GOP demands everyone 'move on' from Trump — just not them

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Republicans want Democrats to 'move on' and drop impeachment proceedings against Trump, but are working to purge their party of those they find disloyal to the 2020 loser.

Congressional Republicans are urging Democrats to move on rather than hold Donald Trump accountable for his role in inciting the deadly Capitol insurrection by his followers that took place on Jan. 6 as Congress met to certify the results of the 2002 presidential election.

But the GOP itself shows little sign of moving on from its defeated 2020 nominee.

"I don't know about you, but impeachment doesn't sound much like unity to me? Democrats need to figure out their messaging, stop this useless impeachment, and move on," tweeted Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) on Jan. 23.

"We shouldn't be wasting our time holding another impeachment trial. If @POTUS really cares about unity, he should join us in calling for the Senate to move on to tackling the actual issues facing our country," tweeted Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) on Jan. 26.

Nine days after Donald Trump left office, Republicans are showing no signs that they are ready to let go of their twice-impeached one-term leader.

On Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy traveled to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort and posed smiling for pictures with the man he had only weeks ago acknowledged "bears responsibility" for the violent failed coup attempt on Jan. 6.

"Today, President Trump committed to helping elect Republicans in the House and Senate in 2022," the California Republican said in a statement. "A united conservative movement will strengthen the bonds of our citizens and uphold the freedoms our country was founded on."

The Republican National Committee is inviting Trump to appear at its April spring donors meeting, Politico reported on Thursday. The event will take place in Palm Beach, Florida, where Mar-a-Lago is located.

Trump and his supporters are busily plotting to use pressure campaigns and primary challenges to oust the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump on Jan. 13 for "incitement of insurrection."

Rep Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a close ally of Trump, hosted a rally on Thursday outside the Capitol in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Despite calls from McCarthy for Republicans to stop fighting amongst themselves, Gaetz lobbed insults and attacked House Republican Conference chair Liz Cheney in her home state for voting for the article of impeachment. "We are in a battle for the soul of the Republican Party, and I intend to win it," he told attendees.

Gaetz had described his cross-country trip as a chance "to offer a strong defense of the America First agenda that President Trump championed and that made our country better."

On Saturday, Arizona Republicans reelected Trump-endorsed state party chair Kelli Ward — even though they lost both the presidential election and a Senate seat on her watch.

At the same meeting, party activists voted to censure prominent Republicans they deemed insufficiently loyal to Trump, including Cindy McCain, widow of the late Sen. John McCain, the longest-serving Republican senator in Arizona history.

Other state Republicans are also making loyalty to Trump a litmus test.

Oregon's GOP leadership posted a letter Jan. 19 condemning what it called "Betrayal by the Ten House Republicans Who Voted to Impeach President Trump" and falsely saying the Capitol insurrection was a "false flag" operation by the left designed to make Trump look bad.

Alabama Republicans are pushing to adopt a resolution when the state party's executive committee meets Feb. 27 declaring Trump "one of the greatest and most effective Presidents in the 245-year history of the Republic."

After losing the November 2020 election by more than 7 million popular votes and by a margin in the Electoral College he himself called a "landslide" when he was on the winning side of it, Trump left the White House deeply unpopular, with his approval rating at an all-time low.

But recent polls show Trump remains popular among the minority of Americans who identify themselves as Republicans, and most of them want him to run again in 2024, making it difficult for GOP officials to take their own advice and move on.

On Thursday, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was asked by reporters whether she would now acknowledge that Biden was the legitimate president, after baselessly claiming in November that the election had been rigged. She refused to do so.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.