Is the Republican Party going to split into two factions? As recent events show, the party is certainly not in unified. The move by Arizona Republicans to censure Jeff Flake, Doug Ducey and Cindy McCain over “disloyalty” to former President Donald Trump shows just how much the party is moving in conflicting directions. Bill Stierle and Tom discuss how this division does not bode well for the party’s future, reminding us of how another split caused the Republican Party to lose against Bill Clinton in 1996. How a new split happens, or if it happens at all, will certainly make unity for the entire country much more difficult to achieve. What are your thoughts about this? Follow this discussion for some insights.
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Truth and the Republican Party Split
It’s interesting to see what is happening in the Republican Party post-inauguration. There has been some notable news that is quite telling in terms of what the Republican Party is going through.
It’s very challenging.
It’s a big struggle within the party for leadership and direction, and some shocking things have happened in regard to that.
I feel a little worried and anxious about the Republican Party too because it’s important to have different voices at the table to discuss different points of view to solve complex issues. Not to have, “We need the votes to get it done,” instead of, “Here’s the best path forward for America.” That’s the whole idea of having people in the room to talk about things. I know at the end of the day, it’s the number of votes that win, and that you get to now get money from your big donors because you have given the tax break, you’ve done these different things that are valuable to those wealthy individuals that want to have more of a say than the rest of us. I can appreciate that, if there’s one thing about money, if you have it and there’s a bunch of it and you feel good about it, you get to spend it on that thing.
When we’re purchasing truth like this, it’s not the best course. Is it the best course to make a decision that is based on fiscal responsibility or to make a financial decision based on growth? People are not going to argue with me the way I framed that, fiscal responsibility and growth. As soon as I put Republican and Democrat on those two things, then we need to save the money except for when we want to spend the money. We’re looking for a growth opportunity or a risk that might not work out but at least, it’s better than what we have. The two parties, because of money in the system now, they’re not able to have that collaborative vote across what is the best way forward for America. They caucus, they’re entrenched, and they’re not allowing truth on the best course forward. It looks like that three prominent Republicans are caught in the crosshairs of this discussion.
The news is that the Arizona Republican Party has censured three prominent Republicans in Arizona. I didn’t even know that the Arizona Republican Party as a body had a mechanism of censure. I thought that was a government legislative thing, but who knows? Maybe they have a process. The party is sending a clear signal that the party leadership of Arizona remains loyal to former President Donald Trump because they voted to punish, that’s what censure means, to punish their own Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey, former Senator Jeff flake and Cindy McCain, John McCain’s widow because they all oppose Donald Trump’s effort to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in the election here in 2020.
For Cindy McCain, it’s as well as saying, “I am not voting for that guy. There’s no way I’m voting for that guy. With a heavy heart, I’m voting away from my party.” She talks about how she was torn about it. She goes like, “I’m not happy about this.”Freedom of speech is for all of us to fight for. We all get to say stuff as long as it doesn’t break the law and harm others. Click To Tweet
She did get a lot of heat for it. Jeff Flake did the same thing. He came out and said he was not voting for Donald Trump. At least in Arizona, whoever the powers that be with the Republican Party are signaling a move further to the right, and in support of Donald Trump’s policies, his candidacy and everything he’s about. That’s not just a salvo. That’s a seismic shift.
The situational choice to say, “We don’t want you three people to speak,” is unsettling from a free speech place only because they are sharing their point of view. Their point of view has weight to it. It carries votes. It is this thing, and we’re trying to repair the Titanic as it’s sinking, “I know you’re in the engine room here, but we’re going to make you drowned under this thing.” Freedom of speech is to be fought from all of us to fought for. You get to say stuff, so it doesn’t break the law and harm others. We can be pissed about it, but you can’t say stuff unless it breaks the law or harms others.
If you’re calling and harassing somebody on the phone, and you keep calling, harassing and threatening him, that is saying something and that is against the law, but this case is freedom of speech. I just want freedom with my speech. I don’t want freedom with your speech. We’ve got to pay attention to what balance and equanimity is, and remember what value we’re fighting for. That’s a big problem about why the split is taking place. It is because you can’t split that. We can see that many of the Republican voters, congressmen and senators are struggling with this piece. They’re struggling with, “I can’t play the middle line. I can’t say something in the middle or otherwise people are calling me not loyal.” They do not want to be called not loyal.
You see the struggle going on not just in Arizona. Clearly in Arizona, the Republican Party is trying to firmly establish who they are and what they’re about. In Arizona, they can do that, but you see this happening in other areas of the country and in our federal representation of government. There were ten representatives in the House of Representatives that voted to impeach President Donald Trump. There are also senators in the United States Senate that are not wanting the Republican Party to become the Party of Donald Trump. He’s gone and they want to kick him out the door. For one example in the House, you’ve got Liz Cheney, who is probably the highest-ranking Republican to vote to impeach Donald Trump for inciting insurrection. It’s interesting because I was reading that there’s another Republican from the House of Representatives that is going to Wyoming to speak against her in her own state. She’s now getting challenged within her own party in her own state. That’s not party unity. Mitch McConnell notably did not say that he’s going to vote against convicting Donald Trump of impeachment. In fact, he’s much left the door open that he might vote to convict.
You and I need to take a bet. The bet is, do you think Mitch McConnell is going to vote to impeach Donald Trump? Where is he going to land? He won his thing. He’s in for another six years. He can retire after six years.
I know enough not to bet on that in any meaningful way because one thing I believe about Mitch McConnell is he was embarrassed when John McCain gave him the thumbs down on repealing the Affordable Care Act. He didn’t expect it. He expected John McCain to vote with the party. Mitch McConnell doesn’t vote usually, except on what he believes and knows is going to be the winning side. He doesn’t want to vote for impeachment unless Donald Trump is going to be convicted, kicked out, and never can hold federal office again. I believe he’s working behind the scenes to try to achieve that outcome because he doesn’t like where the Republican Party is going. This struggle that we’re talking about in Arizona, I don’t think he likes it. If he thinks that he’s got enough people on board behind the scenes, as long as he comes out and voices it and takes the initial flack for all those other senators, then they’ll come along with him. He’s got to make a bit of a calculated risk and bet. I’d like to believe that Mitch McConnell can achieve that. I don’t know if he can. I would only bet enough that I’m willing to lose on that one. What’s your take on it?
It’s tough because if we empathize with Mitch McConnell where he is, he’s going to feel torn because he does not take a chance unless he is going to win. He is not going to vote to give oxygen to ideas, concepts and thoughts that he can’t contain. He’s not managing votes. He’s managing the narrative. That’s what we’ve got to remember. He’s not managing votes, maybe partly, but he doesn’t want it to be a new cycle, “I am not going to put this up for a Senate vote,” because if it’s not up for a Senate vote, nobody is going to report on it. It didn’t make it, so news people are not running a story when he stonewalls stuff. I would request, anybody that’s staying in the way of American growth and prosperity, you’ve got to report on that. This person is preventing democracy from taking place because they’re not doing their job by voting on the stuff that they split the vote on. He goes like, “I’m not sending it to floor because I don’t want a discussion about it.” In this case though, I might be wrong about this but I think he’ll stay as the Grim Reaper.
You think he’s going to vote to convict Donald Trump?
That’s not that Grim Reaper.
He’s not that one. He wants to cut off this narrative from moving forward, and let the battle take place in public opinion. He says, “I’m breaking with this, everybody.” There are many people that will follow him. Over seventeen people will follow him if he says, “I’m voting for this, we cannot do this.” What the Republicans miss in this is all they have to do is make it unanimous. The 73 million people have to suck it.
If it’s unanimous, then it’s defensible.
It’s defensible, just make it unanimous. We’ve all decided that this was unanimous. He spoke up, and I don’t like this. He can’t make it unanimous because he’s got a dozen of them standing on the stage that are part of it. Ted Cruz isn’t going there. Josh Hawley is not going there because they’ve already gambled.
They stake their political future on this.You can’t run a party off of limbs going back and forth. You need to make a stand somewhere with integrity. Click To Tweet
They know in their state their voters. Will this be the last six years of Ted Cruz or does he get to be a Lindsey Graham that starts going around Texas and kissing butt again, and pretending he’s a moderate. It’s hard. It’s not like Richard Nixon get to the top by hanging around long enough until he was the guy, and they didn’t have anybody else to put up. It’s unsettling and hard.
It shows you though how serious this fracture is in the Republican Party. There is this idea that led by Donald Trump. There might be a third party formed, the Patriot Party. Every day there’s a different article and the former president has been talking about it and talking to others about forming another party. You then hear people like, “He’s not considering it.” That news leans whichever way the wind blows on a given day. It’s easy to see how there is such a struggle that this Republican Party may split into two. It’s not fostering unity within their own party which also makes unity of our entire country that’s been deeply divided in two, could be divided into three different factions here. It’s going to make unity that much harder. It’s sobering for sure.
When Ross Perot ran, and many of our readers might remember how that went and how that looked when you had three different parties on the stage. Ross Perot had the money, the support and the narrative of the business community. George H. W. Bush and the Republicans were in trouble because he siphoned off the conservative business vote into his column, and that allowed Bill Clinton to be elected.
I’m sure a lot of our readers remember, but if there are any that don’t or weren’t politically aware at the time, Bill Clinton does not get elected without Ross Perot and his new party at the time.
The struggle that we have is that because the Republicans are in the place of having two of their camps being pulled apart. They have the long-term memory, but the short memory of what it’s like to have a divided party with Ross Perot and George H. W. Bush being the two conservative voices on the stage, they split their vote and Bill Clinton got elected. The challenge is, can Donald Trump get the money and support that Ross Perot got? Can he come back in and have enough money to go there again? The people that donated to him and all the voters that came out for him would say, “There are 73 million people.”
He is viable to this because there was the thought that we don’t want to go back to what’s normal, but at this point, they can’t even remember what was normal back then. The challenge is that when the mind of an individual gets set in a direction, it’s hard to be objective. When an emotion shows up, our brain shuts down. If we feel frustrated or irritated by something, we stop thinking, our higher function start going down. You don’t think as clearly when you’re frustrated or angry. This is where I’m compassionate for the people that storm the Capitol. They’re angry and furious about what they’ve been told and what their narrative was to believe to be.
If the message wasn’t as sloppy, it would have been worse. Their narrative was not as strong as any authoritarian or any fascist. It was not as strong as some of those narrative that locks the person into a belief structure. It’s not to say that’s fascism, it’s to say that there are certain languages that get certain results. The results of division to get votes at the expense of the nation has problems to it because there is a lot of people that we need to cooperate and collaborate with. It’s difficult. We are sitting in a place of, “Will we vote for the rule of law or will we vote for the concept of loyalty to a party, and party over the nation?” It is problematic right now.
One more thought is that it would have been much harder for Donald Trump to get elected in 2016 if he were not the Republican nominee. Can he get enough money? On its face, maybe, but isn’t there something about the Republican Party establishment? Once he got the nomination, all these Republicans that did not like or did not want Donald Trump, all of a sudden get behind him and are like, “He’s our nominee. We’re all going to vote for him. Maybe we would have preferred somebody else.” If Donald Trump didn’t get the Republican nomination and ran as a third-party candidate, it might have a different outcome. Now that he’s been the Republican nominee and the President, and is no longer the President, if he were to start a third party, now he has that Republican credibility that he takes with him. It’s a different dynamic than the whole Ross Perot thing, but one thing is for sure, it’s going to be a heck of a struggle. It’s going to be a bit of a civil war it seems within the Republican Party, and they’re going to be quite disorganized for a while.
They’re struggling because they haven’t groom leadership and messaging behind anybody else. That’s why he swept in and batted everybody across. Is Marco Rubio going to stay in there and be president after all the things he has said and did? Is the nation going to follow Ted Cruz like they followed Richard Nixon? No, I don’t think they are because there’s not enough there. There are many weak spots all over the place for both of those two folks. Is Lindsey Graham going to lead the Dixiecrats forward? It’s hard.
The only one who is waiting in the wings and not a fan of Donald Trump vocally is Ben Sasse, Senator of Nebraska. He’s positioned himself in a much better spot, but he’s not going to appeal to the diehard Donald Trump voter. He is trying to take the Republican Party back.
The diehard Donald Trump voter has no place to go. If Ben Sasse plays that well, what winds up happening is that they go, “I am not voting for the other guy. I guess I’ll vote for our team.” He has the little volatility that’s there. He’s able to sit in the middle and might be that broker. The hard part of this is, are we going to fall under the spell with this freedom of speech? They know where we started here, which is what to say or do. Does one voice get to be silent? The most difficult thing that the Republican Party is going to need to reconcile is to start fighting for and standing for values. You can’t run a party off of Lindsey Graham going flopping back and forth, or Marco Rubio flopping back and forth. They’ve got to stand someplace somewhere in integrity to have the top job. As that comes out of my mouth, I then realized that they voted for somebody that didn’t stand for values. Maybe this is the game. The game is we get to say what we want. All we’ve got to do is trash you enough and our people will stay loyal and stay on our side. We’ve got to back it off when we can to a tone that is acceptable, and we’ll bring our moderates back. That might be the way it goes.
I want to talk more about that integrity piece in the future because that’s a big issue that deserves a little attention. That’s shocking to me.
We can take a look at truth and relativism. We could take in truth regarding Heads I Win, Tails You Lose narrative. Both of those places are a good place to stick this one to do some important honesty.
- Heads I Win, Tails You Lose
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