“I’ve been a Republican all my adult life. This is not the party of Ronald Reagan. This is not the party of George H. W. Bush. This is the party now of Donald Trump, and I really want no part of it.”
“This is an attempted coup, and it’s supported by the President of the United States.”
Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson discuss the recent breach of the Capitol by pro-Trump supporters, the historic results of the senate races in Georgia & whether or not the Republican party will have a post-Trump era any time soon.
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Nolan Finley Steve, Wednesday, in my opinion, was the darkest day of the presidency since perhaps Richard Nixon and maybe even darker than that. Richard Nixon at least had the good grace to resign and allow the country to move beyond his scandal ridden, ridden tenure. Donald Trump has no such respect for the nation and concern for its good will. What we saw Wednesday, I’ll tell you, I’ve been a Republican all my life, all my adult life. This is not the party of Ronald Reagan. This is not the party of George H.W. Bush. This is the party now of Donald Trump and I really want no no part of it. Imagine the president, the leader of the free world, most powerful man in the world, standing before a crowd, an angry mob, if you will, and chanting Bull, bull over and over. That is the lowest point perhaps ever in the history of this office.
Stephen Henderson I think the lowest point was when they took him up on his promise and decided to storm the US Capitol. You had people breached the outside of the Capitol. You had them breached the House floor. There’s a picture of a wild protester sitting in the speaker’s chair. This has never happened in this country. This is the definition of insurrection. This is an attempted coup, and it is supported by the president of the United States. We’ve never been here before and I think he absolutely laid the blame at Donald Trump’s feet. We also can talk about his enablers and the path that the Republican Party took to this point. These are people who have been used by the Republican Party, keep power for a long time. And the party has fed a lot of this for many years, stopping just short of the kind of things that Donald Trump says, but pushing toward the idea that the people somehow have been disenfranchised by the expansion of opportunity in our country, that somehow people’s rights are being infringed by making sure that everybody’s rights are respected. And so, the introspection that’s due in the Republican Party is due for everybody. They are not all responsible for what’s happening, of course, but everybody rode the train to this point.
Nolan Finley And if they don’t get off, they’re all going to pay a price. We saw that with the election in Georgia. Lay that right at the feet of Donald Trump and the refusal of the Republican Party to shout him down. Republican turnout in Georgia was depressed, largely, I believe, because of the president’s attack on Republican officials there. His continued denial of reality. Republicans and a lot of Republicans who could have turned that election didn’t show, show up to vote. And again, I’m a conservative, considered myself a Republican. Nothing scares me more than to have absolute power in the hands of progressive Democrats for the next two years at least. But Republicans had this coming. And here’s what worries me the most. It’s not going to end on January 20th. Donald Trump’s not going to go away. He holds control the Republican Party and he’s not going to let it go. You saw those senators and Congress members challenging the election. They knew better than that, but they were afraid to cross Donald Trump. You saw his two idiots on standing up before the rally saying we’re going to primary anybody who doesn’t do our bidding. That family will have control of this party for a long while to come and it will continue to decline because of it.
Stephen Henderson It’s one of the big questions going forward is what do the next two years look like, now that it seems that Democrats will have the White House and both houses of Congress? But also, how does the Republican Party sort of reorganize itself and who does it reorganize around? There’s a question nationally, but it’s also a question here in Michigan. Think of the split among our House delegation, for instance, about challenging the election. You’ve got folks like Fred Upton, long serving Republicans, didn’t want any part of that. But you got a newly elected rep in the 10th District. McClain, who was all about it, was ready to try to ride this to its conclusion somehow. So, who steps forward in a way that makes the GOP viable again, both at the state and at the national level?
Nolan Finley Not going to happen any time soon. This MAGA army will continue to pledge their allegiance to Donald Trump. He’s showing no signs of wanting to step back, step aside. His ego demands that he be worshiped. I predict on January 20th he’ll start his election campaign for 2024. I think he’ll continue to hold rallies, continue to incite and disrupt. I don’t see another leader emerging and I don’t think anybody at the state level who’s not a Trumper can step up and gain control of the party. I think the Republican Party stuck with Trump for a long while to come.
Stephen Henderson You know, I would be remiss if I also didn’t take the opportunity to talk about this moment and the optimism of this moment in so many ways. These Senate races in Georgia seem as though they’re going to produce the first black senator from that state and the first Jewish senator from that state. Now you think of what has gone on in that state and the civil rights struggles that have taken place there, the legacy of Jim Crow, the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s whose church, Reverend Warnock is pastor of now. The progress that that marks, I think, is getting lost somewhat in the chaos of what’s going on elsewhere and the questions about the GOP and other things. I think as Americans, we owe it to ourselves just to take a moment to mark that. It’s part of what is the solution here, this sort of expansion of opportunity and inclusion in this country over the last 50 or 60 years really is what makes this country special.
Nolan Finley Well, that’s a silver lining, Steve, I guess. And what, from my perspective, is going to be a miserable two years as you swing for the fences. They’ve got an opportunity here to put their agenda in place. They whiffed on it the last time they had that opportunity. I doubt their progressive wing is going to allow this opportunity to go to waste.
Stephen Henderson I hope, I hope they don’t.
Nolan Finley We’ll be arguing about that in weeks to come.