Is it because the midterm elections are drawing near? Or is it merely that the day of reckoning has arrived for a gaggle of Trump loyalists, now lining up to refute him and to take a step back from his assertion that the last presidential election was stolen?
It’s been a very interesting week of confessions from a number of noted Republicans, beginning with former Vice President Mike Pence. Pence declared that “President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election,” and that rebuke of his former boss has unleashed a flood of rejections of a narrative many of them had either supported, or said nothing to deny.
According to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a die-hard cohort, “Jan. 6 was a riot that was incited by Donald Trump in an effort to intimidate Mike Pence and the Congress into doing exactly what he said in his own words last week—overturn the election,” he said during a radio interview. Moreover, he added, Trump is “trying to do a cleanup on aisle one here in correcting that stuff, but it’s not going to change. He actually told the truth by accident. He wanted the election to be overturned.”
A few days later, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered his two cents: “It was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent a peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election from one administration to the next,” he said. “That’s what it was.”
McConnell even took exception to the RNC’s censuring of Reps. Liz Chaney and Adam Kinzinger, saying the “…The issue is whether or not the RNC should be sort of singling out members of our party who may have different views from the majority. That’s not the job of the RNC.”
His comments may have been an attempt to mitigate the growing discord, widening gap in the party, or to mend fences without further disturbing the base.
These conclusions are a day late and a dollar short to have any effect on the outcome, if in fact they ever meant anything at all. But it is good to see that several GOP stalwarts are beginning to understand how detrimental Trump’s provocations can be to the Republicans’ bid to take over Congress in the next election.
All we need now is for Kevin McCarthy to cave in and for Giuliani to conclude the folly of his mission to usurp the election, though that is unlikely to happen until Trump himself fesses up, and he came pretty close the other day.
And it is certainly a revelation to hear a Republican say that “Trump is wrong,” because that is something we’ve been saying for years, and maybe if we say it long enough and loud enough it will echo in the political chambers and make a few more of Trump’s minions own up to their misdeeds, their anti-democratic ways.