The fracturing of the GOP

Bruce Maples (bruceinlouisville@gmail.com)
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There’s a shaking-out happening across the country. It’s too soon to tell how it will turn out … but the Republican Party, and conservatives in general, are choosing sides.

Usually, of course, it’s the Democrats who are fractured and splintered, and usually across various degrees of policy. The most famous example, of course, was the fight between Clinton and Sanders and their supporters.

But in the face of Trump, Dems (for the most part) have come together to support Biden/Harris and to get Trump out. And it’s the Republicans who are dividing.

  • In Arizona, the GOP leadership is sticking with Trump and Trumpism, even though rank-and-file Repubs are ready to move on.
  • In Wyoming, the state GOP chair says they are “paying attention” to the movement in Texas to secede.
  • And here in Kentucky, 30 county chairs have called for a special meeting of RPK leadership to draft a resolution calling on McConnell to support Trump and oppose the motion to impeach and convict.

As I said, it’s too soon to tell how it all shakes out. But it appears that the right now has at least two factions: those who are conservative but support democracy and the rule of law, and those whose only loyalty is to Trump, Trumpism, and the Big Lie that the election was stolen.

As much as it is a nice moment of schadenfreude to watch (“Republicans in disarray!”), we need to remember: This is a serious problem. If some large portion of your population believes a lie, and believes it enough to attack the nation’s capitol and to show up armed at government functions like a legislature, it is a threat to democracy.

What do we do about it? At this point, I have no idea. Teri Kanefield says that when you have an anti-democracy group, the only thing you can do is out-vote them. You can’t reason with them if you and they inhabit different realities.

So, even as we celebrate the inauguration of Biden and Harris, and the new balance of power in the Senate, we need to acknowledge this threat to our democracy, and begin trying to solve it. If we don’t, at some point we will deal with another Trump.

–30–

Originally posted as part of our M-F newsletter The Forward Five. You can subscribe here.

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