By Kumar David –
It is impossible for Trump, the section of the Republican Party utterly beholden to him and the irrational populist goons milling for a showdown to stop the induction of Joseph Biden as president on 20 January 2021. There will be more drama in the next 35 days but to abort Biden’s swearing in is quite impossible. What is the fate of the Republican (I prefer Republi-can’t, but let that pass) Party after that? What will become of its internal dynamics? Let’s first make a balance sheet of how things stand.
a) Trump will continue to rouse his Base, incite protests and violence and continue to denounce the Biden Administration as illegitimate. I don’t know how serious or protracted the coming conflicts will be but clashes on some scale will persist for months if not longer on the streets and in the halls of Congress and State Legislatures.
b) All but about a dozen GOP Congressmen and all but three or four GOP Senators have refused to recognise Biden’s legitimacy as president. What will their position be after he is installed? Some will compromise and function a formal opposition, but others will, logically, need to continue to fight for Biden’s removed and refuse to relate to an “illegal” administration. Differences between the accommodationists and the disruptors could become irreconcilable, this would de facto be a split in the Republican Party. It can become ugly with cries of sell-out and traitor to democracy, respectively, rending the halls of Congress.
c) From Joseph Gobbles propaganda methodology, the world has learnt that if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough it will enlist a large following. Trump’s lies are frequent (scorers have totted up 3000 on the scorecard), they are implausible enough to have gathered 50 rejections in state and federal courts, and absurd enough to have got the blood of the Base on the boil. As disciples of Gobbles the Trump band as persuaded about 80% of Republicans that the election was stolen. This is an explosive mixture; this is not genie that can be shoved back in the bottle especially with Trump and his core of trouble makers continuing to fan the flames.
The Trump Base may hold a trump-hand (sic!) in the choice of Republican candidates for the next (2022) elections for the House of Representatives and one-third the Senate. Will these disruptors, on the boss’s instructions, defeat non-Trump loyalists at the Primaries? Will there be two categories of GOP candidates at the hustings? Will that play into the hands of the Democrats?
The bottom line is this; does the Trump phenomenon signal an open and formal split in the Republican Party? I do not see how elitist upper-classes, traditional, religious and educated Republicans plus big business can share a bed with rabble from the gutter. Formal leadership of the party will have to go to one or the other. Be sure the Base will not move over and hand the leadership back to the “swamp”, so who will have split and form a different organisation?
Complicating this is Trump’s money raising. In the guise of a fund to fight Biden’s electoral fraudulence he has launched a fighting fund. More than $200 million has been amassed so far. He is not accountable to anyone how he uses the money. Knowing the man, we can be sure that most of it will be stolen by the recipient who has never declared his tax returns and has been all but convicted – he made settlements and paid off his opponents – several times. Politics aside therefore there is strong financial incentive for dragging on conflict. Hitler and Mussolini were out for power clear and simple. This man has no ideology, he is a mentally disturbed, narcissistic incubus, but he is also a crook. Given his hold on the Party and the Base and fear he has instilled in chicken-livered Senators and Congressmen it won’t be easy for the Republicans to evade a split.