'Shredding the Constitution' has become a job requirement in the modern Republican Party: journalist
If Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona, President Gerald R. Ford and National Review founder William F. Buckley were young Republicans in 2022, they would no doubt be labeled RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) by far-right MAGA extremists. Goldwater and Buckley were considered arch-conservatives in their day, but they would be way too moderate for 2022’s GOP — a party that, for the most part, has abandoned traditional conservatism in favor of far-right authoritarianism.
That authoritarianism is the focus of a scathing article by author/journalist John Dickerson, who argues that in today’s Republican Party, “shredding the Constitution” and attacking democracy are job requirements — and those who resist will be severely limited in the party and unable to receive the 2024 presidential nomination.
In his article, published by The Atlantic on February 9, Dickerson laments, “Shredding the Constitution should disqualify anyone applying for a job protecting the Constitution. School bus operators are not picked from a pool of drivers with a history of high-speed, child-imperiling joyrides. Museum guards are not selected from the ranks of art thieves. This is obvious, but not to the Republican Party. The 2024 GOP presidential nominee will either be Donald Trump, who tried to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election, or it will be someone who passes the current purity test: agreeing to overlook the fact that Trump tried to overthrow an election.”
My latest for @TheAtlantic \u201cHow the GOP Redefined Presidential Fitness\u201dhttps://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/02/gop-trump-redefined-presidential-behavior/621632/\u00a0\u2026— John Dickerson (@John Dickerson) 1644410008
The Republican National Committee recently voted to formally censure Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois for their participation in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on the January 6, 2021 insurrection — which, Dickerson laments, speaks volumes about the state of 2022’s GOP.
“In the 78 days between Election Day and the inauguration,” Dickerson recalls, “Trump engaged in a protracted search for ways to overthrow the election. He pressured the Department of Justice, the Pentagon and Homeland Security on a number of gambits to undo the results. He encouraged others to do the same. He pressured state officials too. Many of those efforts arguably came closer to succeeding than what took place on January 6.”
Dickerson continues, “Never in American history has a person of such power taken such direct aim at such a core tenet of democracy. A sentence that should not inspire the reaction ‘Four more years!’ But it does.”
Dickerson laments that Trump still has the enthusiastic support of Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida and many other prominent Republicans — not to mention many GOP voters.
“A political party can’t go against the will of its voters, which leaves the GOP stuck in the position of being led by a person whom other major leaders have identified as unfit to govern — unfit to govern not based on some vague criteria, but by the most basic standards of the republic,” Dickerson laments. “The GOP’s response to this puzzle is to redefine the standards for presidential behavior beyond all measure.”
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