The Alabama GOP didn’t censure U.S. Senator Richard Shelby after 2017, and other state parties should now follow that lead
The Republican Party is coming off a beating in 2020 nationally. The party lost the U.S. House (narrowly), lost the U.S. Senate (embarrassingly) and lost the presidency (shenanigans in some states aside).
So what should the GOP do?
Accentuate the positive? Highlight their younger, female, veteran or minority candidates and officeholders? Tout the positive records of state parties and look to the future?
No — they’re apparently set on looking to the flaws within the party and highlighting them for all to see.
Take, for example, censuring a dead U.S. Senator and war hero’s widow, a sitting GOP governor, and a former GOP senator in Arizona (who all won statewide office), while electing a person who lost two GOP primaries for U.S. Senate as your party leader.
It means nothing. The censured laugh at you, and the media gets to deride you.
In Wyoming, let’s do the same with U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the party’s third in command in the House and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, because she voted to impeach President Donald Trump.
Smart. The path to victory is taking out people who don’t completely toe the party line 100% of the time, thus shrinking the tent.
Here is some math: If you lose by 10 and then tell two people you don’t want their votes and you want them out of your party, how many votes did you gain?
Zero? This is a weird strategy to win elections now or in the future.
Remember winning elections?
The 2016 election results were fun. The 2018 election results were less fun, but at least the U.S. Senate held! The 2020 election results were generally a train wreck.
Somehow, continuing down this path doesn’t seem to make sense to people. Cries to kick out non-true believers will continue.
How about U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)? He didn’t do anything for conservatives over the last 10 years, except for holding President Donald Trump’s hand and guiding him, getting all kinds of judges confirmed, passing historic tax cuts and leading Republicans to big victories at the ballot box and within Congress.
Some Kentucky Republicans want to go after him, while others cheer that on.
Oh look — Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) is stepping away now, too, citing polarized politics and purity demands. Great, now the GOP will have to go into a swing state and protect a seat that would have been an easy keeper in a year when the map is less than ideal, but hey, new blood!
Some in the ALGOP have been down this stupid path before with attempts to censure U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) for daring to note what a terrible candidate Roy Moore was in 2017. They failed.
But they aren’t done. Perry Hooper wants the ALGOP to censure Rep. Cheney over her vote to impeach Trump, because of reasons. Believing Cheney “no longer deserves” her position is one thing, but seeking formal reprimand is silly.
This is the equivalent of the Wyoming GOP censuring U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) for his speech at the rally that took place six hours before the U.S. Capitol riots. Silly theater by silly people.
Grow the tent, listen to other people and find common ground. That’s how you win.
Demanding purity, kicking out the impure and making fools of yourselves is how you lose.
Call them RINOs if you need to, battle them in primaries if you must, but this idea that these little resolutions do any real good is silly. They just make the Republican Party look unserious, petty and full of losers.
The only people enjoying this are the shortsighted Republicans who will gleefully get media attention by promoting infighting and the Democrats who benefit from it.