Ex-House Republican Lawyer: ‘The Party Of Lincoln Is Dead, Dead, Dead’
Former House Republican Congressional Committee Investigative Counsel Sophia Nelson published an op-ed in The Daily Beast this week excoriating the Republican Party, which she claimed now deserves to be abandoned.
Nelson declared that the GOP is “hopeless” and proclaimed “the party of Lincoln is dead, dead, dead,” after Republicans failed to speak up in the wake of President Donald Trump’s photo op at St. John’s Church on Monday — and the forcible removal of peaceful protesters that made it possible.
She also castigated those in the GOP who maintain it is not too late for the party to turn itself around, suggesting that those who remain in the party lack the necessary character for meaningful change.
I am personally exhausted by the tweets and articles being written by well-meaning journalists like Washington Post opinion page editor Fred Hiatt, who penned a piece on Saturday almost begging: “Republican senators, it's not too late to help save your country.”
I respect and have known Fred for years, but on this, he is simply wrong. Republican senators cannot redeem themselves. That ship sailed during the impeachment trial, when Republican senators blocked witnesses. Redemption is not about a singular moment. Redemption is about how we live our lives, our character, and our compassion toward our fellow man each day.
- Nelson wrote that the “Party of Lincoln is long gone,” adding that it “was murdered by Donald Trump and a cadre of Republican members of Congress, governors, and surrogates across the land.”
Their tone-deafness and more importantly the deafening silence of the Republican Party in this moment of crisis has been loud and clear. And it provides a window into the darkness that has descended on the party that at its origin in 1854 established itself as a pro-abolition, anti-slavery party.
- She went on to predict that “the Republican Party will most likely have a civil war inside its ranks if Trump loses in 2020 and takes the Republican Senate down with him,” which will result in “a fight for the soul of a new party.”
- Nelson pointed to a few Republican voices who have spoken up in the midst of the current crisis but said on the whole, the GOP silence is deafening.
While these few voices have tweeted and spoken up, it’s still a poor representation of the once Grand Old Party that produced Ulysses S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan. It also does not say much for the heart and soul of white conservatives, white evangelicals, or Christian college presidents like Jerry Falwell, Jr., who have remained mostly silent. And when they have spoken up, they are much more interested in condemning “looting and rioting” than the murder of a fellow human being. It’s frankly hard to take.
- After decades of asking herself why the GOP is so “tone-deaf,” Nelson wrote that she has arrived at an answer:
They are all white and privileged, with few exceptions. They do not have people of color as advisors, cohorts, strategists, pollsters, friends, and the like. The Republican Party sees the country as a white country. Therein lies their horrible failing in this difficult moment. They simply do not understand or see the historical pain and equities that brought America to the brink this past week.
Nelson said it is her hope that enough “new” Republicans “see the light” in order to win the battle for the party’s soul.