John F. Kennedy famously (and incorrectly) observed that the Chinese word for “crisis” consists of two brushstrokes: one signifying “danger” and the other “opportunity.” As the dust and debris of the desecration of the Capitol subsides, the Republican Party confronts just such a two-faceted moment.
Since 2016, when he accepted the Republican nomination for the presidency, Donald Trump has been the Party leader. And not just in a titular or ceremonial sense. He has demanded and received almost complete loyalty from Party members. He effectively engineered the early retirements of critics and of supporters whose support was merely tepid, including, to name just a few, Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona, Bob Corker of Tennessee, and Luther Strange of Alabama.
Now, as the nation reacts in shock and revulsion at the mob violence, the Republican Party faces a grave danger due to its association with Trump.Continue reading