• Nathan Max

GOP Civil War Has Begun

Steve Schmidt

Editor's Note: Steve Schmidt is one of the founding members of the Lincoln Project. He is a communications and public affairs strategist who has worked on several Republican campaigns, including John McCain's 2008 bid for the White House, and he is now a regular political contributor to MSNBC. On Monday, Schmidt responded to the actions taken by Republicans in Oregon and Arizona to condemn party members who have sided against Donald Trump. MaxNewsToday has assembled this 12-tweet thread and reprinted it as one easy-to-read op-ed for our ongoing segment, Schmidt Storm. It has been edited for grammar and clarity. The Jan. 6th vote is as irreconcilable for the GOP as was the Kansas-Nebraska Act for the Whigs. It has broken the GOP in two. Matt Gaetz has declared Trump as the forever leader of the Republican Party, and more ominously “The America First Movement.” Like its 85-year-old namesake, it is a fascist movement. In 1941, its spokesperson was an American hero, turned fascist and Nazi sympathizer, named Charles Lindbergh. Today, that movement continues to be led by Donald Trump and his chief lieutenants Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson and Kevin McCarthy. This is an autocratic movement that is fueled by conspiracy theories, lies and the menace of violence. Matt Gaetz has decided to travel to the 44th state, Wyoming, to attack Liz Cheney, who is the conservative leader of the House of Representatives and the Leader of the House GOP Democracy Caucus. He is an errand boy for Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy saw his campaign to become Speaker fall limp a few years back, and he became the Eddie Haskell of the GOP Conference to the Freedom Caucus's Mrs. Cleaver. The GOP rush chairman has decided that Liz Cheney owes an explanation to the members of the sedition caucus, who voted to nullify millions of Black votes from states that had certified the results, for the purpose of making the loser of the campaign the winner, which would have ended the 244-year-old Republic. Kevin McCarthy is putting on a clinic of dimwittedness. He is acting from weakness. He is cornered and has decided to show strength by posturing toward Liz Cheney to appease the Trump/fascists/autocrats that have wrecked the party. The money is gone. Trust me when I say this: Corporate America will not fund the 527’s, C4’s/Leadership PACs/ etc...of the 147 Members who voted to ratify the aims of the violent attack that killed 6 people. Kevin McCarthy incited that attack with his lies. He told his Members that it was an easy vote to decertify the results. He is both too dumb and cynical to realize the cliff he led them over. They voted to disenfranchise millions of Black employees, veterans, customers and fully equal American citizens. He gave birth to the new Jim Crow, and that is exactly what it is. Kevin McCarthy and Josh Hawley are all in league with the insanity of the Oregon, Arizona and Texas parties. They have become consumed by QAnon, and the insanity birthed from a million lies. Kevin McCarthy is unsteady and flailing. He betrayed his oath and finds himself in a political coalition that is filled with violent Proud Boy fascists, white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, seditious militias and cynical liars for profit. Kevin McCarthy has made his bed, and now he is doubling down. He has decided his error was wavering in defense of Trump. He has become an apostate inside the Trump cult and a pariah to civil society and corporate America. He is going to try and ride the tiger, while winking at Wall Street, Silicon Valley and all the rest of corporate America. It won’t work. All autocratic movements go through cycles of purges. The GOP civil war is on the edge of its commencement. Either the democracy caucus or autocracy caucus will prevail. There is no place to compromise. It’s zero sum.