The GOP faces an uncertain future as rift widens between Trump and McConnell

The GOP faces an uncertain future as rift widens between Trump and McConnell
President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence walk with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Tuesday, March 10, 2020, upon their arrival to the U.S. Capitol for a Senate Republican policy lunch. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)
Mitch McConnell allies 'declaring war on Team Trump' after Georgia vote: report

Former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are no longer on the same page and the divide exhibited this week appears to be a signal of more political discord to come for an already-split Republican Party.

A report published by NPR highlights this week's battle between Trump and McConnell which underscores the vast difference in beliefs within the Republican Party. While one side is hoping to return the political party to its pre-Trump state, Trump loyalists are looking to continue down the dangerous path embarked on during his turbulent presidency.

Not only did a hypocritical McConnell condemn Trump for his actions that led to the U.S. Capitol riots, but he also published a scathing op-ed in the Wall Street Journal—an action that provoked Trump's wrath. Although McConnell admitted that Trump was wrong, his failure to convict the former disgraced president and his attempt to justify that action will likely come back to haunt him in the coming months.

In a response to McConnell's op-ed, Trump released declaring war on the anti-Trump Republican lawmakers in the Senate. Describing McConnell as "a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack," Trump said, "[I]f Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again."

Now, political analysts are weighing in with their take on what Trump's threat could mean. Evan McMullin, a former House Republican Conference policy director, shared the perspective of those ready to distance from Trumpism. "I've had a number of political people reach out — leaders and grassroots people reaching out," McMullin said. "They've had enough and are ready to move on, ready for change."

However, he also noted that complete distance from Trump will not come easily. It may even take the party years to do so. "My view of Trump and Trumpism is it was a logical next step on a destructive trajectory that was already present in the GOP before Trump came along," he said.

"If the party continues to run on Trumpism in 2022 and again suffers defeats, then I think we'd see another portion of Republicans desire a different direction, and, at that point, have an even more robust debate within the party," McMullin said. "And that may not be enough to change the direction of the party.

He added, "It may take another cycle or two to change."

With the political party at an impasse, vote splits could also occur which would make Republican lawmakers' possibilities of victory during the primary election even more difficult.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.