‘No pain, no gain’ — Even Susan Collins is afraid to ‘excise’ Trump from the GOP: Conservative

‘No pain, no gain’ — Even Susan Collins is afraid to ‘excise’ Trump from the GOP: Conservative
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When Sen. Susan Collins of Maine appeared on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, January 30, host George Stephanopoulos asked the Republican senator — a moderate conservative — if she would support former President Donald Trump should be run for president in 2024. Collins gave an evasive answer, refusing to rule out the possibility. And according to Never Trump conservative Tim Miller, that evasiveness underscored the GOP’s unwillingness to “excise” the Trumpian “cancer” that it continues to be plagued by.

In an article published by The Bulwark on January 31, Miller argues that the “no pain, no gain maxim” was obvious during that interview.

Miller says of Collins, “She demurred, leaving the door open to the possibility of having faith in a Trump resurrection, while providing some perfunctory lip service to the notion that there were other people she might prefer, but whom she — of course — did not name. She was rewarded a few hours later with the former president attacking her for not having given his coup attempt a full-throated endorsement.”

After the January 6, 2021 insurrection, Collins was among the minority of Republicans who voted “guilty” during Trump’s second impeachment trial. But during her “This Week” appearance, Miller laments, Collins didn’t go out of her way to be critical of the ex-president.

“Now, keep in mind a few things about Susan Collins,” Miller writes. “Less than a year ago, Collins voted to convict Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, putting her support behind an article of impeachment that would have barred him from ever again holding federal office. She’s not up for election again until 2026. She has possibly the most independent brand of anyone in the Republican caucus. She won her last election in a surprisingly comfortable fashion.”

Miller continues, “And despite all of that, the good senator still isn’t willing to endure whatever political blowback might come from simply saying that she won’t support Trump in a hypothetical 2024 run. If someone as politically safe as Collins won’t stick her neck out, what hope is there that a meaningful group of others will find the mettle not just to privately hope for an alternative, but to wage a vigorous, scorched-earth campaign on behalf (of) the alternative?”

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, in fact, recently told Fox News that having a “working relationship” with Trump should be a litmus test for any Republican in Congress.

In 2022, most Republicans in Congress either outright praise Trump or — in the case of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — avoid talking about him. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming has been forcefully condemning the former president, but she is the exception rather than the rule.

“Unless and until the gods of the actuarial tables intervene, excising Trump from the GOP was always going to require political pain,” Miller argues. “Cancer doesn’t get removed without surgery and chemo, and the treatment sucks. And when push comes to shove, the craven Republicans who know better have never been willing to face the red devil. They just keep hoping that the Trumpian storm will blow over and they can go back to 2012 without any unpleasantness.”

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