The GOP is cracking up. Time to drive it into the ground.
McConnell is taking incoming fire, along with Pence, as the MAGA crowd rampages. Democrats need to stoke the fires.
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Last night news came that the January 6th select committee had subpoenaed Peter Navarro, Donald Trump’s reckless former economic advisor. And Navarro became more unhinged than ever.
He responded by calling the committee “domestic terrorists,” but then lashed out at fellow Republicans: “[Mike] Pence betrayed Trump. Marc Short is a Koch Network dog. [Mark] Meadows is a fool and a coward. [Liz]Cheney and [Adam] Kinzinger are useful idiots for Nancy Pelosi and the woke Left.”
This came within hours of Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz publicy pushing back against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for breaking with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and criticizing the Republican National Committee for censuring GOP select committee members Cheney and Kinzinger and calling the January 6th attack “legitimate political discourse.”
Cruz attacked McConnell for dubbing January 6th a “violent insurrection.” (This is the same Ted Cruz who weeks earlier called January 6th a “terrorist attack” and was lambasted by a seething Tucker Carlson on Fox News who forced Cruz to come on his show and grovel for forgiveness with pathetic apologies.)
Much of the media has predictably heralded McConnell for speaking out and being the “adult in the room.” But this is the same man who had the chance to convict Trump and didn’t. So let’s spare the pats on the back, as there’s no bravery here. McConnell is acting out of fear, realizing the embrace of January 6th by Republicans will kill his chances of taking control of the Senate. That’s the only reason he spoke out.
And anyway, the idea that he’s the “adult in the room” means nothing if he can’t control the rampaging maniacs — and he can’t. McConnell doesn’t represent the GOP, much as media insiders in the Beltway would love to believe he does. Trump’s grip may have waned a slight bit by some indicators, but enough of the base is still rabidly enthralled — in fact, further radicalized —- and deep in the cult.
And the GOP’s Congressional gerrymandering may even be its own undoing, at least for McConnell. House seats have been carved out in GOP-controlled states to elect Trumpist extremists. But senators have to win statewide — after first courting the extremists in primaries — with the votes of independents and others.
Beyond the reddest of states, that will be a challenge, since Trump and his MAGA force are radioactive with voters beyond the GOP base. (And even for the House, the GOP gerrymandering seems not to have been as successful as they thought, with courts ruling against them in several states and Democratic states like New York likely to pick up Democratic seats.)
GOP House candidates and Senate candidates will be in mud-slinging fights, and presidential aspirants like Cruz, Hawley and Florida governor Ron DeSantis will be piling on against anyone not towing the Trump line. The opportunities for Democrats to exploit this are aplenty.
Meanwhile, more will be coming from the January 6th committee, causing Republicans to attack one another — as we’ve seen with regard to Trump, Navarro and others — or to distance themselves. We saw the latter with GOP Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota last month stating the election was “fair” — just stating this out of the blue, over a year after the election. And North Dakota GOP Senator Kevin Cramer gave an interview to the Washington Post last week suddenly admitting he was at a presentation by Trump’s demented legal team in the days after the election, and that he thought it was off the rails.
Why is Cramer only speaking up now? Could it be because the January 6th committee now has many documents from the National Archive, showing people like Cramer attending such meetings? Cramer and others clearly want to get out in front of the story, and not be seen as supporting the extremists. And McConnell is probably pressuring them too. But, for many, as Hawley noted, this would be political suicide because GOP leaders — including McConnell — sat by and allowed Trump to continue to be a political force and only develop a more radicalized following willing to do anything for him, including destroying Republicans who speak against him.
With Trump out there railing, worried about going to prison amid several investigations and promising pardons of the insurrectionists if he’s elected president, January 6th stays in the forefront. The GOP is losing the talking point it’s been pushing — that no one wants to talk about January 6th— because Trump just keeps his base frothing at the mouth about it, and keeps everyone talking about it.
As the GOP is cracking up and slaying their own, the GOP is also losing another talking point: That people want to talk about the economy instead because the economy is supposedly in the ditch. After last week’s jobs numbers, and the Biden boom officially realized, the GOP is grasping.
Pressure must be brought to bear by the media, and many reporters literally chased McCarthy in recent days for answers on the RNC calling "1/6 “legitimate political discourse.” This needs to continue, and hopefully they won’t let up if Democrats keep making noise.
Democrats can’t just sit by and let the Republicans tear each other apart. They have to completely exploit the situation, using it to warn the American people of the dangers of the GOP’s authoritarian movement, and drive the GOP completely into the ground.