“The Republican Party needs to stop talking to itself,” read the document. “We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue. Instead of driving around in circles on an ideological cul-de-sac, we need a Party whose brand of conservatism invites and inspires new people to visit us.”
Honestly, the document was shockingly cogent and insightful, and the Republican party that ever endeavored to produce it no longer exists.
Eight years later, not only are Republicans skipping the soul-searching exercise, they are perfectly comfortable with the entrenched minority status Donald Trump helped solidify for the party. Given the built-in advantages of Senate representation, they clearly figure they stand a good chance of continuing to control the upper chamber no matter how rancid their politics. And who knows? They’ll win the White House every now again with someone who’s equally as racist, sexist, xenophobic, and anti-democratic as Trump, but just slightly more palatable.
In the U.S. Senate, Republicans are already leveraging their majority to continue spreading Trump’s election fraud lies, recycling them from the epic string of his campaign’s failed court cases in order to give them new life.
And in more than two dozen interviews with local/state GOP officials and members of the RNC, Politico found that “far from reassessing its embrace of Trumpism,” the party is “hell-bent on more of the same.”
As far as Jennifer Carnahan, chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, is concerned, Trump “absolutely grew” the party given the increased GOP turnout and down-ballot wins. “He totally advanced our party,” Carnahan said, “I think that as Republicans, we just need to continue to remain on the course.”
Ah, yes, stay the course—more conspiracy, more vile targeting of women and people of color, more fascism and anti-democratic sedition, more shredding of the Constitution, more attacks on First Amendment and voting rights, more vitriol, bellicosity, and violence… just more.
“As far as I’m concerned, everything’s great,” said Stanley Grot, a district-level Republican Party chair in Michigan, where Trump lost ground to Democrats over the course of four years.
One thing Republicans are intent on changing is all that easy access to mail-in voting. That’s the real problem with the 2020 outcome for Trump. Of course, they’re also back to hanging out in that epistemic bubble again, drinking the Kool-Aid and luxuriating in the fever swamps.
“It wasn’t a matter of our candidate,” said Bill Pozzi, chair of the Republican Party in Victoria County, Texas, told Politico. “It was a matter of the process.”
Hey, let’s face it—sometimes a good look in the mirror is just too painful.