Al Drago / Bloomberg

Reality Check: TO PURGE OR NOT TO PURGE

This is Mitch McConnell’s Dilemma


Let’s do some math.

Donald J. Trump, fast working his way into history as one of the worst humans to ever occupy the presidency of the United States, is compiling some ignominious achievements. This week he became the first one of these to be impeached twice. I argue he should have been impeached for obstructing justice a dozen times during the Mueller investigation, but two is still the record. He is the first presidential candidate to lose the popular vote twice, and the first sitting president to never have an approval rating above fifty percent. He is the first one-term president since Herbert Hoover, another failed businessman, to lose the presidency, the House and the Senate in one term. He also joins Hoover in being the only chief executive in the last century to leave the presidency with less working Americans than when he arrived.

Trump sucked at being president. Really sucked.

And now he is a terrorist; and will likely be charged as such in a Washington D.C. court once he becomes a civilian, joining several states in their hopes to make him legally pay for sucking so hard.

Nevertheless, sucking is very popular in the Republican Party. 

Trump, whose national approval rating has dipped to thirty-eight percent – and that’s a composite of all legitimate polls, some have him as low as thirty-two percent – enjoys a fifty-one percent approval rating in his party, forty-five percent of which approved of the sacking of the U.S. Capitol and the violence against police by neo-Nazi domestic terrorists, which also included a plan to hang the vice president and murder the speaker of the house. Added to this, forty-two percent of Republicans now say they would still vote for Trump in the 2024 presidential primaries. The forty-two number is pertinent, since it is approximately the average of the president’s approval rating for most of a presidency that featured some whopping failures, egregious crimes, a phalanx of stunning lies, and the overall aforementioned sucking.

The nation rids itself of Donald J. Trump this week, but the Republican Party has a lingering problem with him; how do they convince nearly half their base to ignore all of this sucking – which caused him to lose the general election by seven million votes, cough up Republican strongholds of Arizona and Georgia, putting in play seminal red states like Texas and North Carolina, and eventually lose two run-offs in formally deep-red Georgia to an African-American and a Jewish-American in which somewhere between fifteen and twenty-three percent of the Republican turnout went bye-bye?

This is the question that will have to be answered on the sidelines, as the GOP will become, thanks primarily to this spectacular sucking by Trump, the minority party for the next two years. Evidence that Republicans can win outside the Trump coalition of the damned is that the party picked up House seats and kept the Senate tied despite this electoral slaughter; meaning those who voted against Trump still voted for Republican candidates down-ballot.  

The current Senate Majority Leader from Kentucky, Mitch McConnell, who played Trump like a master for the past four years to stack conservative judges, get corporate tax rates slashed, and help gut the federal government, has a decision to make; something he floated within minutes of the House’s call to impeach the president as a seditionist traitor to the republic this past week. According to leaks straight from his office, McConnell thinks that a Trump conviction in the U.S. Senate “will make it easier to purge him from the party.” 

Hmmmm… purge? 

Well, you don’t have to run for president, which Trump will certainly not be able to do if convicted, to dominate the Republican Party. Ask Religious Right TV Evangelist Pat Robinson or Tax-Pledge advocate Grover Glenn Norquist or General Loon Alex Jones. These three men control the voice, the tenor and the very existence of the Republican Party, and none of them have held, or in the case of the last two, have any interest in holding office. However, the will-he-won’t-he run in 2024 drag of the electorate and the inevitable Trump calls for primaries against sitting Republican lawmakers has McConnell, a coldly shrewd and calculating political animal, ruminating on his last chance at power.

To wit: McConnell holds the key to the eventual sixty-seven votes it would take to convict Trump in the Senate and end his political career; thus, taking him out of the running. This does move towards expunging much of the stench of the past four years and especially the madness of the last two months of claiming non-existent election fraud and the attack on the Capitol building by marauders caught on tape shouting, “We were invited here by the president of the United States!” or those who have already been arrested, who are saying they were just, in classic Nazi fashion, following El Douche’s orders.

This prompted a record (another Trump milestone) ten Republican members of congress to vote to impeach the president, which makes this impeachment the most bipartisan of the three previous, including the first Trump fiasco. The loudest voice came from the Number-Three Republican in the House, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who issued a scathing anti-Trump statement, the culmination of which read; “The president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

Ouch.

The downside of “purging” Trump from the Party? 

An internal Republican poll says it all: Eighty-percent of GOP voters, an enormous seventy-six percent in battleground states, are less likely to vote for a member of Congress/U.S. Senator who votes for impeachment. And if Georgia is any indication, and according to similar internal polling there is a consensus within the Party that Trump’s repeated bullshit about elections being rigged and attacking the Republican governor and state attorney’s general despite their original support for his candidacy, caused the abysmal turnout. Can you win an election as a Republican without placating the crazies? 

Truth is Trump likely gave the Republicans their last shot at the presidency, as it would seem these numbers prove they would have definitely lost to Hillary Clinton in 2016 without his hidden uneducated, displaced, white anger vote. This is the GOP base now. Neo-Nazi terrorists outnumber religious right, fiscal responsible, suburban mom voters in the Party, many of which flipped to President-Elect Joe Biden in November. McConnell has to decide whether to lose elections for the foreseeable future to slowly rebuild the Party into a legitimate one again or risk merely going the way of the nineteenth century Whigs.

And what if Trump decides to start his own Party for fun and spite? He was never really a Republican anyway. There is more evidence Trump was a Democratic Trojan Horse or a Russian operative than an actual GOP candidate. The level of historic analysis on his Herculean sucking may bear this out.

This impeachment trial and its outcome is now in Mitch McConnell’s hands. He can whip the votes, make the argument to save the Republican Party, or not. He could be pragmatic, as is his wont, just bite the bullet, hold his nose, and continue to appease anti-American forces to help keep the Party machine running.

To purge or not purge, that is McConnell’s dilemma.