Monday, January 18, 2021

On his way out, Trump continues to destroy the GOP

Leaving behind the detritus of a once proud political party is not something to celebrate. What is left is the governmentally unserious Trumpism. Think January 6th.

Here are a couple of items from the print edition of the Daily Star.

After lying for years, Trump will leave legacy of ‘magical thinking’ opines Calvin Woodward. Scriber takes exception. That insults magic.

More seriously, also at the Daily Star, Fareed Zakaria asks “Has Trump finally pushed the GOP to the breaking point?” It does look that way. Read on.

NPR reviews Rick Wilson’s book In ‘Everything Trump Touches Dies,’ Few Are Spared. Trump has touched the GOP so deeply that the Republican party’s fractures may not be fixable.

His book is the story of a Republican Party whose shift towards Trumpism has left him furious, which he conveys with a biting, over-the-top writing style — a book he hopes is one “of a number of poison darts in the neck of the monster.”

Here is where that goes. Trumpist factions tearing apart the GOP writes Thomas Friedman.

Trump blows up the Arizona GOP on his way out reports politico.com. “The craziness from the state Republican Party … it’s pretty embarrassing,” said a former top Republican official.

Excerpts follow.

The Trump era did more damage to the Republican Party in Arizona than almost anywhere else. Over the past two years, Republicans lost both Senate seats. In November, the state flipped Democratic in a presidential race for the first time since 1996. The GOP state party chair is currently at war with the governor.

President Donald Trump’s fingerprints are on all of it, yet the state party will likely pass a resolution next week to officially “support & thank” the president. It’ll also vote on measures to censure three prominent Republicans who were deemed insufficiently beholden to Trump: Gov. Doug Ducey, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, the wife of the late senator.

The adulation is an expression of GOP grassroots loyalty to Trump, but it’s also a portrait of a party that’s run aground in service to him. His defeat has triggered attempts to adopt an even harder pro-Trump line, raising questions about the party’s ability to compete in an increasingly diverse state that’s edging leftward.

“The craziness from the state Republican Party … it’s pretty embarrassing,” said Kirk Adams, a former Republican state House speaker and former chief of staff to Ducey. “We have been fed a steady diet of conspiracy theories and stolen election rhetoric and, really, QAnon theories from the state Republican Party since before the election, but certainly after.”

He said, “What’s … consequential is the effect the state Republican Party is having on the Republican brand in the state of Arizona.”

The fallout has been swift. Several thousand Arizona Republicans have abandoned the party since the U.S. Capitol riot that Trump helped to incite, with the majority of the defectors re-registering without a designated party, according to state elections officials. Business leaders are publicly recoiling from the GOP after party officials thrust Arizona into the center of Trump’s failed effort to overturn the election results, further dividing an already fractured party.

“Let us be clear: we find the weeks of disinformation and outright lies to reverse a fair and free election from the head of the Arizona Republican Party and some elected officials to be reprehensible,” read a full-page ad in The Arizona Republic this week from Greater Phoenix Leadership, a group of CEOs. “The political party organization and these elected officials, which some of us have supported in the past, have again embarrassed Arizona on a national stage.”

Bill Gates, a Republican Maricopa County supervisor, said “we’ve always had different members in different places on the spectrum and we’ve always had what you would call a hard right contingent. But here in the last few years we’ve seen that contingent come to the point now where they’re running the party apparatus.”

In that climate, Arizona Republicans who fail to toe the pro-Trump line are finding knives in their backs. …

Given the party’s losses, more traditionalist Republicans are appalled the state GOP had nothing better to do.

“So, the state party is picking fights with the standard-bearers of the party for no good reason other than to show an outgoing president that Kelli Ward has his back,” said Barrett Marson, a Republican political strategist in Arizona. “The Republican Party does need to have a bit of a reckoning with itself. Will it be the party that follows a demagogue, or will it be the party that follows conservative principles? And so far, some in the leadership apparatus have chosen demagoguery over conservative principles.”

For more, see AZ Blue Meanie’s post at Blog for Arizona The Time Is Now For Any Sane And Patriotic Republicans Left In The Party To Take Back The AZ GOP.

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