The Slatest

Republicans Plan to Stick With Deranged Party Leadership Team That Just Lost House, Presidency, Maybe Senate

McDaniel, standing in front of several American flags, smiles at a lectern with a TRUMP/PENCE sign on it.
Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel speaks from D.C. during the Republican National Convention on Aug. 24. Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

In theory, according to let’s say political science and common sense, there should come some moment at which the Republican Party establishment would want to back away from its tight alliance with the MAGA movement. Many Americans love Donald Trump, but a majority of Americans do not, and the Trump loyalists’ choices tend to alienate not just Democrats but independent voters as well. Eventually that has to become unsustainable, one would think.

That moment of reckoning apparently has not yet arrived. The party may have just lost the White House by 7 million votes despite the advantages of incumbency, failed to win the House of Representatives for the second consecutive cycle despite the advantages of gerrymandering, and found itself still battling not to lose the Senate despite the Senate being two-thirds composed of rural white states with made-up-sounding names like “Idaho,” but it is not going to let any of that be cause for self-reflection. We know this thanks to the Associated Press, which reports Wednesday that all of the GOP’s most important figures have decided to back Ronna McDaniel, a Trump stooge so shameless that she dropped the “Romney” from her name because the president doesn’t like her Uncle Willard, in her bid for another term as chairwoman of the Republican National Committee:

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

In a letter Wednesday to the 168 members of the RNC announcing her candidacy, McDaniel said she has the support of Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Minority Leader McCarthy of California, as well as a supermajority of committee members—all but assuring her victory.

McDaniel took over her role in 2017, when the party controlled all three aforementioned levers of national power, and none of the unfavorable election results since then have shaken her devotion to the Trump cause. Her letter says that she plans to continue to “fight for President Trump” in his legal (“legal”) battle against election results—a battle that now involves a prominent MAGA lawyer telling Republican voters to sit out the Georgia runoffs that will determine control of the Senate—and that she is looking for a way not to cooperate, going forward, with the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, which she describes as “biased.” (Trump was upset when the second scheduled debate this October was canceled because everyone in the White House had COVID-19.) This is to say there will emphatically not be a change of direction regarding the party’s attitude toward functional government or the notion of a shared reality that can be measured and described objectively. Leeeeeeeeeeroy Jenkins!!!

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party, which won the presidency and held the House and picked up at least one Senate seat, engaged Wednesday in another bitter round of arguments—this one kick-started by Barack Obama—over whether the phrase “defund the police” is responsible for its having done slightly worse than polls predicted.

Advertisement