Republicans Take Some Small Steps in Defiance of Trump

As the president’s support erodes, we’re starting to see some dissent among the ranks.

Since it became clear that Donald Trump would be their nominee in the 2016 presidential race, the Republican National Committee has demonstrated that they would go all in to support him. That has remained their position ever since then.

But in preparation for the upcoming national convention, the RNC has taken a couple of steps that appear to be in direct conflict with the Trump administration. For example, the president announced that he didn’t want the convention to take place in North Carolina because the coronavirus restrictions imposed by the governor would deny him the opportunity to be cheered by a large crowd. Nevertheless, this is what the committee decided.

On Wednesday night, the Republican National Committee (RNC) voted to have a “significantly pared down convention” in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The plans, confirmed to Newsweek by the RNC, defy a pledge by President Donald Trump who, on May 25, vowed to immediately move the convention elsewhere.

While the convention itself will be pared down to allow for social distancing, an “Acceptance Session” will be held in a separate location that is yet to be determined, giving Trump the opportunity to give his speech before an adoring crowd. So that’s a bit of a compromise.

But recently, Johnathan Swan reported that Jared Kushner was working with the platform committee to reduce the document down to a single card that would be more like a mission statement than a policy agenda. That isn’t going to happen either. The RNC’s executive panel voted to make no changes to its 2016 party platform.

Not only does that shut down Kushner’s efforts, Aaron Blake documented that it will be a bit awkward for Trump. The party’s platform was designed to be a rebuke of President Obama’s tenure in the White House. As such, it contains several planks that could be used to criticize his successor. For example:

The huge increase in the national debt demanded by and incurred during the current Administration has placed a significant burden on future generations…

The current Administration has exceeded its constitutional authority, brazenly and flagrantly violated the separation of powers, sought to divide America into groups and turn citizen against citizen.

Our most urgent task as a Party is to restore the American people’s faith in their government by electing a president who will enforce duly enacted laws, honor constitutional limits on executive authority, and return credibility to the Oval Office…

The current Administration has abandoned America’s friends and rewarded its enemies.

While these are somewhat small acts in defiance of the president’s wishes, they are noteworthy because—as we know—Trump demands total loyalty at all times. So any move that goes against him is significant.

Adding to this is the fact that the president will not support the renaming of military bases that bear the names of Confederate generals.

But here is what happened on Wednesday.

The Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday voted to require the Pentagon to rename military bases and other assets named after Confederate generals, a move that puts the Republican-led panel on a collision course with the White House.

Trump’s support is continuing to erode and unless something dramatic changes between now and November, he will lose the 2020 election. We are seeing the very early signs of what will happen if that continues to be the case.

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Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.