Should Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell be removed from the Republican Party?
That’s the question circulating social media after McConnell clashed with President Donald Trump this week. McConnell angered the president and his supporters by conceding the election to Joe Biden.
The longtime Kentucky senator has also asked fellow GOP senators to abandon Trump’s extended challenge to the 2020 election results. He warned GOP leaders not to challenge the results the Electoral College tally when Congress convenes in a joint session on Jan. 6 to confirm the results.
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Such a dispute would yield a “terrible vote” for Republicans, McConnell told the senators, according to two people granted anonymity to discuss the call, which was first reported by Politico. They would have to choose whether to back Trump or publicly buck him.
Overnight, Trump shared a tweet that “bashed” McConnell. “Too soon to give up. Republican Party must finally learn to fight,” Trump wrote.”People are angry!”
McConnell’s attempt to normalize relations with the would-be Biden presidency, while avoiding the a pitched floor fight, threatens to divide the party should Trump reluctantly leave the White House.
In response, some conservative activists have called for a new “MAGA Party” for conservatives.
“Could a ‘MAGA Party’ replace one of today’s major parties, and become a major party itself?” RedState’s Robert A. Hahn asked recently. “I think the answer is unequivocally ‘yes,’ and the reason is that a very large fraction of the Republican Party’s current voters are not fond of the Republican Party, do not like many of its office holders, and do not support the neocon, Chamber of Commerce agenda of the GOP establishment.”
“If Donald J. Trump starts a new political party, close to 70 million of the Republican Party’s voters would go with him,” Hahn continued.
“They want the MAGA Agenda, not the Chamber of Commerce agenda. They are for a strong military, but not endless wars that accomplish nothing. They want export earnings and trade, but they do not want to sit in an ivory tower with David Ricardo, playing Free Trader while The Other Guys use game theory to take our jobs and clean our clocks.”
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On social media, conservative commentators said they were done with the Republican Party.
Republican party is a lost cause, a dinosaur now. Its been exposed more now than ever over the last 4 years. MAGAparty is the party of the future. Get on board before you are left behind.
— Phil (@_RePhil_) December 16, 2020
That hasn’t stopped McConnell.
“I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden,” McConnell said as he opened the Senate.
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“Many of us had hoped the presidential election would yield a different result,” he said. “But our system of government has the processes to determine who will be sworn in on Jan. 20. The Electoral College has spoken.”
Biden told reporters he called to thank McConnell for the remarks and the two had a “good conversation.” He said he told McConnell there are “things we can work together on.”
McConnell’s words, after weeks of silence, followed other leading Republicans who spoke up after the Electoral College voted late Monday. They finally said aloud what many establishment Republicans had whispered privately — that Biden won the election, and they are essentially abandoning Trump moving forward.
From there, the floodgates opened. Several GOP senators confirmed they had spoken with Biden, including Trump ally Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mitt Romney of Utah, the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee. Some have had meetings with Biden’s nominees for administration posts.
In his phone call, Romney expressed admiration for Biden’s willingness to endure the rigors of a presidential campaign and serve in the nation’s highest office, the senator’s office said. The two also discussed the challenging political environment ahead.
Even Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee is convening a hearing Wednesday on election fraud, has “no plans” to join with House Republicans and challenge the results, according to spokesman Austin Altenburg.
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Some GOP lawmakers have vowed to carry the fight to Jan. 6 when Congress votes to accept or reject the Electoral College results. Others have said Trump’s legal battles should continue toward resolution by Inauguration Day, Jan. 20.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy declined to comment Tuesday when asked if he was ready to acknowledge Biden as the president-elect.
One House Republican, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, plans to challenge the Electoral College results when Congress convenes for the joint session.
At that time, any challenge in Congress would need to be raised by at least one member of the House and Senate.
It’s unclear if any GOP senator will join in making the case, or if they’ll follow McConnell’s lead.
What are your thoughts?
Should the GOP begin to work with the Biden presidency?
Or is it time for a “MAGA Party” led by Trump?
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The Associated Press contributed to this article