The GOP ‘fundamentals’ are the same as 20 years ago — and they’re ‘running short on competence’: columnist
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump (Photo: Screen capture)

The Republicans in charge today may be different in some cases than the ones who ran it 20 years ago, but not much else has changed according to The Washington Post's James Downie.

"In the span of an hour, CNN’s State of the Union featured both new and old faces of the Republican Party. First, host Dana Bash interviewed Sen. Roy Blunt, who has held elective office from Missouri for most of the past 35 years. Then she welcomed Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) and Nancy Mace (R-SC), both newly elected members of the House. Though all three looked very different, they sounded much the same," Downie wrote on Sunday evening.

"All three were in harmony when it came to supporting President Trump’s continued attempts to undermine democracy by questioning the election results ... It is probably unrealistic to expect the GOP tune to change," Downie offered.

During the interview, Blunt blamed the media for setting up a “straw man," ultimately conceding to the notion that Trump’s lawyers haven’t presented any proof of voter fraud “in a way that was acceptable to any court.” Still, he didn't bow entirely, instead insisting that he thought "there was some element of voter fraud.”

Malliotakis chimed in, “What we stand for are freedom, liberty ... We don’t believe we should be destroying free-market principles. We don’t believe in [the] Green New Deal.”

"Swap out 'Green New Deal' for 'Obamacare' or the 'Clinton health-care plan,' and those sentences could have been spoken by any Republican in the past 20 years. Blunt went a little further than his new colleagues, and suggested Medicare and Medicaid might have been mistakes," Downie wrote. "It is probably unrealistic to expect the GOP tune to change. Blunt rose to national prominence during the 1990s, when a Democrat left the country in decent shape, but conservative hysteria, driven by right-wing media, led to the election of a Republican who threw all that away with reckless decisions."

Downie reflected, "The Republican Party of 2020 may look different from its earlier incarnations, but the fundamentals remain the same: The party is fearful of change, partial to fearmongering, hostile to free elections, and running short on competence. Don’t be surprised if the GOP of 2030 looks a lot like that, too."