Chuck Todd: Today Marks The Republican Party's Complete Surrender To Trump | Video | RealClearPolitics

Chuck Todd: Today Marks The Republican Party's Complete Surrender To Trump


NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd offers this commentary on the state of the Republican Party on May 6, 2021:

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: None of this we say lightly.

Today appears to be the day you can mark in your calendars as the day that represents the Republican Party's complete and total surrender to Donald Trump.

Whether it's the party's revolt against Liz Cheney in Washington, or the new voting restrictions they're celebrating in Florida and Texas, or the bizarre audit that's playing out of presidential results in the state of Arizona, the Republican Party has surrendered to a lie, as it surrenders to Trump.

Let's not mince words, it means the American democracy is in really big trouble, more so today than it was yesterday.

The number three House Republican, Liz Cheney, is being ousted as the number three Republican in leadership for the sin of speaking out against her party's embrace of the former president's outright lie that somehow the election was stolen from him.

And it's not just why she's being ousted that is so alarming, there's also the way, via mob rule, that Republicans are absurdly rationalizing it. They claim Cheney is out of step with the party, that she's stuck in the past, that she won't stop talking about the 2020 election results. As if she's the one looking for bamboo fibers in Arizona.

It's pretty clear what they really mean is she's out of step with the party's embrace of Trump's lies about those election results, that's it, which he, and many in the party won't stop talking about. It's not Liz Cheney that keeps bringing it up, it's Donald J. Trump. In fact, he's already put out two statements today that reinforce these lies that he's trying to get people to believe, that he's trying to bully the party into accepting, including a very detailed statement explicitly reiterating this belief in a documented, proven lie.

This morning in a hotel ballroom not far from Mar-a-Lago, Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis made a "Fox & Friends" spectacle out of signing new voting restrictions in a state that had no reason to do this, other than Donald Trump resides in it.

Protesters gathered at the Texas state legislature as Republicans are pushing new ballot restrictions that are based, again, on these myths perpetrated by Trump on the issue of supposed voter fraud.

Add it all up and it's pretty clear that what's left of the conservative movement that was once based on principles and democracy has been completely snuffed out, and Liz Cheney, it felt like she was the last flickering light among the elected Republican leadership, and today the light's been snuffed out.

Trump co-opted conservatism, and now, just like he did with casinos, hotels, golf courses, anything he's really touched in his life, he's about to bankrupt that too.

As Liz Cheney warns her party in a "Washington Post" op-ed -- "I'm a conservative republican and the most conservative of conservative values is the reverence for the rule of law... The electoral college has spoken. More than 60 state federal courts, including multiple Trump-appointed judges, have rejected the former president's arguments. History is watching. Our children are watching. We must brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and democratic process."

Time and again we've seen elected Republicans find ways, however bizarre, to defend Trump, and ultimately at this moment, our democracy is in danger as elected Republicans keep choosing to show their fealty to somebody trying to undermine them.

We want to believe a plurality of elected Republicans. in Washington, at least, know better. I still say that. But I will say this, if they do, they need to realize their silence right now is helping to marginalize the entire Republican Party from the mainstream of American life, and maybe these folks will comfort themselves by muting the mainstream and only listening to their echo chamber, but that doesn't change the reality that they are all in on Trump's crusade against the foundations of our democracy. They're marching right along, la, la, la, la, la. It looks increasingly dire right now, as this ends with the GOP imploding, or worse, the country.
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