Likely to the chagrin of the former vice president who’d like not to enrage his former boss (who refused to come to his rescue on Jan. 6), Rounds also issued this statement: “Vice President Mike Pence stood his ground, acknowledged President Biden’s victory and acted with integrity. It’s time the rest of us do the same.” Yes, this is a party that doesn’t let Trump’s indifference to Pence’s life stand in the way of traveling to Mar-a-Lago to kiss the cult leader’s ring.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) then tweeted a primer on who in the party is not supporting the “big lie” of a stolen election:
Not on his list: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the 147 House members who disenfranchised millions of voters and Romney’s many colleagues who after the insurrection still voted to jettison electoral college votes for Biden.
Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who groveled last week at the feet of Tucker Carlson for the sin of stating that the domestic terrorists who tried to subvert the election were in fact “terrorists,” indicated that he would like to impeach Biden should Republicans win back the majority. Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), the No. 3 Republican in House leadership, said impeachment is “on the table,” too. For what? Don’t ask.
McCarthy, who asks “how high?” whenever the MAGA cult leader tells him to jump, made his own promises if the GOP wins majority. He declared on Monday that he will bounce Democratic Reps. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), Eric Swalwell (Calif.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) off House committees. No word if he’ll try the same with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for the grave offense of truth-telling about Jan. 6.
Don’t expect the media to blanket their coverage with headlines of the GOP’s transgressions. Since the media surely won’t do it, Democrats themselves should point out to voters that putting the Republicans in the majority would be a recipe for nonstop chaos, confusion, infighting and paralysis.
Remember, the GOP is the party that fought tooth and nail against raising the debt ceiling, bringing the country to the brink of default. It refused set up a commission to investigate the insurrection (the House select committee investigating the violence, by the way, consistently polls strongly with voters). And with the exception of Cheney, no Republican showed up to honor the police officers who died defending them and the Capitol.
The Democrats may be wary of the midterm curse, but Republicans should worry that voters won’t consider them stable enough to hold power. And speaking of midterm outlooks, the latest surveys show Democrats slightly ahead in generic congressional polling. Democrats will not have an easy time of it, but while Republicans would prefer to make the midterms a referendum on Biden, Democrats should stress that it is about whether voters should turn over Congress to the reality-challenged Republicans.
Republicans show no sign they are be prepared to govern. They have presented not a single viable idea for containing inflation. None voted for the American Rescue Plan, and less than half in the Senate voted for the infrastructure bill. In many cases, they have obstructed vaccine efforts and engaged in blatant covid-19 disinformation. (The king of covid disinformation, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, just announced he is breaking his self-imposed limit of two terms and running for reelection.) It’s hard to figure out what they would want to accomplish — other than impeaching Biden and paving the way for a chaotic 2024 election.
If they’re not attacking one another or Democrats, they’re attacking reality. But that’s not really the job description for the majority party in Congress. If they do get the majority, Republican food fights would no longer be just annoying; they’ll be a recipe for dysfunction in a dangerous world. Anyone think they wouldn’t shut down the government at the drop of a hat? Anyone think a Republican Senate majority would confirm any Biden nominees?
The midterm curse typically bodes poorly for the party in the White House, but that’s when the other party respects democracy and remains a responsible alternative. That in no way describes the current political landscape. Midterm voters must decide: Do they want to give the unhinged party that can’t admit their cult leader lost and still makes excuses for the domestic terrorists the reins of power?