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The ‘Party of Lincoln’ is just the Party of Trump now

And it’s getting harder and harder to see whether, when or how it gets to being anything else.

Former President Donald Trump waving during a January rally in Conroe, Texas.
Former President Donald Trump waving during a January rally in Conroe, Texas.
REUTERS/Go Nakamura

I should be past the point of being even mildly surprised at the degree to which the Republican Party, which used to like to call itself the “Party of Lincoln,” has transmogrified, almost completely, into the Party of Trump, aka the Party of Lies (and maybe even of Fascism).

But it’s getting harder and harder to see whether, when or how it gets to being anything else.

On Friday, by a voice vote that was described as “overwhelming” (so overwhelming that no one bothered call for a recorded vote), the Republican National Committee adopted a resolution censuring Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) for continuing to condemn the actions of the mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Maybe “censure” is too weak a word. The resolution states that the party “shall immediately cease any and all support of” Cheney and Kinzinger, and to no longer regard them “as members of the Republican Party for their behavior which has been destructive to the institution of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Republican Party and our republic, and is inconsistent with the position of the [House Republican] Conference.”

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The list of whereases leading up to the repudiation contains the usual Republican nonsense, but it’s pretty choice, so I’ll just pass along a paragraph to give you the flavor, as in:

WHEREAS The Biden Administration and Democrats in Congress have embarked on a systematic effort to replace liberty with socialism; eliminate border security in favor of lawless, open borders create record inflation designed to steal the American dream from our children and grandchildren; neuter our national defense and a peace through strength foreign policy; replace President Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” with incompetence and illegal mandates; and destroy America’s economy with the Green New Deal…

You get the idea. But to give you the full flavor, Kinzinger (who has already announced he will not seek another term in the House) and Cheney (who has said she will seek another term) stand accused of acts of “sabotage” against their party indicating that the two traitors “seem intent on advancing a political agenda to buoy the Democrat Party’s bleak prospects in the upcoming midterm elections.”

(Note the usual Republican adorable gag of refusing to call the Democratic Party by its actual name.)

The resolution speaks repeatedly of party unity as the goal of censuring the lawmakers, saying the party’s ability to focus on the Biden administration is being “sabotaged” by the “actions and words” of Cheney and Kinzinger, which indicate “they support Democrat efforts to destroy President Trump more than they support winning back a Republican majority in 2022.”

An earlier version of the resolution called for the traitorous twosome to be “expelled” from the Republican Party, but that was dropped from the final language. But that concession was offset by the insertion of language accusing them of (referring to their position on the House investigation of the violent, lethal, Trump-encouraged Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol) “participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”

If I may say so: “Wow.”

The full New York Times coverage of the RNC’s attack on Cheney and Kinzinger is accessible via this link.