As it stands currently, all indications suggest the Republican Party will deliver a brutal shellacking to Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections. Polling, history, and the political landscape have painted a rather bleak picture for the left. However, despite the positive signs for the GOP, some have suggested that a lack of unity could lead to a scenario in which voters will keep Democrats in power.
Since former President Donald Trump came on the scene in 2015, the Republican Party has become embroiled in a civil war of sorts. The conflict between the traditional establishment wing and the Trumpist non-establishment has raged even into 2022, and it does not appear the political donnybrook will settle down anytime soon. The results of the upcoming primary elections could very well signal the trajectory of the party’s evolution. But is it possible that this internal struggle could tank the GOP’s chances of taking back Congress?
GOP strategist Cesar Conda seems to think so. He told the Washington Examiner the Republican National Committee’s decision to censure Trump-obsessed Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois over their participation in the Democrats’ Jan. 6 House Select Committee is an example of the type of disunity that could hurt the GOP. Conda also cited a disagreement between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott (R-FL) over Scott’s 11-point “Rescue America” proposition as another example.
Democrats are hopeful that Republicans’ internal bickering can help them retain control of the House and Senate. Former Dem consultant Christopher Hahn told the Washington Examiner that these spats could “change the math” in the upcoming midterms. “There are many primaries between traditional and Trump Republicans,” he asserted. “In some states, there are already plans to mount third-party campaigns to thwart candidates who traditional Republicans view as a threat to democracy itself.” Hahn also surmised that if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade and if Trump-like candidates win primaries, these issues could be the party’s “biggest obstacles to retaking the Senate.”
While it is certainly possible the Republicans’ infighting could become a problem for the party, it seems more likely that Conda’s concerns and Hahn’s wish casting are misplaced. What if the conflicts occurring in the GOP are actually a good thing?
Conservative voters have long been dissatisfied with the Mitt Romneys and John McCains of the party, and even now, they yearn for something new. This is why so many wish for a change in management, so to speak.
The GOP is going through an evolution brought on by Trump and the MAGA movement. These battles are not meaningless squabbles; they are milestones in what has become a struggle over the very soul of the party. The outcomes will determine whether it will lurch back to the pre-Trump era, or undergo a much-needed metamorphosis. Those pushing for the latter wish to address the flaws of the GOP’s past and remake it into something that will appeal to more Americans. To put it simply, these are the growing pains one might expect from an organization trying to adapt to changing times. Depending on how it turns out, this could be a great boon for the conservative movement.
Of course, the same holds true for the Democratic Party, which is experiencing its own civil war. Over the past five years, sharp disputes between the far-left progressive faction and the establishment wing have materialized. High-profile leftists like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and the rest of “The Squad” have vocally challenged establishment figures, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), while attempting to pull the party further to the left. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, caused quite a stir when she led a mutiny against the establishment during the debate over infrastructure and President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.
The establishment, for its part, has managed to retain the lion’s share of influence. Moderates have repeatedly lashed out at the far left for espousing initiatives such as the “Defund the Police” movement, which they believe have harmed the party overall. The soul of the Democratic Party is also at stake here, and while the establishment figures are still running the show, they cannot ignore the growing influence of the Marxist faction. The eventual victor will decide whether the party will shift closer to the center, or veer even farther to the left, all but ensuring its demise.
What America is witnessing at the moment could be the total reshaping of the nation’s political landscape. These civil wars on both sides are not mere distractions or petty quarrels; they are harbingers of what is to come in the not-so-distant future.
~ Read more from Jeff Charles.