Republicans need to kick Trump to the curb right now or they will carry his 'stench'  forever: conservative

In his column for the Daily Beast, conservative Matt Lewis implored Republicans to turn on Donald Trump now that he has lost the 2020 election if they want to move on and be rid of the president whose unpopularity has pulled the party down.

With Arizona joining President-elect Joe Biden's  win column, Lewis wrote that Trump's defeat is a foregone conclusion and GOP lawmakers -- some of whom have an eye on the 2024 Republican presidential nomination -- would be doing themselves a favor to put distance between themselves and the president who is going out in a wave of angry tweets and conspiracy theories.

"If Republicans want to win in the future, they should drop Donald Trump like a bad habit. And soon," Lewis began. "That’s usually what happens to losing presidents. If they don’t, he will continue to overshadow and define the GOP, making it impossible for the next generation of Republican leaders to emerge and (of equal importance) to distance themselves from the Trump stench."

Zeroing in on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), already maneuvering to become the face of the Republican Party, Lewis wrote that he underestimated Trump before, which allowed him to swoop in and snatch the nomination in 2016, and should know better by now.

"We are witnessing a familiar sight: Republicans biding their time, while placating and enabling Trump’s nefarious behavior. Ted Cruz made the same miscalculation in 2015, when he sucked up to 'Donald,' hoping to curry favor with his voters for when Trump inevitably dropped out of the 2016 race," Lewis explained before adding, "Instead of kicking Trump while he’s down, these Republicans think they can finesse and co-opt their way to the top. They’ve been making this same mistake for years. They think Trump will eventually reward loyalty—that the old man will retire and turn the store over to you to run. It never happens. The problem is that this rationale also buys Trump enough time to consolidate his power and regain his strength."

Pointing out that Republicans are still afraid to take on the weakened president lest they feel his wrath -- mostly via his Twitter attacks -- Lewis reminded them that is strength in numbers if they join together and tell the president they are done with his shenanigans and are moving on.

"What should happen very soon is that Republicans who want to have a future should start talking like it. No, they don’t have to condemn Trump on his way out the door. It could be as simple as saying, "We applaud President Trump for his accomplishments, but it’s also time for this party to move on.'" he suggested. "But as was the case in 2016, Republicans face a collective action problem. If they were to lock arms together against Trump, it would benefit everyone. But individually, they still believe their best chance to emerge as his successor is to bide their time."

With that, he offered a game plan for moving on and curing some of the problems that are increasingly bedeviling the GOP.

"What they should do is learn from Trump—while they move past him. Here’s what I mean," he proposed. "It’s hard to believe we can go back to a pre-Trump era where Republicans looked like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Likewise, it’s hard to believe that Republicans can succeed by employing Trump’s tactics of chaos, division, and lack of discipline (indeed, Trump can’t even maintain the presidency by doing it). What should happen is an effort to create a hybrid GOP that is more populist than the old GOP—one that can win working-class whites and working-class African Americans and working-class Hispanics, without completely alienating the rest of America."

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