His big-lie tactics have brainwashed Americans across the nation into believing whatever he says. This is perhaps the most powerful -- and utterly morally reprehensible -- tool that Trump can use to control the GOP going forward. — Richard N. Bond
His big-lie tactics have brainwashed Americans across the nation into believing whatever he says. This is perhaps the most powerful -- and utterly morally reprehensible -- tool that Trump can use to control the GOP going forward. — Richard N. Bond
The GOP's post-Trump dilemma
First are the vocal opponents who have expressed outraged opposition to Trump, specifically Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse and Pat Toomey. On the other end of the spectrum are Trump's true believers, like Sen. Lindsey Graham, who arguably qualifies for Stockholm syndrome in his slavish devotion to Trump (Graham's vote to certify the election result on January 6 -- after the riot at the Capitol -- is notably too little, too late), along with wanna-be Trump heir-apparents like Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, who earned their place in the political Hall of Shame. In their zeal to curry favor with Trump supporters and presumably run for President themselves, they offered credibility to the Stop the Steal Movement, which led to the riot.

Then you have conservative constitutionalists, such as Sens. Tom Cotton and Rand Paul, who sincerely believe the impeachment trial is illegitimate but are silent on the grounds for the impeachment itself; political calculators, like Sens. Marco Rubio and John Thune, who need to avoid getting primaried back home by Trump-inspired challengers in 2022; and, fence-sitters, such as Sen. Roy Blunt, who denounced the January 6 rioters, but failed to admit Trump's culpability in inciting them. This group of approximately 30 senators are kicking the Trump-can down the road pending further developments.

Some senators, including Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rob Portman, could vote against Trump during the impeachment trial, though it is unlikely that 17 Republicans will join 50 Democrats to get the majority needed to convict him. Still, the situation is fluid.

... At its root, Trump leads a cult of personality, enabling him to scare Republican leaders and possibly deter some Senate impeachment votes. His big-lie tactics have brainwashed Americans across the nation into believing whatever he says. This is perhaps the most powerful -- and utterly morally reprehensible -- tool that Trump can use to control the GOP going forward.

Post-impeachment, there is a fork in the road for the GOP. What lies ahead for Republicans? Trump-lite, with the former president fading over the next few years? Or Trump-heavy, with the former President making a comeback while navigating shark-infested waters of his own making? Only time will tell.
Read the full article: https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/01/opinions/gop-trump-dilemma-bond/index.html