Then came last week’s start of the January 6 congressional hearings — and the stark reminder of the unanswered questions the GOP must confront before it can reoccupy the White House.
Simply put, any public official unwilling to immediately and consistently condemn the invasion of the Capitol on January 6 isn’t qualified to hold elected office. This should include congressional candidates, those vying for leadership positions in the next Congress, former President Donald Trump, as well as anyone in the “shadow race
” underway for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
It is wrong to assume that voters will punish GOP candidates who stand up to Trump’s selfish election lies. Nationally, a May 2022 CBS News/YouGov poll found nearly half
(48%) of Republican respondents described a fact-finding mission into January 6 as either “very” or “somewhat” important.
In my home state of Georgia, voters recently faced a choice between two Republican candidates for governor whose only significant policy difference involved the 2020 election. Incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp resisted Trump’s efforts and certified the results of the 2020 presidential election, stating his duty to “follow the laws of the constitution of this state
.” His opponent, former Sen. David Perdue, grounded much of his candidacy on election lies, referring to the 2020 contest as “rigged and stolen
Georgia Republicans chose Kemp over Perdue by more than a 50-point margin
, marking an embarrassing end to the latter’s career in public office. To be sure, Georgia’s results do not reflect
the results of every primary race in the country, but they send a strong message of a potential changing trajectory within the Republican Party.
As the January 6 hearings have and will continue to lay bare, former influential members of Trump’s inner circle knew the truth. Former Attorney General William Barr was blunt in his word
choice — dismissing the conspiracy theories, an assessment that Trump’s own daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump, said she “respected
These are views that all elected Republicans should share. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy initially had it right in the aftermath of the attack when he declared Trump “bears responsibility
.” These days, he has changed his tune for seemingly shallow political reasons and is claiming “everybody in the county
” bears some degree of responsibility.
Despite his obfuscation, McCarthy’s bid for the House Speaker’s gavel may not be derailed. The current Democratic House majority is threadbare. Of the 33 races considered “toss up” by Cook Political Report
, 24 are held by Democrats compared to just nine by Republicans. Layer on Biden’s dreary job approval and the odds are in the GOP’s favor of retaking the House this fall.
But dancing around the obvious truths of January 6 could disqualify aspiring White House hopefuls. A successful Republican…
Read More: Georgia Republican: Trump is a political falling knife