Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) is on a mission. The anti-Trump Republican recently launched a political action committee specifically for the purpose of going after his fellow Republican lawmakers who continue to embrace Donald Trump — or “Trumpism,” as it were.
As reported by Fox News, earlier this month:
Pointing to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by right-wing extremists and other Trump supporters to unsuccessfully disrupt congressional certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over Trump, the congressman said in a video announcing his new “Country First” PAC that “this is no time for silence. Not after the last month. Not after the last few years. Someone needs to tell the truth.”
In the video, Kinzinger painted a grim picture of the current state of the Republican Party.
“The party that always spoke about a brighter tomorrow no longer does. It talks about a dark future instead. Hope has given way to fear. Outrage has replaced opportunity. And worst of all, our deep convictions are ignored.
“They’ve been replaced by poisonous conspiracies and lies. This is not the Republican road and now we know exactly where [the] new and dangerous road leads. It leads to insurrection and an armed attack on the Capitol.”
“The future of the GOP is on the line,” Kinzinger emphasized. “Let’s take back our party.”
Today, @RepKinzinger ignited a movement to restore the GOP by putting principles first. It’s time to call out the lies and leave the vitriol behind. Now, we must put the country first for a better future.
— Maura Gillespie (@Maura_Gillespie) January 31, 2021
Gauntlet thrown down.
As much as Kinzinger despises all things Donald Trump, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is a yuuge and vocal supporter of all things Trump who regularly appears on cable news.
The Democrats are afraid President Trump will come back stronger than ever before.
That’s why they’re trying to impeach him again. pic.twitter.com/3xgx5Cd2rR
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) February 11, 2021
Lest anyone think Gaetz is concerned about Kinzinger and his PAC, he took to Twitter on Wednesday to make sure no one is confused — including Adam Kinzinger.
“Adam is a patriot who fought for America from Northwest Florida. We will always appreciate & honor his service.
“Now, he wants to target my America First politics, referencing me by name. My response: F**king bring it.
“Adam needs PACs to win elections. I don’t.”
Gauntlet picked up.
Adam is a patriot who fought for America from Northwest Florida.
We will always appreciate & honor his service.
Now, he wants to target my America First politics, referencing me by name.
Fucking bring it.
Adam needs PACs to win elections.
I don’t. https://t.co/TE9TPt6QJv
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) February 11, 2021
Gaetz has previously disavowed PAC money. In February 2020, he declared: “I’ve never turned tricks for Washington PACs, but as of today, I’m done picking up their money on the nightstand.” Ooh, well played.
On the Country First website, Kinzinger says the Republican Party “must now be the party that lifts up the rural town and inner city.” Maybe I’m confused. Does that not sound a whole lot like the “Trumpism” Kinzinger so despises?
“Our country’s future is truly unlimited. After all, we are the party that ended slavery, secured women’s suffrage, and won the war against communist tyranny.
“Now we must be the party that lifts up the rural town and the inner city. We must be the party that empowers every student to soar and every family to thrive.”
Remember “the good old days” when the Democrat Party was the party of circular firing squads? While the Democrats certainly have their internecine feuds to contend with as well, the question for the Republican Party — sans-Trump — is whether “Trumpism” will survive without its founder at the helm.
Seems to me, with the Republican establishment largely a thing of the past, replaced by a younger and more energetic crowd — not to mention 74 million Trump voters in the 2020 election — “Make America Great” and “America First” are gonna stick around for a while.
Let us hope so.