And Gonzalez is not the only Republican to pass on a race with the specter of MAGA violence looming overhead. Georgia Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan, who stood his ground during Trump’s phony attempts to contest the Georgia election, recently told me that he also had a disturbing realization one day, as he looked out at the security protecting him, about how the threats targeting him and his family were coming from inside the GOP tent. Duncan announced back in May that he wouldn’t run again.
Geoff Duncan and Anthony Gonzalez are walking, talking avatars for what the “Waiting for the World to Change” Republicans want the party to be: They are both conservative, savvy, and early in promising careers. There is an entire class of professional ostriches who have spent a half-decade wishing Trump away, downplaying the danger, and imagining that there is hope for a responsible conservative party once he magically disappears. Duncan and Gonzalez are just the kind of Republican electeds that that crowd wished for.
But they are now walking off the field in part over the violent, credible threats they received for not going along with Trump’s coup attempt that led to the sacking of the Capitol. They are set to be replaced by the likes of Max Miller, avatars of deplorable Trumpism.