Again when that information broke, I defined congressional Republicans’ silence towards the whistleblower allegations that subsequently led to the president’s first impeachment with one chart — the determine beneath, contrasting the recognition of Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.).
The show exhibits Republicans’ web approval (p.c approve minus p.c disapprove) of Flake in Arizona and Graham in South Carolina from 2014 to 2018 within the Cooperative Congressional Election Survey. Each senators had been comparatively fashionable amongst fellow partisans of their residence states. Each GOP senators strongly criticized Trump through the 2016 presidential marketing campaign and each noticed their help amongst Republicans plummet consequently.
Flake’s reputation inside his get together continued to crater as he remained a vocal critic of Trump’s presidency. He introduced his retirement in 2017, acknowledging that he couldn’t win a Republican main with out cozying as much as the president. In the meantime, the determine exhibits how Graham’s reputation soared to new heights amongst South Carolina Republicans after he flip-flopped to turn out to be one of many president’s most vocal supporters. He went on to win his 2020 Senate main by 50 proportion factors and was reelected to the Senate by a 10-point margin in November.
The Graham-Flake comparability is a serious cause Republicans didn’t keep silent for lengthy concerning the president’s stress marketing campaign towards Ukraine. As an alternative, virtually each Republicans within the Home confronted the impeachment hearings’ proof of malfeasance with defiance — insisting the president did nothing flawed in his dealings with the Ukraine. Each Republican within the Home of Representatives voted towards impeaching the president.
Impeachment 2.0 — Did something change in 2021?
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the third-ranking member of the Home Republican management and one among 10 Republicans who voted for impeachment on Wednesday, described Trump’s incitement of revolt as the best “betrayal by a President of the US of his workplace and his oath to the Structure.” Adam Kinzinger (R-Unwell.) defined his vote in favor of impeachment by stating, “if these actions — the Article II department inciting a lethal revolt towards the Article I department — should not worthy of impeachment, then what’s an impeachable offense?”
So, why did solely 10 Republicans vote for impeachment?
As informative because the Flake-Graham distinction is in explaining congressional Republicans’ refusal to carry the president accountable for inciting revolt, the precipitous decline over the previous few weeks in GOP help for each Vice President Pence and Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) could also be much more telling.
Pence and McConnell’s reputation has nosedived
Republicans face a tricky alternative
The rapid erosion of GOP help for Pence and McConnell vividly illustrates the dilemma for congressional Republicans who’ve been loyal to Trump over the previous 4 years: Stand by the president as he spreads harmful misinformation that foments violence — or danger shedding help from the big share of Republicans who had been misled into believing the 2020 election was rigged.
There wasn’t a lot suspense about how Home Republicans would reply to this predicament. At each flip of Trump’s presidency, congressional Republicans have privileged partisan reputation and affect over info and democracy.
It’s hardly a shock, then, that the majority Home Republicans remained on the identical course till the bitter finish — refusing to question the president for the lies he unfold concerning the 2020 election that in the end incited revolt on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Editor’s word: the third graph has been up to date to point out the newest model.