The Republicans 2020

Written by  //  January 15, 2020  //  Politics, U.S.  //  No comments

Donald Trump Impeachment Inquiry/trial
The 45th President of the U.S.

The Fog of Rudy Did he change — or did America?
(NYT Magazine) How did a man who was once — pick your former Rudy: priestly prosecutor, avenging crime-buster, America’s mayor — become this guy, ranting on TV, unapologetically pursuing debunked conspiracy theories, butt-dialing reporters, sharing photos of himself scheming in actual smoke-filled rooms? What happened?

13 January
Top Senate Republicans reject Trump’s renewed call for immediate dismissal of impeachment charges
Most Senate Republicans are eager to stage a trial that ends with Trump’s acquittal and vindication on charges that he abused the power of his office in his dealings with Ukraine and obstructed a subsequent investigation in the House. But over the weekend, Trump urged the Senate simply to dismiss the charges against him — without hearing arguments from House prosecutors or his own legal team.
On Monday, senior Republicans said immediate dismissal could not win approval in the chamber, where Republicans hold a 53-seat majority. And even some staunch Trump allies argued that the president’s legacy would benefit from a robust trial.

9 January
By claiming Democrats support terrorism, Republicans hit a new low
By Fareed Zakaria
Instead of learning from past mistakes, President Trump and his unscrupulous supporters appear intent on repeating them by labeling all critics of his confrontation with Iran as traitors and supporters of terrorism. After Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) complained that he was not given advance notice of the drone strike that killed Soleimani, pardoned felon Dinesh D’Souza wrote, “Neither were the Iranians, and for pretty much the same reason.” Trump then retweeted this vile suggestion that Democrats were equivalent to anti-American terrorists. This week, Trump claimed that “elements” of the Democratic Party are “openly supporting Iran” — another noxious falsehood.
The Republican position seems to be that it’s fine to attack and undermine a Democratic president in his conduct of foreign policy (as 47 Republican senators did in 2015 when they sent a letter telling Iran’s leaders not to make a deal with Obama), but it’s treason to question anything a Republican president does.
George Conway group releases first anti-Trump ad aimed at evangelicals
(The Hill) An anti-President Trump conservative group that includes George Conway, who is the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and a frequent critic of President Trump, has released its first advertisement aimed at evangelicals who back the president.
The Lincoln Project’s first advertisement takes aim at “The MAGA Church” by splicing clips of the president and his supporters speaking about faith with clips of Trump cursing and speaking crudely.

6 – 7 January
Frank Rich: What Will Happen to The Trump Toadies? Look to Nixon’s defenders, and the Vichy collaborators, for clues
(New York) Heedless lapdogs like Kennedy, Devin Nunes, and Lindsey Graham are acting now as if there is no tomorrow, but tomorrow will come eventually, whatever happens in the near future, and Judgment Day could arrive sooner than they think. That judgment will be rendered by an ever-more demographically diverse America unlikely to be magnanimous toward cynical politicians who prioritized pandering to Trump’s dwindling all-white base over the common good.
All cults come to an end, often abruptly, and Trump’s Republican Party is nothing if not a cult. While cult leaders are generally incapable of remorse…their followers almost always pay a human and reputational price once the leader is toppled. We don’t know how and when Donald Trump will exit … Even were he to be gone tomorrow, the legacy of his most powerful and servile collaborators is already indelibly bound to his.
Both Trump and Democrats see political benefits to U.S. killing of Iranian general
Trump’s confidence in himself and Republicans has been bolstered by Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who have repeatedly assured the president that congressional Republicans support taking military action, the officials said. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who dined with the president Thursday night, has done the same, they added.

4 January
TENNESSEE GOP REP. PHIL ROE announced he would not seek re-election. He’s the 26th House Republican to pack it in this cycle. Republican officials will tell you that this is not concerning, because Roe’s seat will go to another Republican. But when more than two dozen Republicans retire, that’s very notable.

Trump Thinks Attacking Iran Will Get Him Reelected. He’s Wrong.
It is in part due to public war weariness that Republicans have sworn repeatedly, for years, that they would not go to war with Iran. The possibility of such a military escalation was precisely the central dispute between the parties when the Obama administration struck its nuclear deal. “Without a deal, we risk even more war in the Middle East,” argued President Obama. Republicans furiously insisted this was “absurd.” War has “never been the alternative,” said Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell in 2015, “It’s not this deal versus war … It’s either this deal or a better deal, or more sanctions.” The conservative Heritage Foundation argued that blocking Obama’s deal “makes the likelihood of war or a conventional and regional nuclear arms race less likely.”

20 December
Jeff Flake: The president is on trial. So are my Senate Republican colleagues.
(WaPo) President Trump is on trial. But in a very real sense, so are you. And so is the political party to which we belong.
We are conservatives. The political impulses that compelled us all to enter public life were defined by sturdy pillars anchored deep in the American story. Chief among these is a realistic view of power and of human nature, and a corresponding and healthy mistrust of concentrated and impervious executive power. Mindful of the base human instincts that we all possess, the founders of our constitutional system designed its very architecture to curb excesses of power.
Those curbs are especially important when the power is wielded by a president who denies reality itself and calls his behavior not what it is, but “perfect.”

17 December
We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated
The president and his enablers have replaced conservatism with an empty faith led by a bogus prophet.
By George T. Conway III, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver and Rick Wilson
The authors have worked for and supported Republican campaigns.
Trump Is Forever
The four reasons why Republicans won’t turn on Trump, no matter what.
By Jonathan V.Last
(The Bulwark) The level of loyalty Donald Trump commands from elected Republicans seems qualitatively different from that offered to previous Republican presidents.
For instance: Republicans told President Nixon to resign his office. Ronald Reagan ran a vigorous primary challenge to President Ford. President George H.W. Bush was seriously challenged in the 1992 primary. President George W. Bush faced Republican revolts over a Supreme Court nomination, Medicare expansion, and attempted immigration reform.
President Trump’s policy ideas often diverge dramatically from Republican orthodoxy—on trade, executive authority, entitlements, foreign policy—and his almost daily drumbeat of scandals and misadventures have been a millstone around the party’s neck. He won the presidency despite losing the popular vote by a wide margin; lost the House in 2018; has been historically unpopular; and has been trailing his most likely Democratic 2020 rival by double digits for the better part of a year. He is now facing the prospect of impeachment.
If the normal laws of politics applied to Trump, this would be about the time that Republicans decided to cut and run.
But that isn’t happening. … Trump owns the GOP in a way that is unprecedented in the modern era.

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