The Republican Party Stands for the Republican Party
Not to minimize how stupid it was for Cawthorn to make such an incendiary claim with zero evidence to back it up, but it says something about GOP priorities that this is what it took to get them to make a stand, as opposed to, you know, issues with actual impact on people’s lives. After all, no one will die because of Cawthorn’s accusation. But apparently, it threatened the brand, so something had to be done.
That this turned out to be the red line tells us all we need to know about GOP values. The Republican Party stands for the Republican Party.
In ridding itself of Cawthorn, however, that party provides itself, at best, temporary relief. He is hardly the only loose cannon in their arsenal. To the contrary, the GOP has pioneered a dangerous conceit: that high office, once held to be the proper province of the serious, the learned and the prepared, has now been democratized till it can be fulfilled by any unremarkable twit with the gumption to seek it and the ability to convince the average Joe or Jane that ignorance, immaturity, hostility toward liberal values and lack of impulse control constitute authenticity. No experience required. Apply within.
Hence, Cawthorn. Hence, Boebert. Hence, Greene. Hence, Trump.
And hence, existential threat. How much of this can a democracy absorb and continue to function? We careen toward a moment of truth.
And America better have a red line of its own.
(Leonard Pitts Jr. is a columnist for the Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Miami, Fla., 33172. Readers may contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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