GOP Continues to Fail the Test

The response to extreme rhetoric from Trump is producing the some old responses.

So, yesterday I noted that the GOP as a whole was facing yet another test from their leader. Specifically, Trump called for the “termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution” pertaining to the 2020 election because of his delusional claims of “massive fraud.” I noted in my post that this was an utterly unacceptable thing to say, especially for a former president seeking re-election. I noted that it was rhetoric that simply should not be tolerated.

But, as expected, the GOP is going to the old playbook on Trump. They are ignoring or downplaying these words in the hope that he just finally goes away.

This approach is encapsulated as follows:

Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio), chair of the Republican Governance Group, avoided answering directly when asked ABC’s “This Week” about Trump’s comments, saying he “didn’t make a habit of speaking out on his tweet du jour” when Trump was in office. When pressed by host George Stephanopoulos, Joyce said he would “support whoever the Republican nominee is” — but didn’t think Trump would “be able to get there.”

How many times did this pattern play out in the past? The dismissal that whatever crazy thing was said was “just Twiter” (or, in this case, Truth Social). The handwaving that it is just some daily nonsense of no consequence. And then the vague hope that he is just not going to matter anymore soon anyway, so why worry about it? All wrapped in a statement of loyalty if needed.

Joyce went on:

“Well, first off, he hasn’t — he has no ability to suspend the Constitution,” Joyce said. “You know, he says a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean that it’s ever going to happen.”

First, that doesn’t make this better.

Second, that was what people said about his election denialism rhetoric, and we ended with the January 6th insurrection.

Joyce’s response is plain and simple cowardice.

(A more detailed report on Joyce’s interview can be found here from ABC).

Meanwhile, the leaders of the party don’t feel too much like leading:

Representatives for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) did not respond on Sunday to requests for comment.

Even those who would criticize were a bit lukewarm about it:

Some GOP members were stronger in their rebukes of Trump’s comments. On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) said he “absolutely” condemned Trump’s remarks but emphasized there remained a long political process to go before Trump could be considered a 2024 front-runner.

“I vehemently disagree with the statement that Trump has made. Trump has made, you know, a thousand statements in which I disagree,” Turner said. He added that voters “certainly are going to take into consideration a statement like this as they evaluate a candidate.”

And likewise:

Congressman-elect Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) echoed several other Republicans in their responses to Trump, saying it was generally time to look ahead, rather than re-litigate the 2020 election.

“The Constitution is set for a reason, to protect the rights of every American. And so I certainly don’t endorse [Trump’s] language or that sentiment,” Lawler said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think the former president would be well-advised to focus on the future if he is going to run for president again.”

Gotta leave that door open about 2024!

This attempt at a defense would be laugh-out-loud funny were all this not so serious (emphasis mine):

Trump’s defenders on Sunday moved to tamp down the controversy. A Republican operative close to the ex-president, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations, argued the post did not literally advocate or call for terminating the Constitution.

So the defender doesn’t want to be on the record. And it takes some weird mental gymnastics to say that he wasn’t “literally” calling for terminating the Constitution. Ok, fair, he just said to terminate the section related to the election. So, no big, I guess?

And this is just word salad:

When asked to clarify how Trump was not at least advocating for the Constitution’s termination, the operative said, “He’s making a comparison of the unprecedented nature of Big Tech meddling in the 2020 election to benefit Joe Biden with the unprecedented act of terminating the Constitution,” suggesting without evidence that technology platforms had tipped the scales for Biden in 2020.

By the way, all of this is about how Twitter wouldn’t post some story by the NY Post a couple of years ago about Hunter Biden. Which, first, didn’t stop the Post from printing it. And, second, has nothing to do with electoral fraud.

As the week unfolds, I don’t expect Republicans and their political allies to do much better on this test that is before them, unfortunately.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2024, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. gVOR08 says:

    GOP Continues to Fail the Test

    And in other news, water is wet.

    ”… Trump has made, you know, a thousand statements in which I disagree,” Turner said.

    Is the perfect expression of the soft bigotry of low expectations. We all know Republicans are lying, bigoted sociopaths, so why even bring it up?

    ReplyReply
    13
  2. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    The mass spinalectomy seems to have been very effective on the GOP.
    It barely needs saying, but imagine if a Democrat…any Democrat, much less a former President…had said the same thing?
    I suspect the response of Joyce and Turner and McCarthy would be vastly different.
    Trump clearly is still in control of these weaklings.

    ReplyReply
    5
  3. Sleeping Dog says:

    R polls may not be ready to move on from trump, but Utah R’s appear to be.

    In a weekend poll, DeSanctimonious leads the field, LIZ Cheney was second, followed by TFG. Boy, I bet he’s steamed this morning.

    ReplyReply
    2
  4. CSK says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:

    They may be more afraid of Trump’s demented fan club than they are of Trump himself.

    ReplyReply
    1
  5. Rick DeMent says:

    In all of these stories about elections, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the term “meddling” is doing a lot of heavy lifting in order to conger up the specter of “illegality” or actual crimes.

    ReplyReply
    4
  6. CSK says:

    Elon Musk appears not too impressed with Trumps’ comments on the Constitution:

    http://www.axios.com/2022/12/05/elon-musk-trump-twitter-files-constitution

    ReplyReply
  7. Kathy says:

    You know, if you suspend the Constitution, nothing prevents the government then from grabbing all your guns.

    ReplyReply
    15
  8. CSK says:

    Steve Bannon says Trump is entirely right about the Constitution: “We have a Constitutional crisis because Joe Biden is not legitimate. I’ve said this from the very beginning.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/steve-bannon-constitution/

    ReplyReply
  9. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..grabbing all your guns.

    When the United States Constitution is suspended I suggest that the government should lock the doors of all the Holy Houses in the land. Shut down all the news outlets. Newspapers, websites, radio, TV, CNN, FOX, ONA, The Farm Report, all of them.
    Quarter soldiers in everyones dwelling place.
    Eliminate the need for warrants.
    Eliminate all Due Process.
    Eliminate trials.
    Resume the use of the rack.
    You get the idea.
    Trump is so fuking stupid that he does not realize that all of this would apply to him.

    ReplyReply
    1
  10. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    …all of this is about how Twitter wouldn’t post some story by the NY Post a couple of years ago about Hunter Biden.

    Gym Jordan, who allegedly stood idle while young men were being molested, cannot wait to see some Hunter Biden dick pics.
    And Trump is upset because, according to reports, Hunter is much better endowed than what Stormy Daniels called “smaller than average”.
    It all makes sense, really.
    This is today’s GOP.

    ReplyReply
    3
  11. gVOR08 says:

    You’re all overreacting. They’ll only suspend the parts of the Constitution they find inconvenient. And it won’t really be suspending, Alito will “find” some reason that Madison and Hamilton and Jefferson didn’t really mean those parts anyway.

    ReplyReply
    3
  12. Gavin says:

    I’m sure when Trump suspends the constitution, he’ll do it for The Best Reasons and only take guns from people who Didn’t Really Deserve Them Anyway. After all, there will never be consequences for me for my votes for insane people, right? Only other people who live in a far-away magical land? And I’ll still be able to take advantage of all the same public services but also Tax Cuts, amirite?

    ReplyReply
    3
  13. Just nutha says:

    @gVOR08: Indeed! The extended conversation reveals they’re really only talking about your constitutional rights.

    ReplyReply
    3
  14. Just nutha says:

    @Gavin: It seems to me that GQP economic policy is that you should be able to have whatever programs and benefits that you’re willing to stick your great-grandchildren with the cost of for whatever length of time you’re willing to keep the GQP in control of Congress.

    ReplyReply
  15. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy:

    You know, if you suspend the Constitution, nothing prevents the government then from grabbing all your guns.

    They believe that the parts of the government that would have to do the grabbing are on their side.

    ReplyReply
    2
  16. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    I have this fantasy that Biden walks out to the podium and announces he is terminating the Constitution and appointing Hunter to be King of These United States.
    The he says, “No I’m just f’ing with the Ultra-MAGA’s”

    ReplyReply
    5
  17. CSK says:

    Apparently Trump is on Truth Social ranting about how the FAKE NEWS is trying to make people believe he wants to terminate the Constitution.

    ReplyReply
  18. Modulo Myself says:

    By the way, all of this is about how Twitter wouldn’t post some story by the NY Post a couple of years ago about Hunter Biden. Which, first, didn’t stop the Post from printing it. And, second, has nothing to do with electoral fraud.

    Yeah, and the Whitewater scandal involved Bill Clinton being ripped off by Jim McDougal and then somehow exerting his influence to help the man who was scamming him, and that thing went on forever and people still believe there was a ‘there’ there.

    They dropped this laptop story expecting the same and it went nowhere. They are all angry and furious about this. Trump is just a bit more vocal.

    ReplyReply
    4
  19. Modulo Myself says:

    @CSK:

    Reminds me of when he said the FBI planted stuff at his estate and then the next day there was nothing to plant, because it was all legit!

    ReplyReply
    1
  20. CSK says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Don’t forget the part about how he declassified the docs just by thinking about it.

    ReplyReply
    2
  21. dazedandconfused says:

    @CSK:

    In Trump’s defence it’s a good bet he wants the 5th amendment preserved.

    ReplyReply
    2
  22. CSK says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    Well, he’s certainly availed himself of it recently.

    ReplyReply
  23. wr says:

    @Kathy: “You know, if you suspend the Constitution, nothing prevents the government then from grabbing all your guns.”

    Not even Baby Jesus?

    ReplyReply
    1
  24. CSK says:

    According to one of the mega-intellects at Lucianne.com, all Democrats and RINOs suffer from a lack of reading comprehension. What Trump actually wrote was that Democrats suspended the Constitution during the 2020 election.

    ReplyReply
    2
  25. al Ameda says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:

    I have this fantasy that Biden walks out to the podium and announces he is terminating the Constitution and appointing Hunter to be King of These United States.
    The he says, “No I’m just f’ing with the Ultra-MAGA’s”

    then, he (((drops the mic))) turns slowly and moonwalks out of the room.

    ReplyReply
    1
  26. DK says:

    @CSK:

    Elon Musk appears not too impressed with Trumps’ comments on the Constitution:

    Fake “free speech absolutist” Elon Musk needs a remedial course on the 1st Amendment before any normal person will be impressed with anything Musk says about the Constitution.

    Musk might ask his illiberal hero Ron DeFascist to join, since DeFascist thinks using the imprimatur of Florida goverment to attack drag queens and punish the free speech of “woke” business are, somehow, hallmarks of liberty.

    ReplyReply
    4
  27. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    really? Wow!

    If they could do that with the GQP controlling the Senate, the White House, and the Supreme Court, imagine what they could do if the Democrats had the House, Senate, and White House!

    Oh, wait.

    ReplyReply
  28. Kathy says:

    There are two fundamental problems with Benito in this regard.

    One is he cares only about the impression he thinks he makes on whoever he thinks his audience is (the base, the party, the country, Mad Vlad, Tiny Kim, the New York Times, etc.) Remember he wanted to shoot BLM protesters because he thought the protests made him look weak? Imagine how he thinks and feels losing the election made him look. Besides not winning, as a corollary, he didn’t make Biden lose, nor did he humiliate him.*

    The second problem is he lets go only when it costs him money to do so. He’s raking in donor money, though maybe not as much as in 2020. And though now he may have to pay for his many lawyers dealing with his many legal issues, he has enough to keep nurturing his grievance and to grow ever more outrageous.

    So short of incarceration, a major disease that disables him, or an untimely death, he ain’t never gonna stop.

    So, yes, odds are one or more of his deplorable swill pick up a gun and shoot someone. We’ve seen this before. What seems very unlikely, is that many of his deplorables will organize, as in January 6, and try to install Benito on the Resolute throne.

    BTW, he’s done the walkback. Next he has to walk back the walkback and double down.

    *Quite the reverse. Biden lost no EC votes to faithless electors.

    ReplyReply
    2
  29. Jax says:

    @Kathy: That’s the worst thing about all of this. I think I posted something on here many years ago about how even if he lost the election he will NEVER. SHUT. UP.

    I’m not sure what we’ve done to deserve such a punishment, collectively, but we’re gonna get it good and hard.

    ReplyReply
    1

Speak Your Mind

*