- Want to dump Trump? Don’t elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House.
- Stop fighting the Jan. 6 committee’s subpoenas. Throw him under the bus.
- Republicans need to denounce election denying, and losing candidates like Trump and Lake.
Republicans started their reaction to the results of the midterm by clearly saying they wanted to move on from Donald Trump. And while they got off to a slow start by picking Rep. Kevin McCarthy as the House leader, there are ways to actually move on.
This means one thing and one thing only: The GOP desperately needs a makeover, and it needs to do this while Trump is likely to announce a 2024 presidential bid.
Even though I am a progressive, I’ve decided to help the GOP because getting rid of Trump is in everyone’s interest at this point. Here are some very unsolicited tips based on 38 years of life experience, and more than 26 years of dating experience (dumping and being dumped), on how the GOP can walk away from that toxic relationship holding them back.
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It’s not you, it’s him
When asked about his predictions about the (then) pending midterm election results, Trump said, “If they win, I should get all the credit. And if they lose, I should not be blamed at all, OK, but it’ll probably be just the opposite.”
In spite of a probable GOP takeover of the House, Democrats kept control of the Senate and won major victories in other races, including in Arizona where governor candidate Katie Hobbs beat out Kari Lake. Lake is not the only far-right, Trump-endorsed candidate who lost. Douglas Mastriano and Mehmet Oz both lost in Pennsylvania, Blake Masters in Arizona and Bo Hines in North Carolina. To be sure, some MAGA Republicans won, like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. But they are outliers, and some Republican wins were inevitable.
Trump was right about a third of his statement – members of his own party are definitely blaming him:
►Remarking on losses by some of his endorsed candidates, former Trump supporter Virginia Republican Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears said, “A true leader knows when they have become a liability to the mission.”
►On Wisconsin state television, former House speaker Paul Ryan said, “Trump’s kind of a drag on our ticket. I think Donald Trump gives us problems politically. We lost the House, the Senate and the White House in two years when Trump was on the ballot or in office, and I think we just have some Trump hangover.”
►Former Trump sycophant Mo Brooks, a congressman from Alabama, said, “It would be a bad mistake for the Republicans to have Donald Trump as their nominee in 2024.”
►Even The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board called him “the Republican Party’s Biggest Loser.”
Clearly, it’s time for a new strategy.
Four ways the GOP can dump Trump
There are so many reasons why it’s hard to walk away from a toxic relationship – I know because I have been in a few. You have memories together and a shared past. You may still be holding onto the hope that the person you love will change. But, in our case, Trump has already made it clear that he has no plans to reverse course. His niece, Mary Trump, is even warning that he will burn everything down if the GOP turns its backs on him.
Here is how Republicans can be proactive:
►Don’t give Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy the job of speaker of the House. He has been a huge Trump supporter and apologist, and that sends the wrong message to a party members and voters who want to rid themselves of Trump.
►Throw Trump under the proverbial bus. Throw the man under the Jan. 6 committee’s bus. Stop fighting subpoenas and, instead, take advantage of your legal obligation to say what you know about Trump’s involvement, knowledge and intentions surrounding the insurrection on the Capitol in 2021. Then, sit back and let the law do its job.
►Ghost ’em. How do you ghost a former president? Denounce election-denying, generally, and don’t support election-denying losers like Trump and Lake. Remind Americans that you know how to concede defeat and that it is a fundamental part of our functional democracy to do so.
►Acknowledge your role, make amends and let your work speak for itself. It’s not enough to just be quiet as Trump and other election deniers continue with their lies and vitriol – you have to admit if you’ve been part of the problem. Get back to Republican values of fiscal conservatism. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp refused to buy into Trump’s dangerous election denial games and, probably by doing so, won over enough Republicans and moderate Democrats to stay in office.
If Republican politicians want to regain the respect and trust they’ve lost standing by a vitriolic, election-denying, democracy-endangering narcissistic moron – then they need to crawl out of the scary hole of darkness and disinformation that they dug themselves into starting even before Trump won the presidency in 2016.
They can start by ditching Trump and everything he stands for.
Carli Pierson, a New York licensed attorney, is an opinion writer and a member of the USA TODAY Editorial Board. Follow her on Twitter: @CarliPiersonEsq
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Story Credit: usatoday.com