minority leader, and it is almost entirely because he and the rest of the Republican Party never had the nerve to reject Donald Trump and his crackpot MAGA nominees. Lost opportunities and defeats will continue to plague the GOP unless Republicans offload the former president and drop the election-denying, conspiracy-mongering MAGA extremism that now defines the party.


Sign up for a weekly roundup of thought-provoking ideas and debates

In the spirit of preserving a two-party system and baby-proofing democracy against the Mar-a-Lago infant, let me offer McConnell and his cohorts some advice.
First, the GOP message and messengers are toxic. Forced-birth policies are losers, even in red states such as Kansas. Put the kibosh on any more talk of a national abortion ban. The overall tone — angry, mean and defiant — is a big turnoff to women, the largest segment of the electorate. And stop cruel stunts such as shipping asylum seekers to other states and picking on LGBTQ kids. If these are the only things that get the GOP base to the polls, the party is in deep trouble.






Second, welcome the findings of the House Jan. 6 select committee (supported primarily by testimony and documents from loyal Republicans). Once upon a time, after foolishly voting to acquit Trump in his second impeachment trial, McConnell recognized Trump’s responsibility for Jan. 6 and insisted the legal system could hold him accountable. Now it’s time to greet accountability with open arms.
Image without a caption

Follow Jennifer Rubin's opinionsFollow

Third, Republicans must pick someone to lead the National Republican Senatorial Committee who did not vote to overturn the 2020 election results and has not proposed to cut Social Security. This will be essential for their 2024 prospects, when Republicans will have a shot to pick up seats in Ohio, Montana and Arizona. And wherever possible, it makes sense for the party to back non-election deniers or the least nutty candidate in each race.
Fourth, use the lame-duck session to swiftly reach agreement with Democrats on reforms to the Electoral Count Act. It’s in everyone’s interest to deny characters such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) the ability to challenge electors.







These steps would not only help secure free and fair elections but also signal that the GOP is no longer under Trump’s thumb. No pro-democracy Republican should have a problem with any of these.
Beyond these issues, McConnell and his crew will have to grapple with a likely Trump indictment, either in the investigation in Georgia into his efforts to pressure election officials into flipping the state’s 2020 results, or in the Mar-a-Lago documents case (or both). McConnell could choose to cry foul and paint a target on the backs of the FBI and Justice Department lawyers, as Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and others have done. But that is precisely the sort of behavior that has convinced Americans that Republicans are too irresponsible to hold power.
Perhaps McConnell can call on elected Republicans to avoid comment and let the cases play out in the legal system. And in terms of Trump’s presidential campaign (expected to be announced this week), the patriotic and decent thing to do would be for McConnell to reject him out of hand. But if that’s too much, at the very least McConnell should refuse to intervene in the GOP primaries (which might feature his own members).







These steps would not shut down the cult of Trump. The hardcore MAGA followers will stick with him no matter what. But that’s not the point. The point for McConnell and fellow senators is to separate the party from Trump and return the GOP to the status of a normal political party. If McConnell ever wants to return to the majority (where Republicans can continue handing out tax cuts to the super rich and politicizing the judiciary), he can no longer simply hope that Trump goes away on his own.
Would such actions tempt Trump to run as an independent to spite the GOP? Perhaps, but then he wouldn’t enjoy the infrastructure and money the party provides. Even Trump understands what becomes of third-party candidates. Could Trump urge his cult members to say home in the 2024 election if he is not the nominee? I suppose, although tens of millions of Republicans will still turn out, demonstrating Trump’s impotence.
On balance, the riskier move for Republicans would be to continue to genuflect to Trump. While many of Trump’s election-denying candidates lost in the midterms (so far failing to win every governor or secretary of state race in swing states), non-election deniers have done quite well in 2022. GOP governors Brian Kemp of Georgia, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Phil Scott of Vermont and Chris Sununu of New Hampshire all won. There is not a lothttps://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/15/mcconnell-republican-party-dump-trump/ of evidence that separating oneself from the Trump cult costs Republicans in general elections, and there is plenty of evidence that clinging to Trump is a political death warrant.
McConnell could well continue to refuse to rock the boat, meekly accept Trump’s primary picks and remain quiet when Republicans use violent rhetoric. But McConnell’s timidity has left him in the minority. Maybe it’s time to try a different formula. Or maybe he would be happier — like former House speaker John A. Boehner! — in retirement.

Great read. And totally true. The party of 55 and older men (and @goldmom ) doesn’t and hasn’t realized the world is changing and has changed.
 

LuteHawk

HR Legend
Nov 30, 2011
28,381
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The Republican party needs to separate itself from the
hardcore MAGA followers of Trump. It can be done with
the proper strategy to accomplish this task. Trump could
be indicted soon by the state of Georgia or for federal
documents he took to his Florida home. He is a loser and
his flawed candidates for the U.S. Senate proved it.
 

goldmom

HR Legend
Mar 29, 2002
21,231
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Great read. And totally true. The party of 55 and older men (and @goldmom ) doesn’t and hasn’t realized the world is changing and has changed.
I’m not reading anything from a WaPo columnist who happens to be a spectacularly stupid person.
I KNOW the world had changed BTW and if you read my posts you’d see that I am actually somewhat moderate. I’m certainly not a supporter of DJT for 2024.
 

peacehawk

HR All-State
Gold Member
Nov 10, 2007
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I’m not reading anything from a WaPo columnist who happens to be a spectacularly stupid person.
I KNOW the world had changed BTW and if you read my posts you’d see that I am actually somewhat moderate. I’m certainly not a supporter of DJT for 2024.
Well that is the pot calling the kettle black.
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

HR Legend
Gold Member
Oct 13, 2006
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McConnel has been on Trumps shit list forever and he supported different candidates than Trump in many primaries.
 

CAhawki

HR MVP
Jul 2, 2014
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my two cents... Trump is like getting sprayed with a skunk... its gonna take a few washes before the stench is out... That being said. They need to have a very public and loud break up with that ass clown. He fights dirty, you gotta get dirty with him.
 

EasyHawk

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Jun 21, 2015
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Crazy Mitch is a wimp and a loser. Will be a good day when he out of office.
 

Huey Grey

HR King
Jan 15, 2013
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Does anybody seriously expect Republicans to move on from Trump or even start acting like grownups? Because I sure don't. We all know what they'll do. They find more bogeymen to topple, find more people to blame for their loss, and refuse to craft actual policy to deal with any of our real problems. Rs are worthless.
 

SA_Hawk

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Jan 8, 2022
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Lincoln, NE
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Does anybody seriously expect Republicans to move on from Trump or even start acting like grownups? Because I sure don't. We all know what they'll do. They find more bogeymen to topple, find more people to blame for their loss, and refuse to craft actual policy to deal with any of our real problems. Rs are worthless.
Can Democrats move on from electing stroke victims who love fracking just because he has a D next to his name?
Democrats are always party over country.
 
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IaHawk44

HR MVP
Feb 20, 2006
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Republicans have already moved on from Trump. Problem is the Democrats haven't and can't because they need him to get themselves elected.
Republicans still carry Tiki torches and they've cozied up to Viktor Orban. Republicans can't seperate from Trump until they seperate from white supremacy, antisemitism and fascism.

Republicans have moved on in the wrong direction.

 

IaHawk44

HR MVP
Feb 20, 2006
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Can Democrats move on from electing stroke victims who love fracking just because he has a D next to his name?
Democrats are always party over country.
Democrats embrace Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger because they put country over party.

I have no idea what you're looking at but it couldn't be more sideways, Sport.
 

franklinman

HR All-American
Apr 5, 2011
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Republicans still carry Tiki torches and they've cozied up to Viktor Orban. Republicans can't seperate from Trump until they seperate from white supremacy, antisemitism and fascism.

Republicans have moved on in the wrong direction.

LMAO, that should get the con a few votes.
 
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TC Nole OX

HR Legend
Mar 29, 2002
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Republicans still carry Tiki torches and they've cozied up to Viktor Orban. Republicans can't seperate from Trump until they seperate from white supremacy, antisemitism and fascism.

Republicans have moved on in the wrong direction.



They love Trump because he gives them the freedom to be who they are. When you ask any Trumpist why they support Trump, one of the most common answers is "because he's a fighter." Translated, that means the freedom to be who they are - rude, backwards people who want to take us back in time a half century or more.
 

Tom Paris

HR Legend
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Oct 1, 2001
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I’m not reading anything from a WaPo columnist who happens to be a spectacularly stupid person.
I KNOW the world had changed BTW and if you read my posts you’d see that I am actually somewhat moderate. I’m certainly not a supporter of DJT for 2024.
I love it when stupid people call people who are far more intelligent than them, stupid. Or when said stupid people say they will vote for stupid people like Herschel Walker.