In 2009, Senator Mitch McConnell and Congressman Eric Cantor conspired against the United States by developing a policy to obstruct all actions by the administration in order to sabotage the Presidency of Barack Obama. It would be the first step down a path that would eventually lead them to outright sedition against the country they were supposed to be leading.
It was a declaration of legislative bankruptcy from their duties to represent the United States of America, opting instead to begin their coup where the Republican Party would be the only thing they represented in office. In the decade since, this policy has turned to outright sedition and treason, and the effort to whip their base into an anti-Democrat frenzy has resulted in violence, collusion with hostile foreign countries, and a general loss of accountability across nearly every station.
The GOP platform has now become one of authoritarianism and fascism, as there is no interest in checks and balances. The creed of the Republican Party is to win at any cost, and efforts to sabotage and attack their opposite party are now the foundation of most GOP election campaign messaging. While Trump wasn’t the architect of this, he would be the tool they would use to distract the country and the world from their actions, thinking he would be an easy scapegoat for any detrimental effects it has had on the country. If he got out of line, they likely figured they could always throw him under the bus and start again.
Despite most rational people pointing out that this would backfire and do lasting damage to the Republican Party, they forged on, enabling a demagogue to avoid accountability for his actions and taking the opportunities to use him to push their agenda. This was an agenda focused almost exclusively on pushing tax cuts for the rich and wanton deregulation. In the years they maintained power, their only accomplishments were efforts towards that agenda.
How controlling Trump backfired
The problem with “Scorched Earth” politics is that there is blowback. Having lost control of the asset they used as a distraction from their efforts, that asset is now focused entirely on destroying the Republican Party by factionalizing it. Pushing nationalism and a devotion to Trump has given control of the GOP’s most ardent supporters almost completely to Trump, as is evidenced by polls placing him already in the lead for a run in 2024. Now these efforts have resulted in a loss of control of the senate. One that will probably become more prevalent in the 2022 midterms as Dems are favored to fortify their power in both House and Senate. This map becomes even more troublesome for them as their efforts to redistrict and engage in voter suppression will be for nothing, as a Democrat Senate, House, and President will work quickly to shore up the electoral weaknesses exploited by the GOP.
Politics of Division
Trump came into power by dividing the United States of America further than it has ever been divided. According to a survey of historians, he is by far the most polarizing “President” we have ever had. Using tactics of division to stir controversy is the only way he knows how to win, and he is now taking this strategy to the GOP. There is little doubt that Trump contributed to the GOP loss of Senate, as his personal attorneys, children, and political sycophants opted to engage in an explicit campaign of division with Georgia being their top focus. His phone call, where he attempted to conspire with another from his party in order to commit electoral fraud came at the peak of early voting, and dominated the headlines up to and after the runoff election.
Now, with their base out of control, the GOP has no choice but to appease them. Several decades of convincing their base that Democrats were their enemies, not their countrymen, has been successful. The right-wing has no tolerance for anyone from their opposed political party. The only elections their base accepts as fair, are elections they win. Anyone in their party who shows a loyalty to the democracy in our Republic is attacked as we now find GOP protestors showing up at the house of the Attorney General when he wouldn’t support Trump’s coup, or chanting that Mitt Romney is a traitor for an entire plane trip.
A Rock and a Hard Place
This GOP insurrection will not end with the removal of Trump. While the GOP already had a problem with moderates, that problem is about to detonate and Trump will push to divide the GOP in efforts to threaten them into supporting his coup against the United States of America. And it is working, as just under half the Senate, and a majority of Republicans in the US House currently support a coup against the United States of America.
The GOP can’t capitulate to the demands of their base without the power to do so, and they can’t move towards working with Democrats else they risk losing support of the base they have radicalized over the last several years. All they can do at this point is obstruct for the sake of obstructing, and even that will fail without a majority in either chamber of congress.
For the last decade, the GOP has worked to make the Democrats their enemy. Now they have a new enemy – their base. And it is a base that isn’t exactly known for listening to logic or reason. Their policy of obstruction will begin to look more desperate as the party continues to divide and factionalize, creating a bleak future for the Republic Party.
And we have “President” Trump to thank for it.