The Republican Party appears to be gaily goose-stepping its way toward the dustbin of history. Their seeming disregard for the enduring values that made America great – liberty, equality, and justice – is reflected in the daily demented ravings of their Dear Leader, Donald Trump, whose authoritarian aspirations are as pronounced as ever, despite his rapidly evolving irrelevancy.
Trump has been reduced to petulantly whining about being investigated for his many crimes, and impotently issuing orders that are being resoundingly ignored. And yet the Republican Party continues to embrace him as their political messiah.
To that end, the Republican National Committee (RNC) lashed out at a couple of their own members that were deemed to be insufficiently worshipful of Master Trump. Longtime rock-ribbed conservatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger were unceremoniously drummed out of the Party’s good graces for their roles on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th insurrection. They were formally censured by the RNC, whose chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, condemned them because they had the audacity to “engage in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse.”
“Legitimate political discourse?” That’s what the GOP is calling the deadly riots on January 6th by “ordinary citizens” (aka StormTrumpers) attempting to prevent Congress from carrying out its constitutional duties. The abhorrent absurdity of that characterization did not go unnoticed by the decent denizens of Washington. Foremost among them was Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. Following the RNC’s announcement of the censure, he spoke to reporters pointedly noting that…
“The ‘C’ in RNC doesn’t stand for committee, it stands for cult. It’s not the Republican National Committee. It’s the the Republican National Cult. That is the only way you can explain how the Grand Old Party would come to the conclusion that people who engaged in rampant mob violence, urinated, defecated, desecrated the Capitol, brutally beat up police officers, seriously injured more than 140. Police officers lost their lives as a result of the events on January 6th and the cult says that it’s ‘legitimate political discourse?’ They come to that conclusion because they continue to bend the knee to the twice impeached so-called president, Donald Trump.”
“The ‘C’ in RNC doesn’t stand for committee, it stands for cult.”
— House Dem. Chair Hakeem Jeffries (NY) on the RNC calling January 6th “legitimate political discourse” pic.twitter.com/W1Yez50NTF
— The Recount (@therecount) February 8, 2022
Jeffries is not the first to recognize the cult behavior of the GOP. But he is one of the highest ranking government officials to articulate it publicly and with such flair. His comments were picked up later the same day in the White House press room when a reporter asked Press Secretary Jen Psaki for the President’s reaction. That led to the following exchange…
Reporter: What are your reactions to the RNC declaring what happened on January 6th as “legitimate political discourse,” and Democrats on the Hill being very vocal about this. Hakeem Jeffries said that “The ‘C’ in RNC stands for cult.” Does the White House agree with that?
Psaki: I think it’s clear to Americans that what happened on January 6th was not “legitimate political discourse.” Storming the Capitol in an attempt to halt the peaceful transition of power is not “legitimate political discourse.” Neither is attacking and injuring over 140 police officers, smashing windows and defiling offices. It’s telling to us that some leading Republicans have rejected that characterization.”
WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki responds to RNC whitewashing 1/6:
“Storming the Capitol in an attempt to halt the peaceful transition of power is not legitimate political discourse … It's telling that some leading Republicans have rejected that categorization.” pic.twitter.com/VsyhNvgYOV
— The Recount (@therecount) February 8, 2022
Among the “leading Republicans” that Psaki referred to are Trump’s vice-president, Mike Pence, and the GOP Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell. Both have recently been targets of Trump’s wrath that is throwing the Party into disarray. Last week Pence told the ultra-rightist Federalist Society that “Trump is wrong” about Pence being able to overturn the election, and that “there is no idea more un-American.” And Trump blasted McConnell as an “old crow” for not backing his attempted coup.
In response to reporters’ questions about the RNC’s twisted definition of “legitimate political discourse,” and the censure of Cheney and Kinzinger, McConnell said that…
“We saw what happened. It was a violent insurrection with the purpose of trying to prevent a peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election from one administration to the next. That’s what it was. […] This issue is whether or not the RNC should be sort of singling out members of our party who may have different views from the majority. That’s not the job of the RNC.”
Without saying so explicitly, McConnell effectively affirmed Jeffries’ rendering of the Republican Party as a cult. There is simply no other explanation for an organization that adheres to a such bizarre belief system, rooted in violence and tyranny, and in defiance of all reason and rationality.
Also observing the cultish descent of the GOP was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who told reporters at her weekly news conference that…
“The Republicans seem to be having a limbo contest with themselves to see how low they can go. They seem to have reached rock bottom with their statement that what happened on January 6th was legitimate political discourse. […] I say this to Republicans all the time: Take back your party from this cult.”
In a cult there is only one authority. You must believe the cult leader no matter what your own eyes and ears may tell you. And everyone else is lying to you. That’s the Trump doctrine. And the Republican Party is fully on board. The question is, how long can such a political party endure with a platform that removed from reality?
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