Oh, look. Here's another piece from a mainstream media outlet commenting on how President Donald Trump goes after people. But there's something in particular which irks me about David Siders' Friday piece for Politico, "How Trump is hunting down the GOP’s leading families," especially when it comes to its subheadline, "In his attempt to exercise full dominion over the Republican Party, Donald Trump has reserved a special fury for the dynasties that helped shape it."
His opening paragraphs don't make me feel any better, either:
In the civil war between Donald Trump and the GOP’s waning establishment, no Republican has crossed the former president and come out ahead.
Yet as Rep. Liz Cheney’s likely ouster from House leadership lays bare, Trump has reserved a special fury for the scions of the GOP’s leading families in his attempt to exercise full dominion over the Republican Party.
Those "leading families" and "dynasties" involved are those you'd expect, the Cheneys, the Bushes, the Romneys, and the Murkowskis. What they have in common, beyond being dynasties, is they're largely considered establishment, and some of them are even RINOs.
It's not so much a dynasty thing, especially since Siders acknowledges the Trump family may very well be a dynasty. It's about being loyal to the Republican Party. Like it or not, Trump was and still is very much a figure head of the Party. It's about unifying around that figure head a much as possible. If what these Republicans have in common against Trump, besides being against Trump, is that they all come from such dynasties, maybe that says something more about these families than it does about this one man.
The problem with Rep. Liz Cheney isn't so much that she is speaking her truth or sticking to her principles, it's that she's doing it from a position of leadership as a member of the Republican Party, without any consideration for how Trump still does play that large role.
The piece goes on to include what may be perhaps the best take on why Cheney is so maddening, not just to Trump, but so many other members, including those who stood up for her in the past.
Rep. Cheney is also likely soon to be facing a vote to relieve her from her leadership role as chair of the House Republican Conference.
Opponents said the relentlessness of Cheney’s criticism after her vote for Trump’s impeachment has aggravated her ideological colleagues.
“When you’re in leadership, you don’t just get to speak for yourself,” said one [House Minority Leader Kevin] McCarthy adviser, explaining the exasperation over her approach. “She voted against him, she had her say, and the leader supported her. But now it’s every single day.”
Yes, those families above may have "helped shape" the party, but their heyday was years ago. Mitt Romney may still be in power, but as a U.S. Senator from Utah, a seat which he likely has for as long as he lives. He loves to remind people he was the 2012 Republican nominee. So? That was almost a decade ago. The party has changed, for better or for worse, likely for the better.
Look, I get it. I can understand where Siders is coming from when he talk about Trump's "attempt to exercise full dominion over the Republican Party."
What I do not get, though, is how Siders can't get beyond that. The piece is 1,600 words. The only time "RINO" appears in the piece is to quote Trump, when he used that term to laugh about Romney getting booed at the Utah GOP convention last week. When it appears in the piece, "loyal" is used to quote Trump complaining about how Sen. Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, who voted to convict Trump the second time he was impeached, was "disloyal." Siders closes the piece with a quote talking about party members being "loyal."
The piece isn't exactly a short one, which is why I'm all the more disappointed I didn't see mention of the points I made above in his piece. If you want it summed up in one paragraph, beyond a near obsession with "dynasties" it's that the "Republican landscape turned upside down from where it stood before Trump took office — so much so that some legacy Republicans who have not traded their moorings for Trump hardly recognize the party anymore." And woe is them for it.
I would have loved for Siders to give me the chance to say I was wrong, and, that after reading the whole piece, I'm glad I did. Unfortunately, I can't say so.