More Details on the GOP Meeting to Form a New Party
On Friday, February 5, more than 120 members of the Republican Party met via Zoom. Attendees included former members of the Reagan, Bush 1 and 2, and Trump administrations, including Republican ambassadors, strategists and elected officials.
More than 120. That was a lot of Zoom windows. I can’t even imagine how you would manage a discussion on Zoom involving that many people.
All of them are united in their disgust over the party’s refusal to stop Trump’s efforts to undermine democracy as demonstrated by his attempts to overturn the results of the election and his incitement of the January 6 insurrection.
Participants were also dismayed by the 139 Representatives and 8 Senators who tried to block certification of the election despite having just run for their lives from a mob determined to block the certification and keep Trump in power.
Most of us have been wondering the same thing. Trump’s private army just tried to kill you. Why are you voting to keep him in power?
One of the reasons that I am a big proponent of term limits is because these Senators and Representatives get so entrenched in the Congress that they lose sight of the real world. They live in their own tiny universe, each vying for power in that tiny universe and they don’t realize that if Trump had been re-elected, he would have completed what he started in his first term — completely emasculating Congress and ruling by Executive Orders and tweets.
Fortunately for Republicans, a few of their members are still able to see the Big Picture. The call was co-hosted by Evan McMullin, the former chief policy director for the House Republican Conference. He told Reuters
“Large portions of the Republican Party are radicalizing and threatening American democracy. The party needs to recommit to truth, reason and founding ideals or there clearly needs to be something new.”
What he said.
The discussion centered on the idea of forming either a center-right breakaway party or a center-right faction within the Republican Party. Less than half, 40% of the attendees were in favor of a new, breakaway third party.
I’m guessing that’s because most third parties have failed spectacularly. But desperate times call for desperate measures. At least one participant (unnamed) seems to understand this:
Despite the unpopularity of forming a new third party, names were discussed. Possible names for the new party included the Integrity Party and the Center Right Party. If it were a faction, it would be called Center Right Republicans.
As I have previously written, I like the idea of a new name for a new party. Republicans need a fresh start, a new brand. Even if Trump follows through on his threat to start his own Patriot Party, Republicans should still rename and rebrand their party. The name Republican has been tainted by its association with Trump and Trumpism.
If a new party were formed, they would run candidates in some elections but also endorse center-right candidates in other races whether they were Republican, Democrat or Independents, staying true to their center-right ethos. I’m not sure how well that would work in practice, but the sentiment is nice.
Interestingly, according to a CBS poll, 33% of Republicans would be willing to join a new third party as proposed by Trump, his Patriot Party. 37% said that they would be open to joining a new third party. Only 30% were adamant about remaining in the Republican Party.
That would be interesting. The new Integrity Party would have their own, newly formed infrastructure. The old infrastructure of the Republican Party would migrate to Trump’s new Patriot Party. Which would leave a hollowed out Republican Party with no leadership and no direction. I wonder how that would work?
I remain very optimistic about the possibility of traditional Republicans splitting off from the Trump dominated Republican Party. Trump and his supporters could continue living in their alternate universe and holding their worshipful rallies while a new Republican Party with a new name could offer voters a conservative choice in the voting booth.