Monday, July 04, 2022


This happened yesterday:
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) issued a dire warning to the Republican Party if it rallies behind former President Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election.

"It can't survive if he's our nominee," Cheney said on ABC News's This Week with George Stephanopoulos....

"I don't think the party would survive that," Cheney added in the interview that aired Sunday. "I believe in the party, and I believe in what the party can be and what the party can stand for. And I'm not ready to give that up. ... Those of us who believe in Republican principles and ideals have a responsibility to try to lead the party back to what it can be, and to reject, and to reject so much of the toxin and the vitriol."
Also yesterday, The Washington Post published this piece by Karen Tumulty about Glenn Youngkin:
Virginia’s new Republican governor is seriously thinking of running for president in 2024. And that’s good news....

The reason I’d like to see him — or someone like him — make a serious run for president has more to do with an existential crisis that faces our democracy. It is crucial that this country have a healthy two-party system. Someone must test the proposition that there are still enough sane Republicans out there to create a path to the nomination for a candidate who offers himself as an alternative, rather than an amplification, of the worst aspects of Trumpism....

It will be worth keeping a closer eye on Youngkin as he begins to lift his national profile. Republicans have won the popular vote in only one presidential election since 1988. He may not be the guy to end that drought. But it is past time for them to find someone who is.
I'm ignoring the fact that Youngkin ran a race-baiting campaign based on the alleged horrors of Critical Race Theory, and now says he'll sign "any bill" restricting abortion that crosses his desk. He makes moves to the center at times, as Tumulty notes, but he's no moderate.

I'm more focused on Cheney's fear that the Republican Party might not survive a third Trump run, and Tumulty's concern that the two-party system is endangered by a Trumpist GOP that can't win the popular vote in a presidential election.

Cheney and Tumulty should be less worried about the Republican Party and more worried about preserving the major party that might not exist in any viable form ten years from now. The Republican Party of 2022 may not be to Cheney's or Tumulty's taste, but it will survive. The Democratic Party really might not.

Republicans have already gerrymandered their way to permanent majority status in many state legislatures. Sometime next year, the Supreme Court may give those permanently Republican state legislatures the right to engage in the most extreme forms of gerrymandering, and to overrule the presidential popular vote in their states, regardless of what state laws might dictate; governors and state courts would be powerless to intervene.

So we're facing a possible future when the Democratic Party might never win the White House again. It already can't hold power in the Senate without 60 senators, or 62 given the current lineup, and the Supreme Court is effectively an additional legislature that's likely to have a Republican supermajority for decades. And it can never attain majority status in the legislatures of many swing states.

The power to permanently lock out Democrats in D.C., if it happens, would be granted before the 2024 election. At that point, it wouldn't matter who the GOP's presidential nominee is -- the party would use the power it's given to effectively end democracy (Republicans, unlike Democrats, nearly always use power when they have it). Even President Youngkin would give his assent.

Cheney and Tumulty should denounce all the assaults on democracy by all of the GOP's enemies of democracy, including the six Republicans on the Supreme Court. They should recognize that the only way to defend democracy is to deal the Republican Party a series of defeats, until it changes its ways because it realizes it has no choice. If Tumulty and Cheney love democracy, they should do what they can to shore up the Democratic Party (and, while they're at it, urge it to stiffen its spine and use the power it amasses). A Republican Party that respects democracy won't emerge any other way.

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