Republicans haven’t changed their stripes — but why do we expect anything different?: Columnist
Donald Trump and Joe Biden (AFP)

Five days after a red-faced President Donald J. Trump lost his re-election campaign to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden, his Republican loyalists have turned out to be "as despicably ready to validate Trump’s falsehoods and authoritarian behavior as its worst critics feared," national political reporter E.J. Dionne Jr. wrote in The Washington Post Wednesday.

"Some innocent souls still want to see the GOP as a normal party ready to work with Biden to solve the nation’s problems," Dionne Jr. wrote. "Sorry, but that party disappeared long ago, and we should not, in retrospect, have expected anything else. After all, this is not the first time that Republicans moved immediately to discredit a Democrat who won the presidency. It’s not even the second time. The practice of hamstringing a new Democratic president by suggesting that his victory wasn’t genuine goes all the way back to Bill Clinton."

"In 2008, former President Barack Obama defeated Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) by such an overwhelming margin (9.5 million popular votes, 365 to 173 in the electoral college) that even the most creative Republicans couldn’t spin that outcome into a defeat," Dionne Jr. wrote. "But along came 'birtherism,' the false charge (touted most notably by a guy named Trump) that Obama was ineligible to be president because he had not been born in the United States."

He added, "We forget how powerful a hold birtherism had on Republicans and how long it has hung around. The lie was ridiculous, outrageous and racist all at once. Obama kept hoping that the claim’s self-evident absurdity would discredit it. When that didn’t happen, he finally — more than two years after he was inaugurated — released his long-form birth certificate proving he had been born in Hawaii."

The subject of Republicans putting their party over the country is not a new consideration: it's a tried and true hat trick that seems to work for them, but for literally no one else.

When Biden addressed the nation Saturday night, he said, "Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end — here and now. The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control. It’s a decision. It’s a choice we make."

"That’s decent and honorable. But enemies or not, the Republican Party’s leaders are behaving like a nest of vipers. Be wary, Mr. President-elect," Dionne Jr. warned.