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Historian predicts more extreme GOP ‘smash-mouth partisanship’ as candidates try to 'out-Trump' the former president
The extremism of Donald Trump may soon appear tame in comparison to the next generation of Republicans, a historian explained in an analysis for CNN.
Princeton University Prof. Julian Zelizer, author of the forthcoming book The Presidency of Donald J. Trump: A First Historical Assessment, wrote his analysis for CNN.
"Former President Donald Trump might get out-Trumped. As the campaign season accelerates, Trump has thrown his weight behind several Republican candidates. The point is not only to shape the electoral playing field but to offer clear evidence he still calls the shots within the GOP if he ends up running for reelection in 2024," Zelizer wrote. "Thus far, his endorsements have had mixed results."
He then turned his attention to the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, where Kathy Barnette is surging against former hedge fund manager David McCormick and Dr. Mehmet Oz, who has Trump's endorsement.
"Barnette has won the support of major conservative organizations such as the Club for Growth, an anti-tax group that sees in the Black conservative Republican a bright star for the party. When Barnette lost the race to represent Pennsylvania's 4th district by 19 percentage points in 2020, she refused to concede, and still hasn't. She used that loss to stoke baseless claims of voter fraud, gaining enough steam to attract figures on the right like MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell," Zelizer noted.
He explained how Trump may be on the losing end of a trend in the GOP that has existed for most of his adult life.
"This is a phenomenon that has shaped the conservative movement since the 1970s. With each generation, a new brand of right-wing firebrand has emerged to define the moment, only to find themselves cast aside by up-and-comers who embrace an even more extreme form of smash-mouth partisanship and right-wing ideological worldview," he explained. "This has been the story of a party that keeps moving further right, with centrists generally failing to rein in the GOP (with notable exceptions like George H.W. Bush)."
He charted the course of the GOP from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan to Newt Gingrich and on to Sarah Palin and Donald Trump.
"The Tea Party eventually morphed into the Freedom Caucus and became the most powerful force on the Hill," he explained. "So it should come as no shock that in 2022, we are seeing a crop of candidates who will start to cast the former president as tame. They will eventually blame him for being too comfortable with the status quo and uninterested in shaking up the political 'establishment.'"
Read the full analysis.
School under fire after teacher told students to write letter to imaginary classmate 'struggling with homosexuality'
On Friday, WHAS 11 News reported that a Christian academy in Louisville, Kentucky is under fire for an assignment in which students would write a letter to an imaginary classmate "struggling with homosexuality."
"The assignment told students at Christian Academy of Louisville that the aim of the letter was to 'lovingly and compassionately speak truth to the person' in a way that 'does not approve of any sin,'" reported Joseph Garcia. "JP Davis, who posted the screenshots on Facebook, called the assignment 'deplorable.' Davis told WHAS11 that he found out about the assignment after a friend, who has a son at the school, reached out to him wondering what she should do because she was appalled."
“My heart breaks for this age of kids,” said Davis in the Facebook post. “This is not my Christianity.”
Superintendent Darin Long defended the assignment, saying that, “We believe that God created the marriage covenant to be between one man and one woman. We believe that sex is a good gift of God, to be celebrated within the confines of the marriage covenant, agreeing that all other sexual expressions go against God’s design," and adding, "This particular assignment, in context, was how a person could discuss homosexuality with a friend from a biblical perspective with compassion and love."
In recent years, a number of schools have had controversies around anti-gay remarks. In Cedar Hills, Utah in 2019, a teacher was fired after allegedly claiming that "homosexuality is wrong" to a classroom of fifth graders in a ten-minute rant after one student had said he was grateful for being adopted by his two dads.
This also comes as Republicans in states across the country, most infamously in Florida, pass "Don't Say Gay" laws that seek to bar teachers in public schools from even mentioning sexual orientation or gender identity in class.
Georgia is becoming Trump's 'Achilles' heel' as he fails to exert political influence on the state: analysis
On Friday, CNN analyst Chris Cillizza outlined how Georgia is becoming former President Donald Trump's "Achilles' heel" — demonstrating the limits of his political power and continually frustrating him.
"First, Trump became the first Republican to lose Georgia in a presidential election in 28 years, in 2020," wrote Cillizza. "Then, Georgia emerged as the focal point of Trump's unfounded claims of voter fraud, as he pushed state officials to overturn the election results — actions that are now under investigation by an Atlanta-area district attorney. And to cap it off, despite (or perhaps because of) Trump's best efforts, Republicans lost two Senate seats in Georgia in January 2021, handing Democrats control of the chamber."
All of this made Trump eager to leave his mark on the state, backing former Sen. David Perdue for governor as he ran on the former president's "Big Lie" that the election was stolen. But even that is going poorly.
"Now, one of the former President's top targets for defeat in 2022 — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, one of the officials who refused to go along with Trump's election schemes — has a commanding lead in the polls heading into the May 24 primary," said the report. "And a growing list of high-profile Republicans, including onetime Trump allies, are jumping in to help Kemp across the finish line — and deliver a blow to the former President."
One of the most prominent examples is Trump's former vice president, Mike Pence, who is now stumping for Kemp even as Trump tries to have him thrown out.
"Even if they represent only a minority, there is clearly still a slice of the Republican Party that doesn't want to simply go down every road Trump takes them on. And symbolically, there are few better places for those Republicans to make a stand than Georgia," concluded Cillizza. "A loss in Georgia wouldn't do much to threaten Trump's status as the leader of the GOP. But given his history there and the Republicans who have lined up against him, it would be an especially stinging one."
You can read more here.