Two prominent conservative thinkers joined MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes to explain the state of the Republican Party after losing the Alabama special election.
Hayes queried Heritage Foundation founder and long-time Republican congressman from Oklahoma, Mickey Edwards.
“Who’s to blame here, Mickey, for what’s happened to your party?” Hayes asked the former nine-term congressman.
“The party,” Edwards explained. “For one thing, you said Chris, the president is sort of leading them off the cliff. No, they’re jumping off the cliff.”
“And it was the Republican National Committee that went into Alabama and inexplicably put money into the race to help elect somebody who has been credibly accused of child molestation,” Edwards noted. “And even before that, had said that his personal religious beliefs trumped the Constitution.”
“So the party is doing it to itself and it’s more suicide,” Edwards explained. “Trump is not killing it, Trump is symptom. There’s a lot wrong in the party.”
“Do you agree with that idea, that Trump is symptom rather than a cause here?” Hayes asked former Ronald Reagan staffer and conservative columnist Mona Charen.”
“Well, it’s both,” Charen replied. “There are feedback mechanisms so that Trump is terrible and then he makes the existing problems worse.”
“But look, I can remember the days when you could take the Christian Coalition or the Moral Majority and know that they had legitimate points of view and that they were really trying to stand up for character and integrity in public life,” Charen argued. “And now they have covered themselves in disgrace.”
“To lose a seat in the reddest of red states in Alabama partly because of energized black turnout and partly because Republicans did not show up. They are discouraged and demoralized by that kind of a candidate, by that kind of politics,” Charen worried. “And that should be sending chills down the spines of many Republicans in Congress.”
“It does not bode well for their fortunes in 2018 at all,” Charen concluded.