Thursday’s events were yet another sign that while Trump has disgraced Washington after an unprecedented attempt to thwart the peaceful transfer of power, his influence still dominates his party.
The Kentucky Republican argued that there was no indication that a neutral panel would uncover any further facts about the January 6 attack on the Capitol, as Trump begged his supporters to disrupt the vote that certified his electoral defeat. McConnell described the plan as “a purely political exercise”. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Republicans oppose the commission “because they fear it might upset Donald Trump and their midterm embassies.” The New York Democrat’s criticism was not far. Some members of the Senate GOP leadership had openly admitted that they feared the commission, approved in a bipartisan agreement in the House of Representatives, would overshadow their 2022 campaign to retake both chambers.
Using the filibuster to prevent Schumer from bringing the bill up for debate would show that the GOP doesn’t even want to talk about Jan 6 – let alone find out what happened.
The party leadership turned against the commission after House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who anchored his conference with Trump, denied the compromise after Trump asked him and McConnell to oppose it.
The Senate momentum underscored the deal authentic Reagan Conservatives made with Trump, a leader who disregards much of the Great Communicator’s ideology but holds the party’s grassroots in a stranglehold.
It was yet another sign that the almighty shadow of Trump looms high above the party, effectively replacing the aura of Reagan, whose influence was magical long after he left office in 1989 and died in 2004.
“What should the Republican Party stand for?”
In the days before Trumpism, Ryan was once considered the future of his party, an intellectual but provocative conservative and political standard bearer of Reagan’s principles of small government, low taxes and opposition to liberalism.
Ryan’s response was that the party needed to merge the populist appeal of Trump with the conservative foundations advocated by Reagan. He drew an unflattering contrast between Trump – who effectively drove him out of top Republican politics – and the 40th president.
“It was appalling to see a presidency come to such a dishonorable and shameful end. We Conservatives are once again at a crossroads,” said Ryan.
“If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of a personality or on second-rate imitations, we’re going nowhere,” said Ryan, praising Reagan as “impressive, polished and pleasant” and “a successful two-term president.”
The Senate vote, however, likely withheld the nation from an investigation into an undisputed, unified truth about the events of the 6th Trump.
“This is Donald Trump’s party”
Across the Georgia country, two Trump acolytes – whom the former speaker might refer to as “second-rate imitations” – attended a far less posh event than the Reagan Library dinner.
Greene’s popularity with the GOP grassroots, whose radicalism made her one of the top fundraisers in the House of Representatives, is yet another sign that the GOP has been transformed into grandees like Ryan Pine for a change of course.
Greene opened her rally by making fun of journalists who “crawled” in her district to respond to her extremist rhetoric – for which she was not punished by her party leaders.
Repeating the lie that Trump won the Georgia elections, accusing the military of using “Islamic terrorist sympathizers” to purge extremists from among its ranks, and calling Trump the “best president of all time” and promising to bring him back.
She also claimed that the size of the pre-election boat rallies in Peach state made it impossible for him to lose.
Greene called for expulsion from the House of Democrats, including MPs Ilhan Omar from Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib from Michigan, the first two Muslim women in Congress.
“We’re not being treated like second-class citizens because we no longer want to wear masks and because we refuse to get a vaccine that isn’t even FDA approved,” she said. All vaccines used in the United States have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Greene’s speech was jam-packed with misrepresentations, inaccurate claims about Democrats, and rhetoric that led to racially offensive terrain. Their false claims about stolen elections are the opposite of the democracy Reagan and other US presidents once promoted around the world. And their willingness to invoke the Holocaust for political reasons illustrated the ahistorical demagogy and sense of victimization that are a core component of Trumpism.
“We had 10 people, 10 Republicans, voting to sue Donald Trump, our president,” Greene said. “We shouldn’t have had one.”
The speech summed up Greene’s embrace of Trump’s smash mouth policies and use of derogatory nicknames. Like the ex-president, she deliberately wants to offend and presents the outrage she stirs as evidence that Democrats duck down on those who are not politically correct and therefore hate “real” American “patriots”.
Gaetz, who has hinted that he could run for president in 2024 if Trump doesn’t, has taken on Ryan directly.
“This is Donald Trump’s party,” said Gaetz. “Taking advice from Paul Ryan on party building would be like advice from Meghan Markle on how to deal with your in-laws,” he said, referring to the Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry’s American wife, who has become estranged from the British royal family.
Both Gaetz and Greene spent time accusing Democrats of violating the Constitution, particularly on issues such as gun rights. But both voted – along with many other Republicans – against a commission that would have investigated an attack on the political system enshrined in this document.
“(Senators) are supposed to uphold the constitution, and right now I don’t think they are,” she said after a day on Capitol Hill asking Republicans to support the commission.
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