A GOP congressman’s retirement due to violent threats is 'a deeply ominous sign’ for US politics’: conservative

A GOP congressman’s retirement due to violent threats is 'a deeply ominous sign’ for US politics’: conservative

Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, a conservative Republican and former Ohio State football star who voted to impeach Donald Trump following the January 6 insurrection, has decided not to seek reelection in 2022 — saying that he fears for the safety of his family and that the "toxic dynamics inside our own party" were a "significant factor" in his decision. In an article published by The Bulwark on September 16, Never Trump conservative Tim Miller describes Gonzalez's decision as "an ominous sign for our politics."

"It might be a Trump era cliché to say that 'this is not normal,' but a 36-year-old congressman in his second term doesn't just retire," Miller writes. "That is the start of one's career, not the finish. Moreover, a 36-year-old Republican congressman sure as shit doesn't retire because he is scared Republican voters might hurt his family. That is not normal. At all. It is a flashing siren about just how dangerous the Republican Party has become."

In the minds of Trumpistas, Gonzalez committed a cardinal sin when he voted to impeach Trump and accepted Joe Biden as a legitimately elected president. Gonzalez, Miller notes, had "an essentially down-the-line conservative voting record," but the fact that he refused to go along with Trump's election fraud lies made him a target of Dear Leader's rabid followers.

Miller explains, "Unlike fellow Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, Gonzalez was not willing to go along with the phony election-certification charade. He eventually became one of ten Republican House members to vote for Trump's impeachment over the actions that led to the January 6 insurrection. The backlash from that vote is what led to the harassment…. It resulted in a primary from Max Miller, a douchey trust-fund baby who worked for Trump and allegedly assaulted his girlfriend and colleague, Stephanie Grisham."

Max Miller, who is unrelated to Tim Miller, has flatly denied Grisham's allegations of assault. Tim Miller notes that the Trump ally has "no record of accomplishment" and "no coherent policy critique of Gonzalez" — all that matters to the MAGA crowd is that unlike Gonzalez, he is pro-Trump.

"The primary was to be solely a referendum over whether voters of the district wanted their representative to be a Trump toady even if it means overthrowing American democracy," Tim Miller observes. "Gonzalez's primary race — not Liz Cheney's or Adam Kinzinger's — would have been the prime test of whether the Republican Party was a cult in thrall to a wannabe authoritarian or a conservative political party. The answer was so clear that Gonzalez didn't even wait around to find out."

Gonzalez, Tim Miller points out, told the New York Times he was sick of receiving threats and having to "have my wife and kids escorted through the airport" by security.

"Having seen the ugly face of the Trumpist GOP first-hand," Tim Miller writes, "Gonzalez understands the stakes and the peril…. It's long past time for those who want the GOP to be a party of Anthony Gonzalez, not a party of Donald Trump, Jr. fanboys, to take their heads out of the sand. The Republican Party is a pro-insurrection Trump cult, and anyone who is not on board is cast aside."

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