Dana Point, Calif. (AP) — Ronna McDaniel becomes the longest-serving leader Member of the Republican National Committee since the Civil War. But now she must confront a modern-day civil war within the Republican Party.
From the state capital to Capitol Hill to the luxury Southern California hotel where RNC members gathered this week, frustrated Republicans are at odds over how to reverse six years of electoral disappointment. And while there are many strong feelings, there is no consensus even among the warring factions about the people, policies, or political tactics they should adopt.
On the one hand, there are a growing number of elected officials trying to navigate the divisive politics and personality of former President Donald Trump. Despite the lack of a clear alternative. The other is the vocal “Make America Great Again” faction of the Republican Party.
“It would be very difficult, if not nearly impossible, for Ronna McDaniel to undo,” said Republican fundraiser Caroline Wren, a nation that fought and failed to defeat McDaniel. “These people just aren’t going to forget.”
In fact, when members of the RNC packed up from the Waldorf Astoria ballroom on Friday, there was broad agreement that McDaniel’s reelection alone would do little to heal the great divide plaguing their party. .
After personally supporting McDaniel’s campaign, Trump was quick to congratulate McDaniel on social media platforms. But conservative activist and Trump supporter Charlie Kirk likened McDaniel’s re-election success to a “middle finger” for Republican grassroots demanding change in the institutions that lead the party’s political campaign.
“The Country Club won today,” Kirk said from behind the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom, where RNC members across the country voted to give McDaniel another two-year term. “So the grassroots people who can’t afford a steak and are struggling to make ends meet are being told, ‘We hate you,’ by representatives of fancy $900-a-night hotels.” It was broken.”
Similar sentiments have confused Republicans as Kevin McCarthy. Before agreeing to the demands of the dissident MAGA fringe, he spent days of embarrassing defeat in his quest to become Speaker of the House.
McCarthy’s failure to control hardline Trump supporters at the meeting threatens to undermine a risky vote on the country’s debt ceiling and could shock the US economy if not resolved soon. So far, House Republicans have not articulated a specific set of demands.
Some believe the Republican split is a byproduct of years of the Republican embrace of Trumpism. Trumpism is a political ideology defined by a relentless focus on a common enemy and a willingness to fight that enemy at all costs.
McDaniel has repeatedly stressed the dangers of Republican internal strife as she campaigned for an unprecedented fourth term as RNC chairman. Citing a Bible verse once used by
“A kingdom divided will be devastated, a city and a house divided will fail,” McDaniel said from the ballroom podium. “Nothing is more important than making sure Joe Biden is a one-term president. But to do that, we have to come together.”
It can get worse before it gets better.
The end of the RNC’s winter meetings marks the unofficial start of the 2024 presidential primaries. Trump has already launched his candidacy and has promised to launch a fierce campaign against his Republican competitors.
The RNC is scheduling its first Republican presidential primary, likely in late July or early August in Milwaukee, the site of the Republican Party’s next national convention.
Although Trump hasn’t followed suit in his campaign since announcing his 2024 candidacy last November, he will be hosting events in New Hampshire and South Carolina this weekend. Dozens of Republican celebrities will pick up on the former president’s political weakening in the coming months.
If he doesn’t win the Republican Party’s next presidential nomination, Trump is already dangling the possibility of a third-party presidential election that would almost certainly make the Democrats win the White House again in 2024. .
Julianna Bergeron, a member of the New Hampshire-based RNC, reflected on her partying conditions as she prepared to board the Red-Eyed flight home to attend Trump’s Saturday appearance. The New Hampshire Republican Party is grappling with its own bitter leadership feud.
“The party in New Hampshire is split. The party is split across the country. I think there’s a lot of space between the far right and some of the rest of us,” Bergeron said.
“I think it’s over,” she said when asked about Trump. “I want to meet the new generation”
And there are some signs that Trump’s MAGA movement may be poised to move forward as well. It worked to defeat McDaniel, despite the former president and his lieutenants trying to help her.
Trump has refused to publicly endorse McDaniel, but Wren said even if he did, it wouldn’t change his grassroots demands for the new Republican leadership.
“We’re not just sheep who follow a single approval somewhere,” Ren said. “We want to win elections, but we haven’t.”
Indeed, it may take a successful national election for the Republican Party to unite again. The next national election? November 5, 2024.
Former Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus, who supported McDaniel’s re-election, said, “The hard work to bring our party together begins now.” “This is not easy.”