Republicans should nominate a new standard bearer, and Democrats should stop screaming about the health of American democracy on TV while funneling millions to those who seek to undermine it.
January 6 panel highlights chaos in White House during Capitol riots
It’s unknown whether the Jan. 6 hearings will prompt the Dept. of Justice to charge Donald Trump or his allies for the insurrection on the Capitol.
Scott L. Hall, USA TODAY
There’s no doubt Donald Trump remains the most potent force in the Republican Party, both from a fundraising perspective and as an influencer for GOP voters. He’s successfully lined up opposition to Republican politicians who either voted to impeach him or opposed him publicly in some way.
The next test of this will be in Wyoming, where political analysts expect Rep. Liz Cheney to lose her primary against a Trump-backed opponent. Cheney has been the most outspoken Republican against Trump and co-chairs the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 attacks. Cheney’s primary contest comes on the heels of Rep. Peter Meijer’s defeat in Michigan on Tuesday.
Putting country before party has cost some Republicans
Like Cheney, Meijer boldly put country before party by being one of the 10 House GOP members who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan.6 attacks. Meijer lost his primary race to the Trump-endorsed John Gibbs.
Fellow impeachment voter Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., was also trounced by a Trump-endorsed candidate in June. In addition, four of the House GOP members who voted to impeach Trump have announced their intentions to retire from Congress.
Only three of the 10 Republicans who voted for impeachment have survived GOP primaries this year. In June, Rep. David Valadao of California advanced to the general election. This week, two Republicans who voted for impeachment – Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Rep. Dan Newhouse – appear to have moved on to November after the Washington state primary.
But it remains an open question whether any of the GOP members of Congress who voted to impeach Trump will remain in the chamber after November.
Trump’s candidates have been getting support from unlikely places
Trump’s crusade against his enemies hasn’t come without outside intervention. Democratic Party committees have invested millions nationally in propping up the Trumpiest GOP primary candidates this year because they are perceived to be weaker general election opponents. In Michigan, Meijer’s opponent was buoyed when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee showed up with more than $400,000 in ad money.
But Trump’s not omnipotent.
Two Republicans who voted for impeachment in Washington state – Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Rep. Dan Newhouse – appear poised to move on to November from this week’s primaries.
And others who have opposed Trump or sparked his ire have held on.
What’s the logical conclusion of Democrats’ meddling?
I don’t expect Jan. 6 to be a huge issue in November’s midterms, as inflation, the economy and other issues dominate. But come 2024, the Republican Party and America will have to resolve these issues when Trump runs for president a third time.
Can someone who so badly failed to uphold the standards of the presidency be entrusted again with a shot at the White House?
The logical conclusion to this program of Democratic meddling is that some too-cute-by-half party apparatchiks help Trump win the GOP nomination on the theory that he’s destined to lose. That is playing with fire, especially if an unpopular Joe Biden or Kamala Harris is the Democratic nominee.
Both parties have a responsibility to move the country forward. Republicans should nominate a new standard bearer out of a deep talent pool, and Democrats should stop screaming about the health of American democracy on TV while funneling millions to those who seek to undermine it.
Scott Jennings is a Republican adviser, CNN political contributor and partner at RunSwitch Public Relations. He can be reached at Scott@RunSwitchPR.com or on Twitter: @ScottJenningsKY.