More than seven months have passed since a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington, D.C., who believed the incumbent president had robbed him of an election victory after he was cheated by the opposition. The storm was preceded by a meeting with Trump-arranged speeches that led to attempts by Democrats to oust him through the Supreme Court during the remaining two weeks of his term. Many then felt that Donald Trump, by encouraging his followers to riot, had made himself impossible in American politics, and some of his partymates spoke out strongly against the president.
But today it does not look the same. In a radio interview last week, GOP chairwoman Rona McDaniel said Trump “still leads the party.”
I always say you should go back to the polls, and I think when you look at how many people are attending President Trump’s meetings and how much money he raises, it becomes clear that the voters in the United States – Republicans in the United States – I totally think he’s the most popular Republican and he leads The party, she said during the interview.
“The distance was an illusion”
Talk of disassociation from Donald Trump after the January 6 storming of the Capitol was an illusion, says Eric Ausard, professor emeritus of North American studies at Uppsala University.
Immediately after January 6, two senior Republicans criticized Donald Trump, including Mitch McConnell, then the Senate Majority Leader. He also criticized Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives. But it passed quickly. Shortly thereafter, McCarthy went to Mar-a-Lago and had a peace meeting and became friends with Trump again. Since then, the party leadership has joined forces with Trump and bought his version of Storm.
Republicans are instead betting that Trump will be the locomotive that will bring them back to the House majority after the 2022 midterm elections, Ausard says.
– They think of his constituents primarily and do not believe that they can regain power without their support.
It is also important that Donald Trump is good at raising money.
– It’s an important part of campaigns. But it turned out that the money he had collected since the election was not used to support other candidates, but rather for his own cause, a lie that the election was fraudulent and that he actually won. Despite this, they hope he will continue to raise money for the party.
Reinterpreted the storm
To stand by Trump and his loyal voters, the upper echelons of Republicans reinterpreted what happened in January, says Eric Ossard.
– It is preferable that they do not talk about it, but now the intrusion is seen as a patriotic act. They also decided that they did not want a joint independent commission to investigate the matter.
Is there no opposing force within the party?
– No, no one organized. There is the so-called Lincoln Project, a group of moderate Republicans who no longer feel they have a home within the party. They were already active before the 2020 election, but are out of the party today. There is no organized opposition within the Republicans.
Although there is still a long way to go before the next presidential election, there is already speculation that Donald Trump is planning to run again. He is by far the most popular candidate among Republican voters and has indicated he would be interested. But a lot depends on the mid-year elections next year.
– Now there are many different shows and Donald Trump himself has not said anything about his vision for his role in the future. But there are many, including Michael Wolff who has written two books on Trump, who think he will. If Republicans do well in the midterm elections, and Trump succeeds as an electoral locomotive, he will also find it difficult to turn down a nomination.
The choice of one of the two major US parties to continue to support a political party that loudly pursues false accusations of electoral fraud and revises the view of such a catastrophic event as the storm of January 6 this year is troubling, Ausard says. If Republicans do well in 2022, that will be interpreted as confirmation that Trump’s streak is working. So the way is open for Trump to be re-elected as a presidential candidate in 2024. Then there are also big risks – especially if the party continues on the current path.
– It’s a complicated matter. But what does it mean for one of the two major parties to have this position, which in the long run means they no longer believe in democracy? After the 2024 presidential election, Congress will take a position on the outcome. What would a Republican-led Congress agreeing with Trump’s lies about the 2022 election law be if their party lost again? Will they then refuse to certify the results of legitimate elections? In this case, the United States faces an acute constitutional crisis. It is an issue that affects the whole world. Should they do what we see in countries like Belarus, Venezuela and Nicaragua and follow the anti-democratic wave? That would be very dangerous.
They are also potential Republican presidential candidates
The Florida governor who during the pandemic has become a national celebrity with his opposition to rules and restrictions to prevent the spread of infection. Over the summer, he was second to Trump in a Conservative Political Action Committee poll and number one when Trump wasn’t an option.
Pompeo was a bit vague before he was named Secretary of State under Donald Trump, and he is now one of those who have made clear his ambitions to take over the White House in 2024 — on the condition that Donald Trump does not run. In a CPAC poll, he ended up second only to DeSantis when Trump himself was not an option.
The Kentucky Senator known for his involvement in the Tea Party movement and his relationship with his father, Congressman Ron Paul. Rand Paul, who has long worked with his father’s campaigns, has been a trained ophthalmologist and a senator since 2011.
Haley may be best known as the US ambassador to Trump under Trump, but she was previously the governor of South Carolina. She resigned in 2018 and then, according to the New York Times, became something of an outlier like a Trump employee leaving the administration with unscathed dignity.
South Dakota’s first female governor has drawn a lot of attention for her speeches, as she boasted that she had never shut down her state to stop the spread of infection. It also sued the Biden administration because it did not want to allow fireworks over Mount Rushmore on July 4 this year due to the risk of fire. Norm lost out, but he got a lot of media attention.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz is a veteran who tried to become the Republican presidential candidate. In an interview with right-wing Newsmax in July, he said he was exploring if he should line up again in 2024 because he “didn’t have that much fun in 2016”.
“Unapologetic writer. Bacon enthusiast. Introvert. Evil troublemaker. Friend of animals everywhere.”