January 6, 2021 insurrection on U.S. Capitol

With Trump’s Takeover of RNC, MAGA’s Conquering of the GOP Is Complete

“Thank you, Jeb Bush, for standing tall for your brother and my father. Trump will destroy the Republican Brand. [emphasis added]  –Michael Reagan (2016 Presidential campaign), son of President Ronald Reagan

Sadly, Michael Reagan’s warning proved prophetic. I don’t even recognize today’s GOP, the party I’ve belonged to my entire life. (I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 nor 2020, and have no intention of voting for him in 2024.)

I had hoped when Trump lost in 2020, the party could right itself and leave him behind. Then began the Big Lie that was circulated by Trump and his supporters about a “stolen” election, and enabled by a number of MAGA elected leaders throughout the country including members of the Virginia Republican U.S. House delegation.

I had hoped when the January 6, 2021, insurrection on the U.S. Capitol occurred, the party would once and for all distance itself from Trump. GOP leaders stood in Congress and railed against the violence and vandalism. They knew who had caused it and they were ready to make him pay for it. And then Kevin McCarthy flew to Mar-a-Lago and kissed the ring, kissed the feet, and whatever else needed kissing to grovel to Trump. The majority of party leaders flip-flopped back to him and we were back where we started.

I had hoped when Trump started making noises about running for the 2024 presidential Republican nomination, our leaders would step up and forbid him from doing so. What was I thinking? After nine years of Trump Trump Trump and all the losing that went along with it, leadership must have decided they hadn’t had enough and so no one blocked him. We have now been in this Trump hellscape for almost a decade.

I had hoped when Trump was indicted in four localities on 91 criminal counts, the RNC or House or Senate leadership would put their foot down and recognize how absolutely, stupidly foolish it was to have a federally indicted individual running to carry the party’s banner. I was once again gobsmacked that, no, they had no intention of standing in his way.

I had hope again last weekend when Trump stood at a rally in South Carolina and railed against NATO and threatened our allies by saying he would tell Russia to “do whatever the hell they want” to our global friends (the same friends who stood by us after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001). His words sent shock waves throughout Europe and the non-MAGA citizens of America. But Republican electeds and MAGA grassroots? Nah. Nothing to worry about … it’s just Trump being Trump.

You get the feeling Trump is the way he is today because no one disciplined him during his 77 years. No one says no to Trump because they’re afraid … and that’s how he wants it.

Now Donald Trump is kicking out Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel and plans to replace her with loyalist Michael Whatley, currently the NC GOP chair, and Trump daughter-in-law Lara Trump as co-chair.

That transfer of power hasn’t occurred yet but it will. Trump has ordained it and party members will trip all over themselves falling in line. They have shown that – outside a handful of principled members – Republican grassroots and elected officials will not stand up to Trump.

Trump will have control of RNC – the money and the apparatus. It is done. Even though RNC is waiting to make the change after the February 24 South Carolina presidential primary, MAGA’s conquering of the Republican Party is now complete.

“Tonight, I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.” -Liz Cheney, 2023

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