Despite the feelings that the Republican Party is solely Trump’s?
There ARE those in the party uneasy and trying to change that…
A new generation of Trumpist acolytes — such as Missouri attorney Mark McCloskey, who became famous for drawing a gun on Black Lives Matters protesters — have announced their intention to run for high office with a set of Trump issues that motivate them. McCloskey has announced plans to run for the Senate.
The moves pose a threat to the party’s efforts to reclaim moderate, largely college-educated voters who were turned off by Trump, while muddying an attempt to shift the national focus to the less popular parts of Democratic policies.
They also mark a continued repudiation of the orthodoxy that last restored Republicans to power and governed the party for two generations.
Republican leaders have been alarmed by GOP-leaning voters moving away from the traditional conservative political conversation. Some even showed early support for parts of President Biden’s policy agenda, including another round of government checks for Americans, which Trump also supported, and plans for a massive infrastructure spending bill paid for with tax increases….
“How do we marry the Party of Reagan with the Party of Trump?” said Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), one of the party’s most influential new strategists, when asked about the focus of the Republican Study Committee, a conservative caucus of lawmakers he leads….
Democrats are skeptical that Republicans will be able to make the case without Trump on the ballot, especially because Biden has focused his communications about the economy on winning support from working people. They point to polls that have long affiliated Republicans with the interests of the wealthy and big companies and the party’s broader refusal to raise taxes on upper-income Americans….
“There was this playbook written in 1980 that applied conservative principles to the problems of 1980, and it is now a very dog-eared playbook that conservatives have been flipping through ever since,” said Oren Cass, executive director of American Compass, which advocates for revisions to GOP policy. “Trump himself I liken to an earthquake. He knocked things down and showed what was weak.”
That has left a challenge for traditionally free-market conservative groups like Americans for Prosperity, which has historically been backed by the family that owns Koch Industries. The group has long advocated a more libertarian approach to economic policy, including lower corporate and individual tax rates.
“I think the movement for sure is not as singularly focused as it was in 2009. There are a lot of distractions,” said Tim Phillips, who is president of Americans for Prosperity and who spoke at the Waterford event as part of a national tour to raise awareness about Democratic tax and spending policies. “But I am sensing now a growing energy and an unhappiness with what is going on.”…..
The question is whether these divisions fade as the nation gets closer to another election and Republicans turn their attention more on their opponents.
“That’s the main priority: to stop the Democrats,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.),…