North Texas Daily

There is no place in the GOP for squishy conservatives

There is no place in the GOP for squishy conservatives

There is no place in the GOP for squishy conservatives
February 27
03:00 2021

Trump’s second impeachment has finally ended, and it was all rather predictable: Democrats argued that Trump called for an insurrection, Trump’s legal team argued that he didn’t, and the Senate voted to acquit because there are only 50 democrat senators, and there were not 17 republican senators who hated their jobs enough to vote to convict.

What was surprising however is that seven Republicans did vote to convict: Senators Burr, Cassidy, Collins, Murkowski, Romney, Sasse and Toomey. These are what we in republican circles like to call Republicans In Name Only (RINOs). These are the squishes. These are the Republicans who talk a good talk but break rank and go weak when it comes time to do something controversial in favor of the conservative movement. These republicans do not stand for anything but their own job security, do not represent the republican base and must be excommunicated from the GOP.

While Collins can be forgiven because she represents a purple state, and Toomey and Burr might be excused for the same reason if they were running for reelection, these two and all of the others have absolutely no excuse. Murkowski (AK), Romney (UT) and Sasse (NE) all come from states which vote republican by wide margins, and yet at this point they can almost be expected to back down from the fight when it means taking a solid stand for conservatism. When push comes to shove, they are more likely to give the conservative case for knuckling under rather than actually do something conservative.

These people are not in the fight, and that’s because they are uncomfortable with fighting. Romney showed that when he ran for president against Barack Obama and pulled all of the punches he possibly could. While Obama was calling Romney a bigot who strapped dogs to the top of cars and Joe Biden said that Romney would put black people “back in chains,” Romney insisted that Obama was a good, honest family man that just had bad policies. Sasse is even worse and said in a recent video that supporting Trump wasn’t conservative and power politics is bad for the nation. Never mind the fact that the point of elected office is to wield power. These politicians wouldn’t know a political fight if Chuck Schumer punched them in the face and said “Hey, I’m going to fight you.”

What makes this worse is that these spineless, boot-licking, controlled opposition republicans either have no qualms lying to their voter-base and pretending that they’re all-in for the movement or, worse, they actually think they are all-in. Romney and Murkowski come off as the former. Both descend from the liberal Rockefeller republicans and have terrible voting records for republicans. That doesn’t stop them from campaigning as conservatives, though. Romney even called himself “severely conservative” when running for the GOP nomination in 2012, despite signing the first health-care mandate into law years before Obama even ran for president. Sasse is the latter, though. He talks the talk and was considered a part of the republican bulwark for a while, but when push comes to shove and the call comes to turn words into actions, Sasse can be found gatekeeping and lecturing conservatives on why our “principles” dictate we roll over and die.

This is the existential crisis that the GOP faces: like him or hate him, Donald Trump called the republicans to fight the political battles. Unlike Romney, Trump pulled no punches. As soon as the democrats in Congress showed no willingness to work with him, Trump went on the attack and never left it. There are plenty of republicans, like Ron DeSantis, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley who want to keep this going. There are also plenty of republicans, like the seven who voted for conviction, who want to pretend like the last four years was one long fever-dream and want to go back to trying to compromise with a party that wants the GOP to stop existing.

The biggest challenge for republicans is the idea that conservative principles prevent them from fighting back and “stooping” to the democrats’ level. The problem is that if republicans do not fight back, they will lose and lose and lose until the party ceases to be. Republicans need to learn that principles that are self-destructive are not true principles, but suicide that looks good on a bumper sticker. Romney, Sasse, Murkowski and the like are hailed as principle-over-party statesmen, but they’re not. They’re merely comfort-over-conflict politicians. These republicans are no friends to the conservative movement and no friends to republican voters, and it is for this reason that the power which they are uncomfortable wielding must be taken from them and given to others who are comfortable wielding it.

Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles

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Jackson Sweet

Jackson Sweet

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