In the wake of the riot on Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon, Republicans from all corners of the party have been stepping up to collectively condemn the violence and give analysis about the future of the GOP. In a sobering op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, political strategist Karl Rove simply said that the Republican Party is now in disarray.
“President Trump may have been correct at his Monday rally when he said of Georgia Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler: ‘If they win I’ll get no credit, and if they lose they’re going to blame Trump.’ But Tuesday’s election and Wednesday’s mob assault on Congress were stark examples of the destructive reactions the president can generate,” wrote Rove.
As a number of Republicans have pointed out since the November election, Democrats gained in one major, key demographic: suburbanites, whom they’ve attracted, increasingly, since 2016
“One Trump effect was felt in Atlanta’s suburbs. In Clayton County in November, Democrat Jon Ossoff had a 71-point lead; on Tuesday it was 77. In DeKalb Mr. Ossoff led by 64 points in November; on Tuesday he led by 67,” he wrote. “In Gwinnett he led by 16 points in November and 20 on Tuesday. In Fulton, the state’s most populous county, Mr. Ossoff’s November lead was 41.6 points; on Tuesday, 43 points. These were enough to erase Mr. Perdue’s 88,000 vote lead in November and propel Mr. Ossoff to a narrow victory.”
“Mr. Trump tried to turn out his rural Georgia supporters, but the results were uneven and insufficient. Take the 14th Congressional District, which the president visited Monday. In November it had roughly 328,000 voters turn out; on Tuesday only 282,000 voted there, though there are several thousand ballots still outstanding,” he continued. “A key factor was the decision by many independents and soft Republicans to vote Democrat—largely, it appears, in response to Mr. Trump’s actions since the presidential election. These helped Democrats make the race about Mr. Trump and undermined GOP efforts to highlight the Democratic candidates’ left-wing views and present a Republican Senate as a check on Democrats in Washington.”
After criticizing Trump for his claims of a stolen election amid the Georgia run-off campaign, Rove did correctly turn his eye at Democrats for the precedent they set by questioning previous Electoral College results.
“As Democrats ride their high horses about Wednesday’s congressional fiasco, it’s worth recalling that they’ve also challenged Electoral College results. In 2001 the House Democrats’ effort fizzled on the floor when they failed to recruit the necessary senator to force a debate,” he wrote. “These weren’t backbenchers: One, John Conyers, was later Judiciary Committee chair and another, Maxine Waters, had been Congressional Black Caucus chair. Then in 2005, as wild rumors swirled over President George W. Bush’s 118,601-vote Ohio win—including that I’d ordered a would-be whistleblower murdered—House members got their raucous debate after being joined by California Sen. Barbara Boxer.”
That said, Rove noted that never has a sitting president actively incited “a crowd to shut down the Congress as it received the Electoral College results.”
“It’s a mess. The GOP is bitterly split, Democrats will control the presidency, Senate and House, and 34% of Americans wrongly believe the election was rigged,” he concluded. “The Trump presidency is ending with his followers violently shutting down the Capitol. Helluva way to start 2021.”
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