Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
A Very Ugly Week for the Republican Party
House meltdown, Trump, mounting backlash to DeSantis' extremism.....
As we often discuss here at Hopium it’s my view that opposition to MAGA has been the most powerful force in American politics over the last three elections, repeatedly driving Democratic performance to the upper end of what was possible. A majority of the country understands what has happened to the GOP, and they don’t like it. Early polling shows the House GOP to be historically unpopular, only at an abysmal 35% approval rating. Large majorities oppose core Republican policies on Social Security and Medicare, abortion, guns, climate change, Russia, immigration, banning books, and health care. The Republican brand is already deeply degraded, and what has to be worrying to GOP strategists is that it could actually get much worse over the next 17 months. It’s why I think we have a chance to expand our coalition this cycle, grow our vote and get to 55.
Let’s look at some of what has happened just this week:
Kevin McCarthy lost control of the House, and it is not clear he or any other Republican will be able to regain control in this Congress. Big mad that McCarthy wouldn’t tank the US and global economies, MAGA extremists have functionally disabled the United States House of Representatives. This is a very serious matter and another reminder of how reckless they’ve become.
Jack Smith appears ready to indict Trump. Espionage, insurrection, unprecedented political corruption - all on the table now. Chances the Smith investigation could spread to other Republicans and the Trump-Kushner family increased this week with the flipping of former COS Mark Meadows and revelations that a top secret document involving Iran had gone missing. Here’s what Chris Christie had to say about it all this week:
The backlash to DeSantis’ extremist agenda in Florida is growing. First, Disney pulls thousands of jobs out the state and sues. Then in recent days, businesses across the state have begun to protest the Governor’s outrageous new immigration law. Now we are getting reports of major conferences getting cancelled in the state due to the hostile political environment.
A Texas sheriff recommended felony-level human trafficking charges in DeSantis’ rounding up of immigrants in Texas and sending them to Martha’s Vineyard. The state of California is considering similar charges.
Despite the flow to the border plummeting in recent weeks, Congressional Republicans appear to moving ahead with Impeaching DHS Secretary Mayorkas and 4 GOP governors sent national guard troops to the border this week! It’s a level of unreality and untruth that is really hard to believe.
Despite escalating Russian war crimes, Republican leaders like Tucker Carlson, Elon Musk and Donald Trump continue to defend Putin. This week Carlson called Zelensky “Sweaty and rat-like, a comedian turned oligarch, a persecutor of Christians.” As Putin escalates, the pro-Putin positioning of much of MAGA becomes increasingly untenable and will become a dark stain on all these leaders for the rest of their lives.
Last night Mike Pence, a former Vice President of the United States, in his first big television appearance since announcing said Trump was above the law and should not be prosecuted even if he committed crimes. It was a shocking moment.
But, you ask, what is all of this doing harm to the GOP brand? Look at this new data from Civiqs on DeSantis’ favorable ratings:
MAGA is getting worse. The backdrop of Trump’s legal problems and betrayal of the country, and DeSantis’ extremist experiment in Florida are likely to be a downward drag on the GOP brand this cycle regardless of who the nominee is. It’s possible that we will look back at the week as when the GOP really began to meltdown, when it all began to really collapse under the absurdities of its extremism, corruption and illiberalism. From where I sit it feels like something is really in the process of breaking inside the GOP. We will see.
Whatever the words are to describe what has happened to them, it should make all of us even more committed to do our work this cycle, get loud, strive for 55 and make sure that we do our part everyday to put MAGA into the dustbin of history where it belongs.
Keep working hard all - Simon