New report details how 'far-reaching' Trumpism remains in the Republican Party

New report details how 'far-reaching' Trumpism remains in the Republican Party

Although some conservative Republicans were quick to acknowledge Joe Biden as president-elect in November and aggressively pushed back against President Donald Trump's debunked, baseless claims of widespread voter fraud — most notably, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah — many others went along with the president's false claims. The "Stop the Steal" campaign, journalist David Siders explains in an article for Politico, led to horrendous violence when a mob of far-right Trump supporters assaulted the U.S. Capitol Building last week — and Siders stresses that efforts to throw out President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory were "far-reaching" in the Trumpified GOP.

"As the Republican Party begins to reckon with the fallout from the deadly insurrection," Siders observes, "it's being forced to confront a disquieting truth: the lie that ultimately led to the violence — that the election was stolen from President Donald Trump — drew far-reaching support from the party's governing class at every level, extending far beyond Congress and reaching deep into America's statehouses. Lawmakers from more than a dozen states attended the Jan. 6 rally, while scores more cheered on the 'Stop the Steal' movement from afar. And in the days since the insurrection, these Republicans continued to question the election while giving air to debunked claims that Antifa or other leftist agitators — not pro-Trump rioters — were primarily responsible for the destruction that followed."

FBI investigators have said — and common sense would indicate — that there is no reason to suspect that Antifa activists had any involvement in the assault on the Capitol Building. But Siders notes that Republican Mark Finchem, who serves in the Arizona House of Representatives and attended the "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington, D.C. last week, has said that he "wouldn't trust a word that comes out of the FBI's mouth at this point."

"One week after the deadly insurrection and the certification of Joe Biden's victory, institutionalist Republicans are desperate to move the party past the events of last week," Siders explains. "But in statehouses across the country, the prospect of a clean break has never seemed more remote."

Siders adds that "the reason that Republicans were in Washington" last week — including "loyalty to Trump, frustration with the election" — is still "a fairly mainstream GOP position in many places."

Ron Nehring, former chairman of the California Republican Party, argues that just as the late National Review founder William F. Buckley distanced himself from racists and "kooks" during the 1960s, the Republicans of 2021 need to publicly reject "adherents of QAnon and the Proud Boys and similar groups." And not enough Republicans, according to Nehring, have "made clear that no, the election, in fact, was not stolen."

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