New report details the craven way the GOP became dependent on Trump

New report details the craven way the GOP became dependent on Trump

Former President Donald Trump has been gone from the White House for four months. But his influence on the Republican Party hasn't disappeared, and most Republicans in Congress — apart from outspoken critics like Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — are terrified of the possibility of offending him. Reporters Meridith McGraw and Sam Stein, this week in an article for Politico, offer a major reason why so many Republicans are still embracing Trump: GOP fundraising.

"In the days immediately following the January 6 riots," McGraw and Stein explain, "the Republican National Committee went dark. Its fundraising e-mail account did not send a single message as the prospect sank in that the president it had long trumpeted — Donald Trump — was a pariah for inciting the rioters who ransacked the Capitol…. If the Committee's intent was to leave the impression that it was moving on from Trump, it was short-lived…. Since resuming its e-mail fundraising, the RNC account has sent 97 e-mails mentioning Trump, according to a Politico review."

McGraw and Stein add that "GOP institutions" have "become increasingly reliant on Trump to help generate enthusiasm at the grassroots level."

"Though Trump's refusal to concede he lost a fair election has contributed to a splintering in the party," the Politico reporters observe, "his capacity to drive online donations has all but determined how the main party committees come down on that split. Money, after all, is king."

According to GOP fundraiser Dan Eberhart, whatever reservations Republican organizers had about Trump after January 6 are gone now.

Eberhart told Politico, "There was this pregnant pause around the impeachment and January 6 riot. That was, 'Trump was toxic, and Trump doesn't want us to use his name.' But we've now reverted back to the past five years, where Trump is the biggest name in Republican politics. He's the best name at bringing in money, and we need to lean into that. (The Republican Party) has abandoned this idea of a post-Trump world."

One fundraiser, quoted anonymously, told Politico, "The Party raises money in different ways. When you're talking about different e-mail, Facebook, small donors, building up that loyalty at the small-dollar level, President Trump is so much more potent and powerful than all the other names of the party combined — including Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan."

McGraw and Stein note that the Democratic National Committee is also using "the Trump name" in "e-mail blasts as well." But obviously, the DNC is using Trump's name in a negative way — and saying, in a nutshell, that supporting the Democratic Party is the way to fight Trump.

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