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Today saw Mike Johnson (R-La), anointed as the new House Speaker. He managed to command the votes necessary to accomplish what three other far-right members could not. This followed shortly on the heels of Donald Trump skewering the bid of Tom Emmer, the Republican Majority Whip, who was named Speaker Designate for about 90 minutes late Monday night. To appearances this has mended the fractures in Trump’s party. But has it?
Ask yourself this: Is the Republican Party a single party anymore? I ask myself what number of them are posturing as Trump supporters? How many wish he would withdraw from public life? Which would secretly wish him convicted and in jail? How many despair of the nightmare Trump’s cult has visited on their life in public service? They are fair questions.
Oh, there are certainly many, many true believers. Even so, there’s mutual grievance, distrust, and anger in their ranks. Their caucus is still fractured. Behind the smiling celebratory faces following Johnson’s being seated, there’s considerable grievance, distrust, and anger in their ranks. All the moderate Republicans are lying low, as the far-right, grandstanding extremists dance to Trump’s tune.
The Republican Party seems unable to mend itself. Trump’s putsch at the Capital has driven a wedge into his party, with factions and fractures roiling beneath the surface. As evidence, behold the chaos in the House over the past month. The extremists in its ranks are clearly disinterested in governing, preferring instead to prop up their gilded graven leader, and harken to his whims.
How many republican members whisper to themselves, “Maybe the courts will save us!” Frightened, mired in futility, this feckless circle of the hopelessly self-interested are a spectacle to behold.
( Enjoy this brief video of Johnson supporters booing down a question about his stand on election denial: https://wapo.st/3tJhloC )