GOP Cowards Just Wetting Their Beds Daily In Fear Of Their Unhinged Voters
Ronald Reagan once said that “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." Apparently, that wasn't a warning so much as a promise: The Republican Party — and, yes, it's the same one Reagan led back in the day — is a counter-majoritarian, white nationalist cult of personality with a demonstrated contempt for democracy. Republicans are bad actors who actively make our lives worse. They deserve our scorn not our pity, but the non-Trumpists who still identify as Republicans won't quit with the hard luck stories.
Former Trump staffer Miles Taylor is helping push the narrative that Republicans don't just sit around in their evil lair laughing maniacally. Sure, they're wearing the Eyes Wide Shut robes and participating in the dark rituals but they aren't happy about it.
A former Member of Congress to me: “Trump has not only made Congressional Republicans fear for their political live… https://t.co/YAEilos5xX— Miles Taylor (@Miles Taylor)1621954463.0
A former Member of Congress to me: "Trump has not only made Congressional Republicans fear for their political lives, but for their actual ones. They worry about the safety of their families if they oppose him, even now. That's how bad it is."
Taylor is quoting a former member of Congress, who has as much influence in government right now as I do, and I'm a never member of Congress. But this person has great dish for us: Republicans aren't all bad. They're just mostly spineless weasels who can't cope with a growing domestic threat to national security. If Donald Trump wasn't so great and powerful, Republicans could ditch him and follow a more respectable leader to supply-side glory.
This is bullshit, of course. Republicans don't look like they're starring in hostage videos whenever the appear on cable news, promoting the MAGA line. Florida Senator Marco Rubio isn't a brilliant method actor. He's not secretly ashamed of himself because that would require possessing shame in the first place.
It's obviously not encouraging when a former member of Congress claims that a major political party is operating like an organized crime family. If what this person says is true, then we're already a failed state. Actual gangsters would at least take out their deranged Don, but Republican apologists paint the GOP as a bunch of victims, whose unwavering support and fealty to MAGA is their regular “protection payment." Anyone who's watched a mob movie knows that if you do business with gangsters, the parasites will bleed you out until there's nothing left.
Conservative columnist George Will, during an appearance on ABC's "This Week," also suggested that congressional Republicans are a bunch of cowards, scared of the very people who put them in office because they promised to “take on" (wink, wink) Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of the Squad.
We have something new in American history. We have a political party defined by the terror it feels for its own voters. That's the Republican Party right now.
Every elected official is frightened of [Trump's] voters, therefore doesn't respect his voters and doesn't like his voters and is afraid that a vote for [the 1/6 commission] would be seen as an insult to the 45th president.
Democrats also have every reason to fear Trump supporters, especially since some of the most unhinged are serving in Congress alongside them. That didn't stop Democrats from impeaching Trump for a second time and pursuing an investigation into his attempted coup on January 6. Republicans claimed for years that Democrats were “soft on terror," but it seems like they were just projecting.
No, what Republicans fear most is a loss of political power. They need Trump voters to win their next elections, so helping spread the Big Lie and undermining democracy is worth it. The Recount executive editor John Heilemann called this for what it is on MSNBC's "Deadline White House."
"If you're Kevin McCarthy and you start denouncing hate, where are you gonna stop?... You're now surrounded by all… https://t.co/S6F1sXtdup— Deadline White House (@Deadline White House)1621896239.0
HEILEMANN: By using the language of terror, it makes it sound like it's OK: 'Well, of course you capitulate to terrorists because it's like they have a gun to your head.' Well, they don't have a gun to your head! All they have to your head is the threat of voting you out of office, and that is nothing. That's a career change. That is go work at a Washington law firm, go be a lobbyist, go write a book, go on the speaking circuit, go work for Fox News. There's a million ways to go and make money. That's all you're talking about, maybe you lose an election. Who cares?
No matter what some feckless Republicans might say to their former colleagues, anyone who's still a Republican and who isn't actively opposing what the party represents now is choosing to do so because they approve or don't mind that much. Neither option is noble or sympathetic. Don't buy their sob stories. Just vote every last one of them out of office.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."