On Trump, Michigan Republicans Lean One Way: ‘Fealty at All Costs’

On Trump, Michigan Republicans Lean One Way: ‘Fealty at All Costs’

ROCKFORD, Mich. – When Rep. Peter Miejer called Donald J. in January. Trump voted to impeach, making him one of 10 House Republicans who led his party, apparently admitting that “it could be an act of political suicide.”

During this month, during Mr First’s town hall program after that impeachment vote, some of his constituents made it clear to newly elected congressmen that they had shared their ratings – not that Mr Trump helped spark a riot. The Capitol had done an impenetrable act, but crossing it was an unforgivable sin.

“I went against the people who told me not to vote for you, and I’ve lost that trust,” said Cindy Witke, who lives in Mr. Mizers’ district, who lives in Grand Rapids and small communities such as Western Michigan Anchoring in

Nancy Erdle, who next spoke, urged Mr. Mijer to stop saying that the election was not stolen. She said she “betrayed” her Republican base.

“I couldn’t be more disappointed,” Ms. Erdley said. “I don’t think there is much you can say that will never change your mind in two years.”

Mr. Trump’s Was acquitted in his impeachment case on Saturday Served as the first test of his continued influence on Republicans, the majority of senators in the party pleaded not guilty and had seven ballots to convict. In Michigan, one of the major battlegrounds, Mr. Trump lost in the November election – and two of the 10 House Republicans who supported him impeachment – are growing signs of a party that is not in flux, but has doubled. The same themes that define Mr. Trump’s political style: conspiracy theories, blame the leader, misinformation and a web of intolerance.

Recent statewide Republican Party elections have helped spark Meshvan Maddock, a conservative activist who helped organize busloads of mixies to travel to Washington on January 6, the day of the Capitol attack. Mike Shirke was the majority leader in the state Senate and Michigan’s top elected Republican Caught on a hot microphone Arguing that the riot was “staged” and a “hoax”, an unabashed conspiratorial claim among Mr Trump’s supporters. And, in a fiery gesture of a divided state, local Republicans attempt to shut down Mr. Meijer to support impeachment Deadlock, 11 to 11.

In the state’s sixth district, which embraces Lake Michigan, the GOP’s two county branches have already denounced Representative Republican Fred Upton, who was also a veteran Republican who supported impeachment.

Victor Fitz, a prosecutor and Republican officer in Cass County who supported efforts to shut down Mr. Upton, said the current split between the party’s base and its founding wing was the largest he had ever seen.

“There is deep disappointment” with Mr Upton, Mr Fitz said. “And to be clear and honest with you, I think there are some people who believe, you know, they crossed the Rubikan with this vote.”

With Mr. Trump’s allegiance as all points of contention, Republicans are struggling with the idea of ​​a proverbial big tent, and politicians like Mr. Upton and Mr. Meijer are at the forefront of the conflict. In the months following election days, as the president attacked the democratic process and a mob descended on the US government seat in his name, the dangers of running in his political shadow rarely became more apparent. However, it is also clear that his party shows little desire to break with him or his grievances.

The outcome of this tug of war will determine the direction of a party that is out of control in Congress and the White House, and should focus on gaining electoral gains in the 2022 midterm elections. The GOP tents have created space for conspiracy theories such as biritism and Qion, as well as extremist elected officials such as Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Green. Is there room for anti-Trump?

Jeff Timmer, a former executive director of the Michigan Republican Party, said “the Michigan Republican Party today is more trumpy” than before the election. The former president’s electoral alliance has failed, but its followers are so entrenched in their beliefs that the party cannot accept or learn from its mistakes.

“This is why Trumpism will continue long after Trump. Those who were not there about four years ago, “he said,” people we had never heard of now control the party’s levers. “

He said: “When you make a deal with the devil, the story usually gathers your soul with the devil. You don’t get it back and there is a happy ending.”

Places like western Michigan are a bellwester for conservatism, reflecting the trajectory of the Republican Party from a political coalition defined by Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan that focuses on Mr. Trump. With opposition to deep-rooted big government and declining manufacturing leaving deep stains, the region has also undergone an independent bent and independent streak in the region, as did former Rep. Justin Amash, a former critic of Trump.

During the interviews, the business comes to a halt and the virtual town hall event, Mr. Mijer, tries to explain his impeachment vote with a similar principle. He responds to his Republican opponents with grace, and calmly points to the lack of evidence for Mr. Trump’s voter fraud claims. He opened the town hall stating the vast law and other lawmakers he felt during the mob violence in January.

“It was a moment when we needed leadership and the president, in my opinion, didn’t provide it,” he said of Mr. Trump.

Still, the ground is slipping from under Mr. Mijer’s feet, warns party officials in Michigan, including anything in his own district. Angry people leave messages of “traitors” in response to their social media posts. The pro-news outlets of Mr. Trump need Mr. Meijer and other Republican Incumbents who have supported impeachment by exposing their primary challengers. What’s more, Mr. Trump’s vision lives on: Many in the party want to look back on complaints such as alleged electoral fraud rather than focus on the next election cycle and reach out to lost voters.

People like Mr. Timmer have requested the party to address the suburban drift towards Democrats, which has plagued Republicans across the country. Ms. Maddock and others have zeroed in on unfounded claims of election fraud. Her husband, a member of the Michigan Legislature, and other state lawmakers signed a brief asking the Supreme Court to give state elected officials the power to reverse the election results.

Several Republican officials in Michigan, including Ms. Maddock, Mr. Shirky and Recently elected state GOP president, Ron Weiser, Did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this article. Mr. Upton and Mr. Mijer declined interviews, and many county and local officials who voted to censor elected officials also would not comment.

The collective public silence of many Republican leaders in Michigan indicates hatching a party, without a clear leader or united ideology. Mr. Weiser is a former member of the University of Michigan regent and a powerful Republican donor, but he needed the early support of Ms. Maddock as a conduit for Trumpian grass roots.

Mr. Mezer already faces a primary challenge, though he is still considered a favorite. Several state republicans in Mr. Upton’s class raised the possibility that he would likely retire instead of starting a re-election campaign.

The Republican ascension to Washington for January 6, or who, like Ms. Maddock, vociferously supported Mr. Trump’s electoral fraud claims, developed a state with a rich history of business-friendly Republicans in the mold of former President Gerald Ford is. The original son of the state.

Republican Officer Tony Daunt, who has served as election watchdog and advised Republican leaders of the state, said he was hoping the party would use Trump’s loyalty as a litmus test.

“I think that with the right kind of leadership, the people we need will be eagerly returning to the fold,” Mr. Dunt said. “There are some good things from the Trump administration and even Trump’s political instincts that deserve to be brought to the Republican camp. But Donald Trump is not the vehicle or messenger for that. “

Jason Watts is not as confident. He said that an election officer in Allegan County and party secretary in the sixth congressional district, he has changed the party to a point where it is no longer identifiable. He suspects that necessary leadership is coming.

“I almost feel as if I’m a person without a house,” Mr. Watts said. “Because you can change the candidate, but until we are ready to deal with ourselves as a party, we are going to wallow in this debacle for a few cycles.”

Mr. Watts also has a secret to tell: He never voted for Mr. Trump, even he helped organize more than 15,000 yard signs for the Republican ticket in the county. In 2016, he supported John John Kasich of Ohio in the general election, and longtime Independent candidate Evan McMullin in the general election. This year, Mr. Watts voted for the Libertarian nominee – a silent expression of discomfort with the former president which he has made public since the Capitol attack.

Does he wish he had spoken earlier?

“I just felt that if I melted, it was a brief storm that would pass,” Mr. Watts said. “But it is an undertaking of hatred, it is defective at all costs, it is going to harm us.”

And what happens now?

“If they’re crazy, so be it,” he said. “They can vote for me in two years.”



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