The Republican Party Isn’t A Political Party
Last month, Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle wrote a fiery essay on former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party. In the wake of the Mar-a-Lago raid by the FBI over classified documents that Trump had in his possession she wrote it is time for the GOP to block him from running in 2024. She warns the party to do something about the Orange King before it’s too late:
Reality check, friends. Donald Trump isn’t going away unless you make him. And unless you make him, he will continue sullying the party with his scandals, sacrificing its standards and, increasingly, its electoral chances on the altar of his rapacious ego. However temporarily expedient cooperation might seem, in the long run, it’s the most dangerous course.
I’ve been fascinated over the years since Donald Trump glided down the golden escalator in 2015 how many people on the left and right tend to say that the Republicans don’t stand up to Trump. The belief is that if more GOP lawmakers actually stood up to Trump, then maybe he wouldn’t have had such a hold on the party. In fact, former blogger Nick Catotaggio said as much in a recent column for the Dispatch.
But I think that line of thinking is wrong. There have been a number of Republican leaders that have spoken out against Trump even at times while in office. The problem is that most of those that have spoken out tend to end up out of office. There was former congressman Mark Sanford who criticized Trump and then lost his primary. There’s Francis Rooney, a Florida congressman who criticized Trump in the run-up to his first impeachment. He was the subject of threats, so much so he not only backed off, he chose not to run for re-election. Michigan’s Justin Amash was also critical of Trump and also driven from Congress. His successor, Peter Meijer, voted for impeachment during Trump’s second impeachment and lost to a Trump-backed challenger (with some help from the Democrats). In fact, almost all of the Republicans who voted for the second impeachment either lost their primaries or decided not to run for re-election because of excessive threats to themselves and their families by Trumpy people.