Republican Politicians Now Fear For More Than Just Their Political Lives

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Charles P. Pierce
·4 min read
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Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images

From Esquire

Having watched the prosecution present its case in The Second Impeachment for two days, and preparing to watch the wrap-up on Thursday, I have discovered that there are two emotions for which I have no patience any more. First, the events of January 6 no longer make me sad. I do not mourn any more. I’m ready to march on Harfleur. I have nothing left but what Shakespeare calls “hard-favored rage.” The other state of being for which I no longer have time is mystification. As in, “How can Republicans still essentially vote in favor of the mob that came after the Congress with blood in its eyes?” A new poll from, of all places, the American Enterprise Institute, explains that phenomenon and leaves no room for doubt. From NPR:

The survey found that nearly three in 10 Americans, including 39% of Republicans, agreed that, "If elected leaders will not protect America, the people must do it themselves, even if it requires violent actions.” That result was "a really dramatic finding," says Daniel Cox, director of the AEI Survey Center on American Life. "I think any time you have a significant number of the public saying use of force can be justified in our political system, that's pretty scary.”

The survey found stark divisions between Republicans and Democrats on the 2020 presidential election, with two out of three Republicans saying President Biden was not legitimately elected, while 98% of Democrats and 73% of Independents acknowledged Biden's victory.

The political concrete is thick and set. Forty years of radio and television propaganda, eight to 10 hours a day of it, and four decades of conservative politics incapable of resisting a slide into angry fantasy, have made a radical cult out of one of our two major political parties, and Republican politicians are now afraid of more than a threat simply to their political lives. Mike Pence was not running for re-election in those newly revealed security videos. He was running for his life.

(Speaking of whom, where the hell is the Choirboy anyway? Doesn’t the guy owe at least the respect of his presence to the people who saved him from the mob? Doesn’t he owe the Capitol Police a public thank-you? And wasn’t it reassuring to see how close the mob came to getting its hands on the nuclear “football”?)

Photo credit: The Washington Post - Getty Images
Photo credit: The Washington Post - Getty Images

It’s even worse out in the country. State parties are demonstrating that they have become completely demented. The Arizona GOP censured Cindy McCain, of all people. Young Ben Sasse is in Dutch with the Nebraska Republicans. (Smarm is no defense against crazy.) Already, we’ve had Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Breathalyzer) demonstrating his willingness to go to hell or Wyoming to enforce loyalty to his departed leader. (Most recently, Gaetz has opened the ball on Rep. Adam Kitzinger, too.) In South Dakota, Senator John Thune has become Target A simply because Thune said publicly that the insurrection horrified him. Elected Republican state politicians were well-represented in the mob that ran riot on January 6. Of course, Republican senators are pretending to be unmoved—the ones that aren’t genuinely unmoved…coughJoshHawleycough…anyway. Josh Mandel, a Tea Party retread in Ohio, has announced that he will run to replace alleged moderate Rob Portman in the Senate. Mandel already has lost three Senate races, but he clearly senses that the time has arrived at last for his brand of nutbaggery. From WKYC:

"I've been watching this sham and unconstitutional impeachment, and it's really made my blood boil and it's motivated me to run for the U.S. Senate," he said. "I want to go to Washington to stand up for the Trump 'America First' agenda…I think over time, we're going to see studies come out that evidence widespread fraud," he claimed. "You know, what you see with any type of fraud, it usually takes time to investigate it and to dig it out, and it might be months, it might be years, it might be decades. But I think when we look back on this election, we'll see in large part that it was stolen from President Trump."

On the other hand, Reuters tells us that 120 allegedly influential Republicans are meeting to discuss forming a Not Insane Party, which is as clear an indication of surrender as a white flag against a clear blue sky.

Call participants said they were particularly dismayed by the fact that more than half of the Republicans in Congress - eight senators and 139 House representatives - voted to block certification of Biden’s election victory just hours after the Capitol siege. Most Republican senators have also indicated they will not support the conviction of Trump in this week’s Senate impeachment trial. “Large portions of the Republican Party are radicalizing and threatening American democracy,” McMullin told Reuters. “The party needs to recommit to truth, reason and founding ideals or there clearly needs to be something new.”

Good luck with that, Sparky. Maybe you can nominate Zombie William Seward next time.

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