“Stung mightily by election losses, wracked by internal disputes, stained by a deadly insurrection and left wondering who is really running the show, the Grand Old Party is a grand old mess in the minds of the vast majority of Americans,” – Quinnipiac analyst 

The latest Quinnipiac University Polls are out. And the GOP leadership should be very concerned. Only 36% polled disapprove jof Biden’s performance, while 49% approve of the new President. 

Congressional ratings are usual dismal for both parties. However, this time it’s even worse for the GOP.  Only 26% approve of the job Republicans in Congress are doing (as oppose to 44% for Democrats).  

Further, only 21% approve of Sen. McConnell’s performance and 27% for Rep. McCarthy. But the GOP leadership has only itself to blame for the demise of their popularity.  

After the insurrection, every key GOP member of Congress condemned the violent mob that invaded our Capital, as they should have. Plus, McConnell correctly stated, “they were provoked by the President” and McCarthy accurately said, “the President bears responsibility”.  

But neither of them came out and said that President Trump should immediately resign (as did a couple of the more honorable GOP Senators). And neither of them supported impeachment and conviction. In fact, McConnell made sure that there was no Senate vote before Trump left office. 

In the period of time since the violent January 6th insurrection, they have both walked back their criticism (note- 50% of Americans polled believe he should be convicted, but only 12% of Republicans). McConnell has not said he will vote to convict Trump (which clearly means he will vote against it) and has failed to advise his Senate colleagues what to do. McCarthy has been particularly hypocritical, visiting his mentor in Mar A Lago. As ridiculous as it sounds, he now says “Everybody across this country has some responsibility” for the violent insurrection. 

And then there is the strange case of the most ReTrumpican GOP elected official of all…our own belle of the South, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Northwest Georgia. Although Mitch has criticized her more outrageous statements (“Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party”), he doesn’t mention her by name for fear of offending the ReTrumpicans in Congress. 

Again, McCarthy is more duplicitous. While in the past he has condemned the conspiracy cult QAnon, he now says “I don’t even know what it is” (Washington Post, 2-4-21). McCarthy criticized Greene’s comments “on school shootings, political violence, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.” However, he has vehemently refused to condemn her directly or personally. 

McCarthy has also refused to remove her from all House Committees, as was done with racist GOP Rep. King when he made inane statements in the last Congressional session. Amazingly, McCarthy has put Greene on the Education and Labor Committee, even though she said the horrible, tragic Parkland and Sandy Hook shootings of innocent school children were fabricated. 

This situation has led to the Democratic majority in the House removing Greene, with very few GOP Congressman supporting the motion. McCarthy’s failure to act “put our members in the absolute worse position possible” according to one GOP source (Hill, 2-3-21). 

Once upon a time, the Democratic Party had a big tent. Unfortunately, that big tent made it the party of bigots and kooks. Since the Civil War, that has changed dramatically. In recent decades, Nixon’s Southern Strategy wooed the bigots into the GOP. By converting the South, the GOP won elections… but lost its soul. Ronald Reagan opened his campaign for President in the town in Mississippi where three civil rights workers were murdered. 

Billionaire Trump merely extended this negative trend by pretending to be a populist man of the people (as long as the people were white and uneducated). Mitch McConnell and Keven McCarthy were his enablers for the last 4 years. They both helped create the new ReTrumpican Party. And still refuse to condemn Trump by impeaching and convicting him. 

After the GOP loss of the Senate, Mitch now seems to be slowly coming to his senses. But, at least for the near term, he will be stuck with the Frankenstein monster that he helped to create, the ReTrumpican Party. And so will the rest of us who once believed in the Grand Old Party. 

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Image Credit: the composite photo illustration of the GOP elephant with Trumpain hair superimposed over the capital was created by LikeTheDew.com using a base image of a photo of the US Capital taken by Martin Falbisoner (Creative Commons via Wikipedia.org).


Jack Bernard

Jack Bernard

Jack A Bernard is a retired SVP with a national healthcare corporation. He was Chair of the Jasper County, Ga Board of Commissioners and Republican Party. He was also on the Board of Health for Jasper County and is currently on the Fayette County BOH. Bernard has over 100 columns published annually, primarily in the South.