Civil war between MAGA, GOP establishment could hand Dems total control
We’ve heard about the American two-party system for quite some time: It’s the GOP vs the Democratic Party, seemingly now and forever. But it’s time to hold that beer, because the major parties are split, perhaps irreversibly.
The Democrats are now two parties: “the Squad” section led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) versus whatever the Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wing is these days. Fireworks will follow as a result for the next four years as the battle for the party’s soul rages on, particularly in the House, where Democrats have their slimmest majority since World War II.
But it’s especially true on the Republican side, where the most fervent base exists in the MAGA wing of the party, and not whatever’s left of the old establishment. And the consequence of Georgian MAGA sitting out the Senate runoff will be dire for conservatives. It would allow Democrats to sweep the two races set for early January and take what will amount to a 50-50 split in the chamber, making Kamala Harris a truly powerful vice president as the tiebreaker.
Make no mistake: President Trump continually telling Georgians that their votes were manipulated or tossed to benefit President-elect Joe Biden could potentially make the difference between a Republican-controlled Senate and a Democratic-controlled Senate. Attorneys Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, whose calls for boycotting Georgia next month over alleged voter fraud have resulted in heavy blowback from the Republican old and current guard, are also throwing kerosene on the fire. Polls show a razor-thin advantage for Democrat Raphael Warnock over Kelly Loeffler, while Jon Ossoff and Sonny Perdue are deadlocked, respectively. If just enough Republican voters stay home, it will be easy to discern why that occurred.
Republican lawmakers and pundits, seeing the potential train wreck from a distance one month out, appear to fully understand the stakes.
“Lin Wood and Sidney Powell are totally destructive,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich tweeted after Wood called on Trump supporters to sit out Georgia. “Every Georgia conservative who cares about America MUST vote in the runoff.”
“I don’t know who this clown is, but anyone saying America would be better off w/ Chuck Schumer as Majority Leader—producing huge tax increases, the Green New Deal, massive amnesty & a packed Supreme Court destroying the Bill of Rights—is trying to mislead the people of Georgia,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said of Wood.
Billboards are also popping up around Georgia urging residents not to support Perdue and Loeffler due to both not pushing Trump’s claims of election fraud.
“Perdue/Loeffler Didn’t Deliver For Trump,” the boards read. “DON’T Deliver For Them.”
Again, a Democratic-controlled House and Senate would further diminish any voice establishment GOPers have left. They absolutely know this, while also understanding that a blank check for the blue team may mean expanding the Supreme Court, expanding the Senate, abolishing the Electoral College and the “reallocation” of police funds as major cities increasingly grow more lawless. Taxes, despite what you may have heard from the Biden camp, will need to be raised if the trillions of dollars needed for student loan forgiveness, free college and the Green New Deal are part of the laundry list of expanded government under this alignment.
As you may have heard, the MAGA wing believes that Biden is not the next president of the United States by an overwhelming number. How overwhelming? Just 3 percent of Trump voters believe that a President Biden is legitimate, according to a recent CNBC poll.
Which leads to a big problem for those who have an eye on the 2024 prize. That list includes Vice President Mike Pence, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Governors Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), among others.
Before moving on, stop and absorb those names above. Their resumes are impressive. Most of the names are easily recognizable to your average GOP voter. If it’s an 80-something Joe Biden versus any of them in a normal universe in 2024, each one would provide a contrast and style that would likely make it their race to lose since the referendum would be on Biden, not Trump, as it was in 2020.
News Flash: None of them remotely have a chance if Trump runs again.
A big chunk of the reason lies in the enormous loyalty Trump retains from his base, which is much bigger than the pre-election pundits believed given the more than 74 million votes the candidate received, or 20 million more than Ronald Reagan received in 1984 in winning 49 states.
Another is media attention, where Jupiter Trump blocks out the sun and therefore any light on any of the aforementioned candidates above, just as he did in 2016 against 17 others – including Cruz and Rubio – who received a fraction of the coverage.
Trump also has the role of victim going for him. Again, 3 percent of his supporters believe Biden won fair and square. And after Biden is sworn in, if Trump launches his 2024 campaign on the same day, he’ll have a revenge-for-a-stolen-election theme on his side, while Biden will actually have to run on something besides blaming Trump for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, establishment Republicans also have no real base. Trump supporters even see them – fairly or not – as part of the swamp and therefore as the enemy as much as the media and Democrats.
As we exit 2020, the longtime two-party system has expanded to four.
It’s MAGA vs. the GOP establishment. It’s “the Squad” vs. the Democratic establishment.
Save for a Hail Mary in the legal process, President Trump will become an ex-president and a presidential candidate at around the same time. With such a fractured landscape, don’t expect unity to be a theme in Washington anytime soon.
Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist for The Hill.
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