Longtime political observer Doyle McManus pointed out in a column for the Los Angeles Times, that the Republican leadership is finding itself trapped in a corner by the more extreme elements in the party — from far-right GOP lawmakers who excuse and /or deny violence and conservative voters who see no problem with it.
With Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) excusing and supporting the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6th and Rep. Andrew S. Clyde claiming the insurrectionists were merely “tourists,” Republicans are now confronted with the optics and reality of being the party that condones violence. Republicans refusing to take a firm stance against political violence is not a good sign for a party that just lost the Senate and the White House, insist McManus.
The problem is that a substantial number of the GOP’s most fervent supporters have said they are fine with the use of force to hold political power.
McManus points out that a significant chunk of the party’s most fervent supporters doesn’t think the insurrection was damaging or wrong, and they illustrate the GOP’s malfunction. At a time when the party needs every vote it can muster, it can’t risk alienating loyal supporters, even if they embrace violence. A survey by the conservative American Enterprise Institute after the riot in January, shows that 56% of Republicans agreed that the traditional (white) American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it. It’s these voters that are holding the party hostage as they try to woo voters back after four years of Trumpism.
The same poll reveals, 79% of Republicans said they still had a favorable view of Trump — and 36% said ‘very favorable.’ That consensus has made GOP politicians fearful of crossing Trump or questioning the actions of his most zealous supporters, including the Jan. 6 criminal insurrectionists. Republican officials in both Georgia and Arizona, where Trump is still agitating to reverse the election results, say their families have been physically threatened by Trump’s supporters.
Republicans are trying to tiptoe around a fundamental problem: Their candidate lost a presidential election, but he not only refuses to accept the voters’ verdict; he wants his party to ‘fight’ to restore him to power. They want to move past the embarrassment of Jan. 6, but that’s not going to happen, because face it, they are the party that condones extraconstitutional violence!
sources, LA Times and Raw Story