To cleanse the palate as we wait for election results, a reminder that we’re meant to believe the panelists on this show are all tight with each other off-camera and that their on-screen screaming matches are just what happens when friends talk politics.
Why, it’s perfectly normal to reunite with a bestie after months apart and have them say, “I did not miss you. Zero.”
How I love this show. Watch, then read on.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 5, 2021
It pains me to say it but Behar’s correct on the merits. (Not the part about not missing McCain, the part before that.) “The Republicans are in much more trouble right now” due to their party divisions than Democrats are, says Joy. Oh, come on, says Meg. What about AOC musing about primarying Chuck Schumer? What about progressives grumbling about Biden’s cabinet of neoliberal retreads? Both parties have their tensions.
Which is true. But both parties don’t have the sitting president threatening to primary top officials on his own side because they won’t help him overturn an election he lost.
— Rob Schmitt (@SchmittNYC) January 5, 2021
Both parties don’t have congressmen telling reporters that in hindsight they probably shouldn’t have supported the guy at the top of their ticket in November:
“I would say if I knew everything I know now, I’d probably think differently,” [Rep. Adam] Kinzinger said when asked about his vote for Trump last November. While he had supported the president “based on policy,” Kinzinger said that Trump’s behavior since the election — questioning the legitimacy of the election and threatening “the underpinnings of democracy” — represents a “massive demarcation” in presidential behavior. He added at one point: “I’ll tell you everything I’m hearing is, he’s freaking out generally.”
The top story this afternoon as I write this is the whip counts of Republican senators who are planning to certify Joe Biden as the legitimately elected president of the United States tomorrow and those who are planning to obstruct the process in hopes of somehow handing Trump another four years. Having a party divide along pro-coup and anti-coup lines is the closest either side has been to an irreparable schism that I’ve seen in 15 years of writing about politics every day and the crisis is bound to deepen tomorrow and in the weeks ahead. It makes the tea-party revolt against the GOP establishment 10 years ago look like a, well, tea party, beginning with the fact that no one at the top of the GOP back then was encouraging the populist insurrectionist.
This isn’t bloggers versus Mitch McConnell and John Boehner over cutting spending. This is the president of the United States and most of the House caucus versus McConnell and most of the Senate caucus over whether American democracy should be upended in order to keep him in power.
Really, the entirety of Trump’s behavior since November 3 has been aimed at discerning who’s with him and who’s against him within his own party. With him: Cruz, Hawley, Kevin McCarthy, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, most of the House GOP, Newsmax and OAN, talk radio, most online righty media, every conspiracy theorist in the country, and all of MAGA. Against him: Mike Pence(?), Bill Barr, McConnell, Thune, most of the Senate GOP, Liz Cheney, Fox News, and virtually all of the pre-Trump GOP establishment like Paul Ryan. It’s scarcely an exaggeration, in fact, to say that there’s nothing left of the Republican Party agenda at this point apart from a loyalty test regarding Donald J. Trump. If forced to choose between America’s civic heritage and keeping Trump in power indefinitely, which do you choose? How you answer determines which side of the schism you’re on.
There’s nothing remotely comparable to this in the Democratic Party. I can’t think of anything comparable in either party in my lifetime. How often does a sitting president draw a line in the sand over whether to join his autogolpe attempt or not? “There’s definitely a civil war, if you will, brewing in the Republican Party, but not just in Georgia,” said one Georgia Republican strategist to NPR. “It’s what does a post-Trump presidency look like? And can we bring it back together?” Democrats have their issues but only one side is worried about whether they can keep their party together at the moment.
In lieu of an exit question, here’s some fun Republican versus Republican action last night from CNN. Both anti-Trumpers in this case!
This is CNN…
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) January 5, 2021