On Monday night, the Oregon Republican Party issued a formal condemnation of the 10 House Republicans who voted in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6.
Here’s a sampling of actual lines from the Oregon GOP’s, uh, proclamation.
* Whereas history tells us that after George Washington appointed Major General Benedict Arnold to command West Point, Arnold conspired to surrender the fort to the British.”
* “Whereas the ten Republican House members, by voting to impeach President Trump, repeated history by conspiring to surrender our nation to Leftist forces seeking to establish a dictatorship void of all cherished freedoms and liberties.”
* “Whereas there is growing evidence that the violence at the Capitol was a ‘false flag’ operation designed to discredit President Trump, his supporters, and all conservative Republicans; this provided the sham motivation to impeach President Trump in order to advance the Democrat goal of seizing total power, in a frightening parallel to the February 1933 burning of the German Reichstag.”
OK, OK, OK.
So, just so we are clear here, the Oregon Republican Party is saying that in voting to impeach Trump, these 10 Republicans are the equivalent to the burning of the German seat of government that led to Adolf Hitler’s seizure of absolute power? Or that they are in the same boat as legendary traitor Benedict Arnold who conspired to sell out America during the Revolutionary War?
Oh, and also that the January 6 riot at the Capitol was also a “false flag” operation organized by anti-Trump forces designed “to advance the Democrat goal of seizing total power.” (Worth noting: The claim that the Nazis purposely started the Reichstag fire is still up for debate.)
Uh … this is crazy.
And yet, it’s not an isolated incident.
In recent days, the Arizona Republican Party has reelected Kelli Ward as its chair — a woman who has repeatedly insisted that the 2020 election was stolen and that Republicans in Congress should have sought to overturn the results. And the state party censured its own governor — Doug Ducey — as well as Cindy McCain, the wife of the late Arizona Sen. John McCain, and former Sen. Jeff Flake.
Those moves follow this tweet from the Arizona GOP’s official account on January 1:
“As the sun sets on 2020, remember that we’re never going back to the party of Romney, Flake, and McCain. The Republican Party is now, and forever will be, one for the working man and woman! God bless.”
Taken together, what the moves in Arizona and Oregon — not to mention the Arkansas gubernatorial candidacy of former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and the attempts to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from GOP leadership for her impeachment vote — suggest that attempts by the likes of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) and other prominent establishment Republicans to rid the GOP of the memory (and influence) of the 45th president are very likely to fail.
“Some in congressional leadership have signaled their desire to move the party beyond Trump by impeaching and convicting him. Allies of the former President, on the other hand, are proclaiming their loyalty to him in conservative media and in state and local party organizations. Still other Republicans remain fearful of the power Trump may yet wield in GOP primaries or see electoral possibilities in embracing a version of his populist-conservative approach.
“The result is a Republican Party in a fight with itself over who will determine its path forward — and, more crucially, who should be kept from the levers of power in the GOP. For the moment, party unity is giving way to recriminations, a culmination of the longstanding dispute between the party’s grassroots and its leadership class that was mostly put on hold during Trump’s presidency, when few Republicans dared to cross him.”
As North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer (R), an ardent defender of the former president who did not vote to object to the Electoral College results on January 6, put it in an interview with CNN’s Lauren Fox: “There are a lot of Republicans who would like my head. I haven’t been loyal enough.”
Add it all up and you get this: The GOP isn’t at the end of this war for its future. It’s at the very beginning, And it is going to get very, very ugly.