Rand Paul Drops Some Hard Truths About GOP's Future, and Mitch McConnell Really Needs to Listen

Win McNamee/Pool via AP

My RedState colleague Bonchie reported yesterday on how Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took a parting shot at President Trump in the final hours of his administration by laying part of the blame for the Capitol riots that took place earlier this month directly at Trump’s feet.

“They were provoked by the president and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding…. but we pressed on,” McConnell stated on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

For conservative Republicans who had spent the two weeks since the Capitol was breached blasting Democrats (and Republicans like Liz Cheney) who were using “incitement” allegations against Trump as justification for impeaching him, it felt like a slap in the face for McConnell to throw Trump under the bus on such an obviously politically-motivated charge as he was headed out the door.

It also fueled the already growing speculation that McConnell was leaning towards voting to convict Trump on the incitement charge as a way for the Republican party establishment to attempt a “clean break” from Trump and get back to Business as Usual in Washington, D.C. under the incoming Biden-Harris administration.

McConnell’s remarks and the speculation they sparked about whether or not he’d vote to convict got me to thinking about comments his Kentucky colleague in the Senate Rand Paul warned about in an interview he did with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham last Friday.

During the interview, Paul dropped some uncomfortable truths on Republican party leaders including McConnell about what voting to convict Trump would do to the party:

“I don’t often get ask my advice from leadership how they should react. My unsolicited suggestion would be this: they will destroy the Republican Party if leadership is complicit with an impeachment or leadership votes for an impeachment, they will destroy the party,” Paul said.


Paul continued, “I didn’t agree with the fight that happened last week, and I voted against overturning the election. But at the same time, the impeachment is a wrongheaded, partisan notion. But if Republicans go along with it, it will destroy the party — a third of the Republicans will leave the party.”

Paul also made clear he was well aware that the impeachment/convict debate among Republicans did not revolve around a disagreement over voicing objections to electoral votes. Instead, he hinted that it was really about GOP leaders contemplating “ostracizing” Trump from the party:

“This isn’t anymore about the Electoral College. It’s about the future of the party and whether you’re going to ostracize and ex-communicate President Trump from the party,” Paul added. “Well, guess what? Millions of his fans will leave as well.”

Watch the segment below, via MRC-TV:

Paul is absolutely right here, although the bigger picture is more than just about whether or not McConnell and other Republican leaders will try to use a conviction vote in the Senate as a way of “excommunicating” Trump from the party. This goes well beyond Trump, for reasons I explained in a couple of tweets yesterday:

Republicans going back to the pre-2016 era of doing “Business as Usual” would be an absolute disaster for the party. Not just because Trump loyalists would bolt, but also because you have a lot of people who may not be Trump loyalists but who are still looking for a Republican leader who, like Trump, won’t back down from important fights with House and Senate Democrats and the mainstream media, someone who will unapologetically stand up for the unborn, religious rights, against porous open borders, and against the radical left.

We don’t know what Trump’s future plans are but what we do know is that Republicans need a fighter in his place who is committed to battling the left and the media by defeating them at their own game. It might be Josh Hawley, it might be someone else. Who knows?

But who it can’t be is anyone who wants to get back to how things were in the Republican party prior to the Trump era, because it absolutely will destroy this party for years to come if McConnell uses a “convict” vote to try and take things back to the way they used to be. Those days are long gone, and it is imperative for the party’s future that McConnell understands that.

Related: Chris Coons Reveals Path to ‘Repentance’ for Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, and It’s Absolute Garbage (Watch)

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