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ICYMI: G.O.P. Is Energized, but ‘Trump Cancel Culture’ Poses a Threat [New York Times]

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New York Times: G.O.P. Is Energized, but ‘Trump Cancel Culture’ Poses a Threat
By Jonathan Martin and Shane Goldmacher
November 20, 2021

The former president, tightening his grip on the party as a haphazard kingmaker, threatens Republican incumbents and endorses questionable candidates.

Key Points: 

  • One year after his defeat, Mr. Trump is not only still looming over the G.O.P., but also — along with his imitators — posing the biggest threat. 
  • Mr. Trump is now threatening to unseat lawmakers who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill. He taunts Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell as an “old crow” on a near-daily basis, while demanding that Mr. McConnell be removed from his leadership post.
  • Beyond targeting lawmakers he feels have not proved sufficiently faithful, Mr. Trump has also normalized aberrant behavior in Republican ranks and fostered a culture of fear among party officials who want to move on from his presidency or at least police their own members.
  • It is the former president’s insistence on playing a haphazard kingmaker, however, that is most troubling to Republican officials and strategists.
  • In Pennsylvania, where the party is perhaps most at risk of losing a Senate seat, Mr. Trump endorsed Sean Parnell, a military veteran who has been accused by his ex-wife of spousal and child abuse.
  • Mr. Trump is complicating Mr. McConnell’s recruitment campaign by making clear his contempt for the sort of center-right Republicans who refuse to echo his lies about last year’s election. Two New England governors, Chris Sununu of New Hampshire and Phil Scott of Vermont, indicated this month that they would not run for the Senate, Mr. Hogan appears more intent on pursuing a long-shot presidential campaign, and Mr. Ducey continues to insist that he will not challenge first-term Senator Mark Kelly.
  • Some Republican Senate strategists are having painful flashbacks to the last big G.O.P. wave, in 2010, when […] several weak Republican candidates lost key Senate contests.

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