GOP is consumed by Trump conspiracy theories
President Biden’s happy 100 days have been a sad time for Republicans. While the new president has unified Americans behind his proposals for building America back better, the Republican Party has been consumed by conspiracy theories.
The president is a nightmare for the GOP. He is a mild-mannered moderate messenger with a principled progressive political platform. A recent national survey by NBC News indicated that less than a third of the people described Biden as liberal.
The GOP has hammered Biden relentlessly throughout his presidential campaign and over the 100 days of his presidency for being what they call a “tax-and-spend” liberal. But the party has nothing to show for it so far because it is not united enough to develop a policy vision for the nation’s future to contrast with the president’s plans.
While Biden moves the country forward, the GOP is consumed by conspiracy theories and looks backward to debate former President Trump’s legacy.
Trump hovers over the future of the Republican Party like a dark and threatening cloud that prevents his party from seeing the horizon. The GOP is whatever Trump says it is. That’s a problem because of public distaste for him and his presidency. Most Americans had a negative opinion of him in the NBC News poll.
There are differences between Democrats but nothing like the war within the GOP. Biden has reconciled his presidency with Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) wing of his party with a big bold and aggressive approach to building the economy back together. But a civil war at the highest levels threatens the stability of the GOP.
Sadly, the growing conflict within the GOP has nothing to do with policy principles.
Infighting among the party’s leaders is likely to lead to the first casualty — Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.). Cheney is the third-ranking Republican in the House, and she is in danger of losing her leadership position because of her ongoing criticism of Trump and his role in undermining the 2020 election and in inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Every caucus needs a conscience, and Cheney is fighting a battle against the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and the rest of the party. The representative from Wyoming is as conservative as Republicans come, but her “crime” is that she accepts the fact that Biden was legitimately elected president.
Then there is the ongoing war of words between Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Wednesday, the former president fired a broadside attack against McConnell, his former vice president, Mike Pence, and Cheney for not accepting his false claim to reelection in 2020. Last month, Trump called the Senate minority leader a “dumb son of a bitch.”
The divisions within the GOP come at a very trying time for the party.
Republican presidential candidates have lost the popular vote in the last four presidential elections. Republicans lost the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House under Trump.
Last week, the 2020 census report was published, and the nation’s changing racial composition paints a pessimistic portrait of the GOP’s future. The analysis from the report predicts that the non-Hispanic white population will decline from 199 million to 179 million between now and 2060 as the nonwhite population increases. In 2020, voters of color voted overwhelmingly for Biden, while a majority of white voters supported Trump. That means a lot fewer votes available for Republicans to reap and a lot more for Democrats to harvest.
The GOP fights a rearguard action over Trump when it should wage a war to meet the changes and challenges that arrive with the future. Rather than a long-term plan to deal with the demographic changes that will challenge the party, it continues to rely on its base of white voters without serious efforts to build a big tent that will house African, Asian and Hispanic Americans.
Foolishly, the GOP tries to stop them from voting and hopes they go away. Putting the finger in the dike against the inevitability of a multicultural society will work only for a while. But eventually the deluge will wash away the future of the party.
Republicans are fighting the last war instead of gearing up to win the battle for America’s future.
Brad Bannon is a Democratic pollster and CEO of Bannon Communications Research. He is also the host of a radio podcast “Deadline D.C. With Brad Bannon” that airs on the Progressive Voices Network. Follow him on Twitter @BradBannon.