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There's a glaring problem with Republicans' Trump obsession: He doesn't need to help them anymore

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12.05.2021

This week, Republicans are expected to vote to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from her position as conference chair, House Republicans' third highest-ranking leadership position. Her crime is that she won't stop saying former President Trump has been lying about the alleged theft of the 2020 election.

When people talk about an inability to quit Trump as an ongoing political problem for Republicans, they tend to mean that Trump is unpopular and continued association with him — though pleasing to the Republican base — is off-putting to most voters. And this is true as far as it goes, though we saw in 2020 how close the pro-Trump coalition came to electing a House majority and re-electing Trump.

But there's a second problem with the Trump fixation that's less noticed and may be hurting Republicans more. Since he left office, Trump's interests have diverged from the interests of elected Republicans. He no longer needs them to win their own elections like he did when he was president. And he has objectives — like seeking revenge on Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp — that have nothing in particular to do with advancing the Republican party's interests.

With his idiosyncratic, revenge-focused agenda, he's distracting Republicans from trying to win the next election.

Back when Trump was president, his relations with congressional Republicans were sometimes rocky, but held together by shared interests. Trump needed Republicans to win elections so that they could quash congressional investigations, pass his legislative agenda, and block his removal from office.

But as the Washington Post notes, much of his energy in recent months has been focused on "revenge endorsements"........

© Business Insider


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