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Congressional Republicans Have Ceded Their Branch To The Trump Campaign

If Trump Wins & The GOP Gets Control Of Congress, Throw Separation Of Powers Out The Window

Trump turned the RNC into a branch of his campaign. That isn’t such a stretch in American politics but Trump has done it far more despotically and absolutely than anyone ever has before. Even more bizarre, though, is how thoroughly he has taken over the congressional GOP and made that a part of his campaign as well. His campaign is setting policy for the House based on nothing whatsoever but about how those policies are expected to play out in his election efforts.

Before I go any further, I want to ask you to consider checking out the Blue America Flip Congress page and seeing you’d like to help a candidate or two in a district that could make all the difference when the 119th Congress convenes in January.

Diane Young is the Michigan progressive Democrat taking on Trump lackey John James is a district that leans blue. Yesterday she reiterated that “Trump continues to be existential threats to our democracy and MAGA Republicans like John James continue to enable his reckless behavior. Donald Trump opposed the recent Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and would rather have foreign agents and terrorists go unmonitored than allow Biden to have a political victory. What is more concerning is that my opponent John James is silent on the issue. We cannot keep sabotaging bipartisan efforts for political gain, Republicans continue to put party over country. This needs to stop. This is becoming a dangerous trend from voting against the bipartisan border deal, preventing funding for Ukraine, and taking away women's rights— it is clear that they do not have the best interest of Americans at heart. Please consider helping Young replace James here.

Herb Jones is the progressive Democrat running for the Virginia congressional seat occupied by another Trump lackey, Rob Wittman. (You can help him win his race here.) Last night, he told us that “The criminal neglect of this nation's vital security and democracy protection interests by kowtowing to one man's MAGA-maniacal vision of what the world should look like is only possible in an environment where Republicans like Rob Wittman, who should and probably does know better, sits idly by and lets it happen.”

Yesterday, Burgess Everett reported that Trump is tightening his stranglehold on the congressional GOP’s policy agenda as he reshapes Republican lawmakers’ party orthodoxy on national security and social issues. As we all saw, his “sway was on full display Wednesday as the House tried to take up a warrantless government surveillance bill that was intended to unite the party. Then, hours after the former president pushed to ‘kill’ [on Truth Social] the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act reauthorization, 19 House Republicans did just that. He’s also successfully nudging most anti-abortion conservatives to accept his call to abandon a national standard— what was once a consensus position in the GOP. That’s on top of Trump’s long-standing opposition to new Ukraine aid, which remains stalled on the Hill.”

So far, Trump is showing more proclivity for blocking GOP policy proposals than shaping them affirmatively, such as the bipartisan border deal that he stopped earlier this year. But even the former president’s views of support for higher tariffs, a further rebuke of past GOP stances on free trade, aren’t drawing the same friendly fire as they did during his first term.
The signs all point to a far more Trump-ified Washington until the November election, and a super-charged one should he win the White House again. Many senior Republicans who served as establishment bulwarks against his influence are retiring or ceding power, in the case of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to exit leadership this year. And MAGA recruits are filtering into Congress every two years.
“Voters are saying that they don’t want the Republican Party of the 90s,” said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who joined Congress in 2019 in the GOP’s first wave of Trump-aligned lawmakers. “What’s the big achievement there? Trade that destroyed American jobs? Letting China into the WTO and weakening our position in the world? And endless wars? People don’t want that.” [Hawley is a Trump goon, MAGA idiot and insurrectionist. Help Lucas Kunce replace him.]
Trump’s first four years in office featured no shortage of tense battles with the congressional GOP on trade, foreign policy and confirmation of his polarizing nominees. This time, Trump’s growing base of reflexive support and reluctance to challenge him among Hill Republicans is paving the way for what could prove a more friendly GOP Congress in his potential second term.
…The House GOP raced ahead of the Senate in terms of ideological evolution, but it’s not difficult to see the Trumpy direction of even the upper chamber as pugnacious Republicans like J.D. Vance of Ohio and Eric Schmitt of Missouri replace more establishment veterans.
“Most of our members will want to do what he tells them to do. I mean, that’s just the reality,” said retiring Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the only GOP lawmaker who backed both Trump impeachments. “I wish there were more that took my point of view on issues, but I represent a very small slice of the Republican Party these days.”
…It’s also evident from Trump’s presidency that he’s open to ending up in a different place than where he starts on policy. He signed an extension of existing government surveillance law and backed away from some less interventionist policy positions when pressured by GOP lawmakers. Of course, he did that while getting nudged toward more conventional approaches by McConnell and former Speaker Paul Ryan.
Things will be different next Congress, when the Senate GOP leader— whether it’s Cornyn, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) or a surprise candidate— will be new to the job. And the next election cycle could send still more Trump acolytes to the Senate, like Bernie Moreno of Ohio, Kari Lake of Arizona and Jim Banks of Indiana. Romney estimated that half the Senate GOP is aligned with Trump, adding that for every member who leaves, like him, the ratio further tips toward the presumptive nominee.

If you haven’t noticed, Trump has brought chaos, dysfunction and anomie in his wake. State Republican parties are basically disintegrating as thoroughly as state Democratic parties in places like Ohio and Florida have. Does the Michigan GOP even exist any more? Civil war reigns in parties where the traditional GOP establishment is clinging to power— and relevance— while the MAGAts swarm the barricades. In deep red states it hardly matters; in swing states, it definitely matters… bigly. Georgia’s a perfect example. So it Arizona. In fact, yesterday William Kristol and Benjamin Parker offered Arizona as an example of GOP Self-Immolation… the “model,” they wrote, "of modern Republican governance.” Is it all Trump’s fault? Not really— but 95%.

Democrat Jerrad Christian is running for a red-leaning seat in Ohio held by knee-jerk Republican Troy Balderson. Christian is working hard to make sure voters in the district get a good idea of who Balderson is and who he really represents. “Troy Balderson,” he told us, “navigates the political waters by aligning to his party's dictates, seemingly too meek to make his own choices. This is particularly evidenced by his support for Jim Jordan as Speaker. Balderson is an extremist whenever it's convenient to keep his party's support. No good member of our society would support a speaker like Jim Jordan— a man who ignores subpoenas and refuses to communicate about sexual assault cover up allegations. This behavior shows Troy playing it safe and towing the line at the expense of personal conviction or leadership. He has little voice of his own, and he uses his power to further the goals of his wealthy donors. He has never been a voice for the people. No one I know in OH-12 shys from a difficult situation, but they elect a representative too reliant on corporate overlords to stand up and make decisions using anything but the will of others.” Please consider helping Christian flip his district here.

Even as half the Republicans running for office everywhere— in the state and in the nation— have desperately tried distancing themselves from the Arizona Supreme Court ruling banning abortion, when an opportunity to repeal the 1864 territorial law that the ban was based on was brought up the next day, the Republican-controlled legislature refused to allow a vote, or even a debate. “This is your 2024 Republican Party in power,” they wrote. “A Republican executive appoints Republican Supreme Court justices. Those justices insist on reviving an 1864 law to ban abortions, contrary to the apparent intention of the Arizona legislature, which in 2022 passed a law legalizing abortions up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. The Republican leadership of the Republican-controlled legislature won’t permit debate on a new law. So there you have it: Republicans controlled all three branches of government and the result was that they limited Americans’ freedom and thwarted the public will. But Republican extremism and authoritarianism comes with a side dish of Republican chaos and disarray.” MAGA!

Now “we have a Republican party in Arizona oscillating between fanaticism and flip-flopping… Democrats and affiliated groups can also publicize the spectacle of chaos and mayhem in Arizona. They can explain that today’s Republican party has pulled off the impressive trick of managing to be both dangerous and dysfunctional, cruel and chaotic. This would be a good lesson to teach all Americans by November 5, 2024.” MAGA!


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