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What Now, Republicans?

Tue, 12/22/2020 - 17:05


How the Republican Party rebuilds after the president is out of office — or even if it can — has been the subject of a great deal of discussion as his term ends. The danger predates Trump; some portion of the Republican electorate was already waiting for someone like him. Some activists, for example, the Lincoln Project’s leadership, want to stay in the party but shift it back to a less-extreme stance. Others have abandoned the G.O.P. altogether, dropping their party registration with state election boards.

In an important op-ed last week in USA Today, Jennifer Horn, a former chairwoman of the New Hampshire Republican Party and Lincoln Project co-founder, announced that she was leaving the party and registering as an independent. For her, the lawsuit brought by the Texas attorney general in an attempt to overturn the results of the election on made-up claims of fraud was the final straw.

Representative Lee Zeldin, one of the president’s earliest enablers, who signed on to the failed Texas coup, could be among the officials about whom Ms. Horn wrote, “It seems there is no assault on human dignity too great, no attack on democracy too extreme, to inspire the Republican weaklings in Congress to speak up or stand up to President Donald Trump.”

“Republicans have demeaned our republic with their attempts to steal an election as if we were no more than a third-rate banana republic. They have humiliated themselves and disgraced our great nation.” Mr. Zeldin, are you even paying attention?

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