Speaking to MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace on Wednesday, Republican strategists and writers agreed that their party has turned into a cult. They also argued that the first way to change the cult is to leave the cult, which means some outspoken GOP leaders would have to abandon the caucus.
Politico's Eugene Daniels began by citing Playbook, which spoke to Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) about how Republicans are fixing the conspiracy theories that have taken over their party. He conceded that it's hard when you're a Republican who wants to tell the truth. There's no audience for them.
Former Republican National Committee spokesperson Tim Miller explained that there are some who are just playing a game and putting on a show. He related it to WWE and Donald Trump is the actor/fighter.
"In order to protect his feelings, he needs people to lie for him and say he won," said Miller. "People who want their political careers to keep going are willing to lie for him. Some of these are working in politics, not just voters, but voters are part of a cult now. The cognitive dissonance doesn't really matter now any more than the cognitive dissonance of what David Koresh was telling his followers what mattered to them. They have come up with all these various rationalizations for this. This is the most insidious part."
He noted that the Republicans see that this is working for them because they're getting responses to their base, so they think they can win on it. He also explained that it's working for Russian President Vladimir Putin. And while some might roll their eyes at the allegation, Russia has essentially succeeded. An entire political party that doesn't believe in American democracy anymore. While they may have lost in 2020, their effort to bring down democracy is working.
Former Bush-Cheney political strategist Matthew Dowd agreed with Miller's assessment but said that he thinks people in Washington can do more than just shine a light on it.
"First, Adam Kinzinger, Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney, all who have spoken out need to leave their caucus," said Dowd. "By staying in their caucus, all they are doing is enabling the fact that the people who committed the big lie will hold power in 2022. Yeah, it's fine to say, 'I have a big problem with this,' but leave the caucus. You have to leave the cult in order to disempower the cult."
He also said that Democrats aren't doing enough to defend democracy. He suggested that Biden appoint a cabinet-level person who focuses on the issue.
"He should say this is the most important issue facing the world today," Dowd said. "It's not the pandemic, not infrastructure, redoing taxes, this is the most important issue. Democrats relate to that. The third point is Democrats need to start making the argument that we can't do any of these things unless we fix democracy. We're not going to be able to get an infrastructure bill or common-sense gun reform. We won't be able to preserve a woman's right to choose. We're not going to be able to make sure Social Security is solvent. We won't be able to do niche that, because it's contingent on a functioning democracy, and being able to act in the common good through this."
See the full discussion below:
Republicans will have to leave www.youtube.com