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The GOP Is Ready to Take On Donald Trump

Donald Trump
Donald Trump. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

The tides are shifting. Donald Trump, who has dominated the GOP for seven years, spent his reign demanding fealty and obedience. The results were a GOP inclined to treat Trump with sycophantism, public praise, and forgiveness. Now, however, following Trump’s abysmal midterm record, the GOP is turning on their former master, saying things in public that would have been unspeakable just weeks ago.

Trump is a uniquely bruising political player. He is a master at marketing his opponents in an unflattering light, i.e., Crooked Hillary, Lyin’ Ted Cruz, Boring Jeb Bush, and so on. And for rivals who criticized Trump or suggested an alternative, Trump was vicious in rebuttal. The effect was a cooling on public dissent against Trump. Members of the GOP were scared to speak out against him. He was too powerful, too vindictive, too good at turning his MAGA base against a dissenter. So, the GOP stayed quiet – even when they didn’t agree, even when they were mortified, and even when they sensed their political fortunes were being jeopardized. 

The final product was a party that operated as a single-celled organism. The thing thought and moved and breathed at the will of Trump and Trump alone. The downsides of such singular leadership are obvious. Ideas weren’t scrutinized, tested, or improved. Blind spots weren’t explored. Weaknesses weren’t addressed. Impulses were left unchecked. The strengths and weaknesses of one individual were amplified. And as far as the general public was concerned, the GOP became a one-man show. Politically, that one-man show has been a flop. 

Trump lost in 2020 – to Sleepy Joe. Trump endorsees lost in 2021. And Trump endorsees were summarily destroyed in 2022. That’s three straight election cycles where Trump has lost. And now, only now, are GOP members starting to turn on their standard-bearer. Whereas any other candidate in any other party would have been replaced after losing one election – especially losing an election as an incumbent president – Trump was given the benefit of the doubt through three straight cycles. It seems that finally, however, after three losses, the GOP is turning on Trump. Sensing that Trump’s power has diminished, detractors are beginning to speak up. 

Over the weekend, at the Republican Jewish Coalition conference, several prominent Republicans denounced Trump either impliedly or explicitly. 

Chris Christie, who was an early Trump supporter and transition team leader, said that “Donald Trump has put himself before everybody else.”

Mike Pompeo, who served as Trump’s Secretary of State and CIA director, said that Republicans won’t win elections if they simply “go on Fox News or send tweets.” 

Chris Sununu, the Governor of New Hampshire said that “[Trump is] not going to have the internal support that he had before. And so therefore, there’s opportunity there. That political weakness is blood in the water for some folks.”

Nikki Haley, who served as Trump’s U.N. Ambassador, had vowed not to ever run against Trump. She seems to have changed her mind, saying that she was taking a serious look at running while point out that it was time for “a younger generation to lead across the board.”

Et tu, Brute?

The frequency and intensity of the criticism against Trump have both picked up exponentially since the midterms concluded. Like Sununu said, blood is most certainly in the water. The former president is hemorrhaging, and even his former allies are positioning themselves to land the death blow. The GOP primary may turn out to be a captivating affair.

While either Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis are expected to land the nomination, the field may be crowded – with plenty of former Trump allies going after their former boss. 

Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken.

Written By

Harrison Kass is a Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison has degrees from Lake Forest College, the University of Oregon School of Law, and New York University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Oregon and regularly listens to Dokken.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. GhostTomahawk

    November 21, 2022 at 2:56 pm

    You’re a clown Kass.

    The reason for the mid terms was simple.

    The GOP leadership ie. McConnell and McCarthy didn’t support non establishment candidates and went so far as to call them “low quality”. They would rather maintain power and be in the minority than have a large contingent of non loyalists infiltrate their ranks and challenge their authority.

    You’re a partisan hack. Write some disparaging articles about the burning turd heap that is the Democrat party for once. All they have is fear and hate. No ideas other than “tax the rich” (which they won’t do) give everything away for free (and tax the middle to do it) and blame Trump. What a pathetic affair we find ourselves in.

    And you’re part of the problem. Please. STOP POSTING GARBAGE.

  2. Doug

    November 21, 2022 at 3:11 pm

    “Trump lost in 2020, Trump endorsees lost in 2021, Trump endorsees were summarily destroyed in 2022”
    You forgot to mention that in 2016 Trump also lost.
    Trump 62,984,828 votes.
    Clinton 65,853,514 votes.
    In a democracy the person with the most votes wins.
    The US electoral college system is absurd.

  3. Dr. Scooter Van Neuter

    November 21, 2022 at 3:23 pm

    As a supporter of Trump since the beginning, I pray DeSantis runs – he is easily the best man for the job.

  4. jeff

    November 21, 2022 at 4:35 pm

    Too many people are looking to abandon Trump on the advice of the news media, democrats, and RINOS. Trump was a president for Americans and now they are abandoning him. McConnell is a perfect example; he would rather throw 2022 and be the minority leader than make Trump look good.

  5. El Gato

    November 21, 2022 at 4:47 pm

    Doug, first off, the country is a republic, not a democracy.
    Second, the the Electoral college was instituted by the founders to balance out the voting power somewhat for each state, since they each determine their own election laws. For instance California has determined that non-citizens illegal immigrants), cows, chickens donkeys and pigs all have a right to vote, and other states require voter ID and citizenship to vote. Please look at the why it is there before criticizing it

  6. Omega 13

    November 22, 2022 at 3:39 pm

    Harry, you need help.

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