We will see a fight between conservatives versus cult on the U.S. Senate floor this week. Most people think the cult will win. I am not so sure anymore.
And so, the trial begins. Trump versus reality. Big lie versus big steal. Conservatives versus cult. Until recently, like most observers, I seriously doubted the Senate might vote to convict. I can see getting ten Republicans on board, but that’s not enough.
But then, Marjorie Taylor Greene emerged as the face of the Republican Party. Her comment that “The Party is his; it doesn’t belong to anyone else” absolutely crystalized the divide between conservatives and cult. Under her leadership, GOP will have serious problems winning top of ticket elections or even raising funds.
All big tent parties have factions. I know it’s the job of leadership to align factions around common cause. I know now is the time for conservative leadership in the GOP to step up and heal the party, and the nation along the way.
Perhaps the best conservative leadership is coming from Representative Liz Cheney, who has spoken clearly about Trump's lies and incitement. She has done so since January 3rd, when she provided a 21 page summary of reality to her caucus. Meanwhile, Senator Ben Sasse released a short video making the conservative versus cult divide obvious and providing a call for action. Both of these Republican leaders may be marching down a path to nowhere, but at least they are trying.
Those of you old enough may remember Newt Gingrich, decades ago, setting the GOP on a road to zero-sum. His legacy is a party that cares more about who it hates than any conservative principles. You know that the bedrock conservative principle is rule of law. For the cult, the constitution is just not meaningful.
Conservatives Versus Cult
Amazingly, Senator Lindsey Graham - in a rare moment of candor - best described the chaos of the cult on January sixth. (Yes, I know he changed his mind later, but it was a good speech.) Less flamboyant but more durable was Senator Mitt Romney's tell them the truth speech on the same night. Even Mitch McConnell stepped up to speak truth to power.
Any conservative surely feels for Mr. Georgia Voter Suppression himself, Brad Raffensperger when he tells the Trump unambiguously on January 5th: “The challenge you have, Mr. President, is that the data you have is wrong.”
So, I am thinking that perhaps ten or eleven Republican Senators may vote to convict, and maybe a similar number may just not show up for the vote since they don’t believe it is constitutional anyway. We will see.
Seriously, Republican Senators must realize that appeasement of Trump will not be good for them, or anyone really. I remind them of what these famous conservatives said on the subject: