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9:44 AM, Nov 10, 2022 tweet this
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Removing the Cancer of Trump
The electorate has spoken, and it seems likely that in so doing, they have decided that the House should be controlled by the Republican Party, even if only by a hair's breadth. This is not a mandate for Republican policy, nor is it a rebuke of Democratic policy. The message both parties should take from this is that more than anything, the electorate wants the Republican Party to work with the Democratic Party, and achieve compromise between their ideological differences.

Another word for this is "legislating." Still another is "governing." It's not easy. It requires leadership and communication skills, humility and respect, as well as deep, comprehensive intelligence. That's why in the times before political ascension only required populist applause, the term, "qualified for office," was used, and had real meaning.

Members of Congress are elected by their constituents to serve the people, regardless of which party controls the chamber. Members of the party that is not in control are not elected to sit sullen in the corner with their arms folded. They're elected to temper and check the positions of the opposite party, to produce valuable, impactful legislation.

I say all this, because Donald Trump's GOP has branded this behavior as cowardly. Only losers cross party lines to give an inch to the other side. Willingness to work with the Democrats has become cause to be exiled from the party and removed from office at the next electoral opportunity. More than anything, the unifying thread of the GOP became fealty to the man himself. If you opposed him or spoke ill of him on the campaign trail before your primary, the MAGA base would make sure you don't make it to November.

So most GOP members of Congress had to pretend to be crazy to stay in office. They had to hail the fuhrer and grit their teeth, in the longshot hope that they could outlast him. It appears that some of them did, after he lost the GOP the House in 2018, the Senate and the White House in 2020, the nation's dignity in 2021, and failed to have a red wave in 2022 despite all indicators pointing to it.

The electorate doesn't want Donald Trump. They will not greet his announcement of candidacy with cheers, outside his own shrinking extremist MAGA constituency. Donald Trump has proven many times now to be bad for the Party. Launching Congressional investigations into Joe Biden and his family with no basis other than conspiracy theories is bad for the Party. The Supreme Court overturning precedent with impunity is bad for the Party.

The GOP has a very hard choice ahead of it. Will they continue to embrace Trump and his extremism, knowing that doing so will almost certainly cause a blue wave in 2024 and blow any chances of retaking the White House? Or will they take the short-term hit of the potential loss of the support of Trump and his extremist supporters?

The smartest thing for the GOP to do is to publicly disavow and condemn Donald Trump. MAGA will leave the party, possibly rallying in a new far-right party under Trump, but more likely just fading back into the bushes. But more importantly, a centrist GOP that doesn't argue against majority positions will do something the party hasn't done since the 2010s: grow. Moderates and conservatives will come home by the tens of millions.

Majority positions like women having autonomy over their bodies, real action against climate change, real action against authoritarianism around the world, criminal justice reform and a re-evaluation of how we deal with crime, immigration reform, meant to make the process of becoming an American accessible, safe, and fast. Pay equality. Increasing the minimum wage. Ballot access and the protection of voting rights, and the abandonment of the veiled bigotry of passing restrictive laws to "fight fraud." The end of gerrymandering. Gun safety, accountability, and training.

Resolving these outstanding issues will not hurt the GOP one iota, and will allow both parties to focus their collective effort on finding compromises and solutions.

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