GOP at war with itself

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_9@hotmail.com

The Republican Party is at war with itself.

Its elected leadership cannot gather up the courage to stand against a president who ostensibly represents the party, but who says things about despots and tyrants that are anathema to traditional GOP values.

The “other” wing of the party comprising former elected officials and assorted public figures has formed various political action committees and organizations whose mission is to defeat Trump in this year’s presidential election.

Which side should win this fight? I am pulling for the latter wing of the GOP to come out on top.

You have former Republican campaign operatives and assorted pundits and ex-pols joining something called the Lincoln Project, which by its name tells you that they represent the party of the 16th president of the United States, the great Abraham Lincoln.

The cadre/cabal of elected GOP officials has disgraced itself — yes, with a few notable exceptions — by cowering before Donald Trump.

Trump has remained silent about reports of Russian goons paying bounties for the lives of American servicemen and women killed by the Taliban. He has reportedly called service personnel “suckers” and “losers” because they choose to don the military uniform. Trump has denigrated the service of war heroes, such as the late Sen. John McCain. Now we hear from Trump himself that he “downplayed” the coronavirus threat even after telling iconic reporter Bob Woodward that he knew all along it would kill a lot of Americans.

The silence among those in public office is deafening and shameful. Yet they persist in their tacit defense of Trump merely by declining to condemn him in the strongest terms possible.

On the other side are those with no political axe to grind, or no political constituencies to please. They stand up to a man who prior to running for president had zero public service experience and only a passing acquaintance with classic Republican orthodoxy.

How this internecine warfare plays out will depend in large part on the presidential election outcome. My hope is that the good guys — the true Republicans who cannot stomach another four years of Trump — win this fight.

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