When the GOP is Held Hostage by What They Helped Create.
With Trump, Republican lawmakers and media personalities have dug themselves a hole they may not be able to get out of any time soon.
When considering all the various ways Donald Trump has attempted to subvert the results of the 2020 election and how Republican lawmakers and media personalities alike have responded, I keep thinking about Laura Ingraham. I keep thinking about her monologue following the certification of the Michigan election, and the way she chose to communicate with her audience about what was likely to happen moving forward. In a segment entitled: ‘Where things really stand post election’, the FOX News host said:
“…Legal challenges continue in a number of states, serious questions about vote counting, poll watcher access are outstanding, but unless the legal situation changes in a dramatic and frankly unlikely manner, Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20th. Now, to say this does not mean I don’t think that this election was rife with problems and potential fraud, and to say this does not constitute being a sellout to the conservative populous movement that I’ve been fighting for for I don’t know, 25 years. And it does not mean I disagree at all with President’s right and obligation to pursue all legitimate legal challenges to this outcome. To say this constitutes living in reality, and if I offered you a false reality, if I told you that there was an excellent phenomenal chance that the Supreme Court was going to step in and deliver a victory to President Trump, I’d be lying to you.”
When first watching Republicans in positions of power attempt to grapple with how to handle Donald Trump’s loss, I was hesitant to liken it to a sort of hostage situation as so many others have. But when watching someone like Laura Ingraham essentially pleading with her audience not to be angry with or abandon for trying to tell them the truth, it’s difficult to determine what else to describe it as. Right in front of us, it’s as hilarious as it is unnerving to watch people like Ingraham and Tucker Carlson attempt to navigate their way around something they actively helped to not only create, but elevate. Before our very eyes, we are watching pundits grapple with the fact that they have created an audience who they know if they don’t feed them the propaganda they want to hear, they’ll find someone else who will. But of course, the problem extends beyond the GOP’s television personalities and commentators.
Out of the 249 Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate, only 25 have acknowledged that Joe Biden is President-Elect.
Of the 25 who finally decided to admit defeat, most made statements similar to Pat Toomey, who said:
“Make no mistake about it, I am deeply disappointed that President Trump and Vice President Pence were not re-elected. I endorsed the president and voted for him. During his four years in office, his administration achieved much for the American people. The tax relief and regulatory overhauls that President Trump enacted with Republicans in Congress produced the strongest economy of my adult life. He also should be applauded for forging historic peace agreements in the Middle East, facilitating the rapid development of a COVID-19 vaccine through Operation Warp Speed, appointing three outstanding Supreme Court justices, and keeping America safe by neutralizing ISIS and killing terrorists like Qasem Soleimani and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. To ensure that he is remembered for these outstanding accomplishments, and to help unify our country, President Trump should accept the outcome of the election and facilitate the presidential transition process.”
In the midst of a situation in which Donald Trump is still pursuing avenues to steal the election even when all viable options are essentially gone, Toomey seems more worried about making the President angry and costing Republicans the Senate Majority after the Georgia runoff elections. These are the words of a Senator who seems entirely aware of the fact that the man he helped to elevate and whose base he has helped to rally could be the very entities that cost him his power as part of the Senate majority.
Of all the reasons there are to be interested in what Joe Biden’s administration is shaping up to be, the right wing itself seems to be reminding us that the biggest red flag of all is Biden’s idea that once Trump is out of office, Republicans will somehow see the light. When the GOP is showing every indication that they don’t even seem to have control of the monster they have helped to create, which now instead seems to control their every political calculation, wouldn’t it be more prudent to expect they will act accordingly?
It may seem repetitive, even boring to continue to address this phenomenon, but so long as it continues to be a reality, it is too dangerous and indicative of the future of the Republican party to ignore.