It is kind of exciting to see the Republican Party disintegrate into a civil war and try to figure out which side will win. Will it be the rational old-line party represented by those who founded the Lincoln Project or the Trump cult who at the moment look like they are ahead?
The reality with Trump on the ballot is that he pulled out voters but when the election was about him he lost — both the presidency and then the two Senate races in Georgia.
There will now be an impeachment trial and the Senate ethics panel will investigate Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) in secret. In the House, there could be a vote to censure or throw out Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). These impeachment and House votes will put Republicans who run in 2022 on the record. Democratic legislative successes will be what Democrats will use in 2022 but they have more.
In the same way Republicans used Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and socialism against every Democrat in vulnerable districts, Democrats must use Greene and her cohorts, including Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Matthew Cawthorn (R-N.C.), against vulnerable Republicans. There is a lot wrong with Republicans in Congress including the aforementioned as well as Matt Goetz (R-S.C.), Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). But Greene, Boebert and Cawthorn or as I call them the ‘insurrection trio,’ are the scariest since they have publicly been hailed as the future of the Republican Party and the ideal example of a Republican candidate today.
Democrats can use Greene’s support of QAnon, the incitement of the Jan. 6 insurrection, and the trio’s delusional views in ads to let all voters connect them directly to Republican candidates who didn’t speak out against them. There may be 30 to 40 Republican seats where this can work because as one of my friends suggested, a former congressperson, what you say to voters about the incumbent Republican in those swing Districts is: “Aren’t you disappointed in (insert the name). We all thought he/she would have had more decency, common sense and cared more for us and our country.”
Greene is the easiest to hang around their necks. We just need to share videos of her stalking a student who had just survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida; video of her claiming 911 was a hoax; video of her supporting those who attacked the Capitol and of her suggesting certain members of Congress should be executed. Then we have Cawthorn videos inciting rioters to attack the Capitol at Trump’s rallies; getting elected even when it was known he is a certified liar like Trump when he lied claiming to have been on his way to the Naval Academy before his accident when he had already been rejected and claiming business success when he had none. Some may just excuse him for being an idiot or could attribute other things to his visit to Hitler’s Eagles Nest home and referring to Hitler as the Fuhrer and then saying he didn’t know that would offend people.
As Americans we must take a stand and defend our democracy from those who would see it destroyed. We must stand for the truth and fight the lies being fed to the American voter; those who are either less educated or simply susceptible to conspiracy theories. We must be willing to call out the bullies like Cruz and Hawley who are willing to promote these lies and conspiracies for their own personal gain and desire for power.
We have seen this before in Nazi Germany with the rise of Hitler. We have seen it in the rise of other despots around the world. We must never let it happen here.
Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBTQ rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.