Republicans start tearing each other apart over defeat in Georgia
The infighting has begun as Republicans stare down unified Democratic control of Washington, D.C.
A nasty intra-party battle is taking shape within the GOP, as Republican control of the Senate appears to be lost and Democrats look poised to wield unified control of the federal government for the first time in a decade.
Republican operatives aligned with Mitch McConnell are placing the blame for Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s loss and Sen. David Perdue’s likely defeat squarely on the back of Donald Trump, who they say depressed GOP turnout by spreading lies about election fraud.
Meanwhile, Trump allies are blaming the stunning losses on a lack of blind loyalty to Trump.
In all, it lays bare the ugly infighting that could plague the GOP as President-elect Joe Biden’s administration is set to begin.
Erick Erickson, a right-wing commentator who lives in Georgia, had been sounding the alarm for weeks that Trump’s lies about voter fraud would depress Republican turnout and imperil the party’s chances at retaining the Senate — fears that came true on Tuesday.
“The President ran ads over the past week telling Republicans that the Georgia election was stolen. He came in the night before the election and spent most of his time attacking the GOP. He too helped suppress the vote. His voters did not vote. Yes, the President deserves some blame here,” Erickson wrote in a blog post about why Loeffler lost and Perdue is on track to lose.
Josh Holmes, a longtime McConnell aide, also blamed Trump for pushing conspiracy theories that turned off voters in the state and led to Democratic wins.
“Suburbs, my friends, the suburbs,” Holmes tweeted. “I feel like a one trick pony but here we are again. We went from talking about jobs and the economy to QAnon election conspiracies in 4 short years and – as it turns out- they were listening!”
Brendan Buck, who served as a top aide to former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, also placed the responsibility for the GOP’s massive losses over the past four years on Trump’s shoulders.
“We don’t learn lessons very well, but what a political disaster Donald Trump is,” Buck tweeted. “Cost us the House, loses the White House by a big margin, and now cost Republicans the Senate. Maybe not the kind of guy to keep building the party around.”
As for Trump supporters, they appear to be in part blaming McConnell for blocking $2,000 coronavirus relief checks, Politico reported.
And some of Trump’s closest allies, including his family, are not letting up on pushing conspiracy theories about voter fraud that Republicans blame their Georgia defeats on.
“I will personally work to defeat every single Republican Senator / Congressman who doesn’t stand up against this fraud – they will be primaried in their next election and they will lose,” Eric Trump, one of Trump’s sons, tweeted as election results came in.
Democrats, meanwhile, were gleeful Wednesday morning about Sen.-elect Raphael Warnock’s defeat of Loeffler, as well as Democrat Jon Ossoff’s declaration of victory over Perdue.
“It feels like a brand new day,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, who would serve as majority leader, said Wednesday morning. “For the first time in six years, Democrats will operate a majority in the United States Senate — and that will be very good for the American people.”
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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