In recent years, we have seen a growing divide within the Democratic Party. The Associated Press reports that the Republican Party in the near future is likely to experience a rift of its own.
Normally, we would be highly skeptical of anything that the Associated Press reports. It’s a wise policy. But, the outlet actually does make some sense here.
An important day for Republicans
What is likely to be one of the major causes of the Republican divide is what is going to happen on January 6th. It’s the day that Congress will meet to certify the votes of the Electoral College.
Over 140 House Republicans have announced that they will object to the electors in contested states, such as Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Michigan. This alone is insignificant.
But, earlier this week Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) announced that he, too, will object. And, following Hawley’s lead, several other senators are going to object as well, including, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Kennedy (R-LA), and Mike Braun (R-IN).
The objection of these senators will lead to a debate in the House and in the Senate on the electors. This will be followed by a vote – again in both the House and Senate – on whether or not to accept the electors. If the electors are rejected, then there is the possibility that President Donald Trump could be named to a second term.
The truth of the matter, though, is that nobody really expects the electors to be rejected. But, this doesn’t mean that what is about to happen on January 6th is not important. On the contrary, it is extremely important as it is likely that, afterward, the Republican Party will never be the same.
The Republican divide
In recent weeks, we have seen the Republican party clearly divided into three different segments. One segment is the one already mentioned, namely, those lawmakers who have decided to stand behind President Trump.
Another segment of the Republican Party consists of the anti-Trumpers, like Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE). This group not only doesn’t support President Trump, but it has been vigorously denouncing any questioning of the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The third group consists of the establishment Republicans, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). This group is somewhere in between being anti-Trump and pro-Trump. McConnell, who is representative of this group, has essentially been trying to keep the establishment going by accepting Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election and urging fellow senate Republicans not to object on January 6th.
The reason that McConnell has been urging Senate Republicans not to object is that it will lead to a vote in which every Republican senator will be forced to pick a side – either for or against President Trump. And, the side they choose will be remembered in future elections by the voters.
For this reason, January 6th is likely to go down in future history books as a defining day for the Republican Party. The question going forward will be how Republican voters respond in future elections to the actions of Republican congressmen and women on January 6th. We’ll see.