GOP’s Center Fails to Hold as Extreme MAGA Conservative Becomes Speaker
For a brief moment, it seemed that the Republican Party had found its center and its voice. Moderate Republicans stood up against Trump-inspired bullying during the vote on Jim Jordan and refused to succumb to threats. In a closed-door discussion, the GOP caucus even nominated centrist Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) for speaker, signaling a pivot towards the center.
However, this hopeful moment was short-lived. When President Trump learned of Emmer’s nomination, he immediately labeled him a “Globalist RINO” and personally called House members to attack him. Hours later, Emmer dropped out of the race, and Trump boasted about his victory, stating, “It’s over. I killed him.” Emmer’s crime? Failing to support Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud and instead voting to certify Joe Biden’s win.
In the end, House Republicans unanimously elected Mike Johnson, an extreme MAGA conservative, as Speaker. Johnson is known for his anti-gay stance, support for criminalizing sodomy, advocating for a national abortion ban, and rejecting climate science. He is also a Christian Nationalist who opposes the Constitutional separation of church and state.
Johnson’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election were even more extreme. He sent an email to every House Republican in December 2020, seeking their support for a Texas claim before the Supreme Court that aimed to invalidate votes from key battleground states won by Biden. His email pressured Congressmen to sign on to the brief by implying that Trump was eagerly awaiting the list of loyalists who would support his baseless claims of a stolen election.
Although the Supreme Court swiftly rejected Texas’ challenge, Johnson continued to peddle debunked stolen election claims. He even made outlandish statements about rigged voting machines and alleged foreign interference. These claims have since been discredited, including through the guilty pleas of individuals like Sydney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro.
With Johnson now serving as Speaker, we can expect further attacks on election integrity and a dismissive attitude towards holding Trump accountable for his actions. During Johnson’s first press conference as Speaker, Republican members of Congress loudly booed and shouted down a reporter who asked about his efforts to overturn the election.
As Trump faces multiple criminal indictments for his attempts to overturn the election, his allies seek to shield him from legal liability. They cite news articles instead of evidence, claiming that President Biden pressured the Department of Justice to pursue a politically motivated prosecution of Trump. These baseless concerns about election fraud, which were initially planted and amplified by Trump and Johnson, are now being used to undermine the rule of law.
The ascension of extreme MAGA conservatives in the House signals a dangerous shift in the Republican Party. Journalists may face increased restrictions, the Bill of Rights may be constricted, and the voices of the majority of Americans who view Trump as either a criminal or unethical may be silenced. The people’s house has fallen into the hands of MAGA extremists, a development that has alarming implications for the future of American democracy.
Sabrina Haake, a Chicago attorney and Gary resident, provides further insights on these developments in her Substack newsletter, The Haake Take.
Original Story at www.chicagotribune.com – 2023-10-28 14:05:32