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What's Next for Donald Trump in American Politics? – Voice of America

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Enduring Republican support for former President Donald Trump, even after the Capitol insurrection and his second impeachment trial, has left some conservatives wondering if the party still has a place for them.

“The GOP [Republican Party] is in a really dark place right now,” said Olivia Troye, a former aide to then-Vice President Mike Pence, who added that she and others like her now feel politically “homeless.”

Troye, who resigned in protest over the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, is now director of the newly established Republican Accountability Project, a political action committee working to unseat Trump allies and elect “principled conservatives.”

“I’m not saying we’re going to rehabilitate the Republican Party overnight; we are far from that,” she said. “We’re looking at several years of looking at what direction the party wants to go.”

The party is experiencing a major rift, with Trump slamming Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell just days after the top Republican voted to acquit him.

FILE – In this image from video, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaks after the Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Feb. 13, 2021.

On Tuesday, Trump called McConnell a “dour, sullen and unsmiling political hack,” urging Senate Republicans to find a new leader and threatening to back challengers against incumbent Republicans in the next election.

Although McConnell had voted “not guilty” in Trump’s impeachment trial last week, he later excoriated the former president on the Senate floor, saying there was no question that Trump was “practically and morally responsible for provoking the events” on January 6, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers certified Democrat Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

Meanwhile, the seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump on the charge of inciting an insurrection are now facing severe criticism from within the party. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana have been censured by the Republican Party apparatuses in their states. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Susan Collins of Maine are also facing the threat of censure.

The infighting comes as polls show that Trump remains a force among Republicans. A Quinnipiac poll released Monday showed that 75 percent of Republicans said they would like to see the former president play a prominent role in the party.

Republican Party rift

On Sunday, the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal, a conservative outlet owned by Trump ally Rupert Murdoch, warned that Trump would divide the party.

“The country is moving past the Trump Presidency, and the GOP will remain in the wilderness until it does too,” wrote the board.

FILE – Jason Miller, a senior adviser to then-President-elect Donald Trump, speaks to reporters at Trump Tower, Nov. 16, 2016, in New York.

Former Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller dismissed signs of an intraparty rift. “I see there being a division between where the grassroots activists are around the country and many of the leaders in Washington,” he said.

For those who believe Trumpism is too entrenched, there is discussion of a third party. Evan McMullin, a Republican who ran as an independent presidential candidate in 2016, has been leading the talks with former lawmakers and officials from the party.

A new party established by anti-Trump Republicans could be a game-changer, said David Barker, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University.

“It may start to command 15-20% of the overall vote in some places,” Barker said, and the remainder of Trump’s Republican Party will “start getting absolutely crushed.”

Capitol riot commission

Despite Trump’s acquittal, his culpability will likely remain in focus as the House of Representatives moves to establish an independent commission to investigate the Capitol siege — similar to the commission that studied the 9/11 attacks for 15 months and issued a sweeping report that led to changes in the nation’s laws and operational framework in dealing with terrorism.

Some Republican lawmakers have signaled their support. For Democrats, the commission may help to hold Trump accountable and reveal information that could reduce his political clout as the country heads toward the 2022 midterm elections.

FILE – Thomas Kean, left, and Lee Hamilton, former co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission, testify before a U.S. Senate committee on the report on circumstances surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.

Thomas Kean, a Republican and former chair of the 9/11 commission who released a bipartisan call to establish the commission to investigate the Capitol siege, said the goal should not be to hold the former president accountable.

“This is not a commission to get President Trump,” said Kean. “It’s a commission of fact-finders to prevent the event from happening again.” If Congress drafts the resolution in a bipartisan manner and appoints men and women with integrity who would put the country first, Kean said, then no one can make the argument that this is a vendetta against Trump.

Criminal investigations

Media attention brought on by multiple criminal investigations, civil state inquiries and defamation lawsuits from two women who accused him of sexual assault may also determine how much Trump will continue to influence Republican Party politics.

Currently, Trump remains popular within his party. According to a Morning Consult/Politico poll released Tuesday, more than half of Republicans would support Trump in a Republican primary if he were to run for president again.

“Trump is the present and the future of the Republican Party,” said Miller, the former Trump adviser. “It doesn’t matter if the establishment politicians come after him, whether they be Republican or Democrat. The president’s not going to back down.”

On Tuesday, Democratic U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson and the NAACP civil rights organization sued Trump, his attorney Rudy Giuliani and far-right groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers over their roles in the January 6 attack.

Trump is also dealing with two new investigations in Georgia over calls he made to officials in which he appeared to pressure them to overturn the state’s election results. He is facing a criminal investigation in New York on potential tax and insurance fraud.

It’s hard to say whether any of this will impact Trump’s political future, said Barker of American University, underscoring that Republicans have stuck with Trump despite multiple investigations and electoral losses.

“I’ll go ahead and say that he will probably survive and have influence, unless the criminal probes get him and he goes to prison,” Barker said. “It will be hard to have a lot of influence from behind bars.”

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Week In Politics: House Approves $1.9 Trillion Pandemic Relief Package – NPR

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The Saudi crown prince may escape punishment for his order to kill a columnist. A pandemic relief package is moving through Congress. Donald Trump remains popular with conservative activists.



SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A few acronyms to chew over this morning – hope it doesn’t make breakfast taste flat – MBS, CPAC, OMB, if we have the time. Joining us now to spell it all out, NPR senior Washington editor and correspondent Ron Elving. Ron, thanks so much for being with us.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good morning. Hope things are A-OK with you, Scott.

SIMON: (Laughter) Oh, I walked into that, didn’t I? Of course, MBS is what they call Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince. U.S. officials say that he approved the grisly murder of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 – approved it, lied about it afterwards. Not clear if President Biden will do anything in response to this finding.

ELVING: You know, the role of MBS in this murder has been widely known, both inside and outside the intel community, for roughly two years. But the Trump administration was pursuing an ever-closer relationship with the Saudis, and especially and particularly MBS. And that had a lot to do with arms sales and Israel. So the report was not released, and there was a general refusal to acknowledge the known facts.

Now, the new administration is making more of the reports public but still not doing much about it, at least not yet. The White House says we should stay tuned but suggesting only that the Saudis are on some sort of probation now. And that seems to be the best judgment within Biden’s security team. It’s not good enough for a lot of Biden’s own voters who were expecting much more severe consequences for MBS and for the Saudi regime.

SIMON: It’s irresistible to point out – first military action of the Biden administration launched this week, an airstrike against Syria because Iranian-backed militias there had attacked American assets in the region. That gets an airstrike. Saudi Arabia gets a summary.

ELVING: Yes, President Biden said that strike was a message to Iran to, quote, “be careful. You can’t act with impunity,” unquote. And in substance, it was a far more consequential response than Biden made to the Saudis, a contrast that, as you suggest, made the slap on the wrist for MBS all the more troubling.

SIMON: Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC, this weekend in Orlando, the largest gathering of conservative activists. Apparently, it includes an inflatable golden bust of Donald Trump. Any room for Republicans like Liz Cheney of Wyoming or Adam Kinzinger of Illinois?

ELVING: Well, what’s the opposite of a welcome mat, Scott? Maybe skull and crossbones on the door? The obvious question is how big a tent the Republicans want. Will it be Reagan’s or Bush’s or Trump’s tent? And will those people who were not welcome at CPAC be part of the party’s campaigns in 2022 and 2024? We’ll stay tuned.

SIMON: A $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package has passed the House, and President Biden spoke about that today at the White House.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: We are one step closer to putting $1,400 in the pockets of Americans. We are one step closer to extending unemployment benefits for millions of Americans who were shortly going to lose them. We are one step closer to helping millions of Americans feed their families and keep a roof over their head. We are one step closer to getting our kids safely back in school.

SIMON: But, Ron, Senate rules won’t allow another thing that the president wanted, which is a hike in the minimum wage.

ELVING: The good news for the White House is that the rest of this relief bill seems remarkably popular, even with some Trump voters. So with the minimum wage issue set aside to be dealt with separately later this year possibly, the overall bill seems increasingly likely to be law.

SIMON: Finally, Neera Tanden is President Biden’s pick to lead OMB, the Office of Management and Budget. As a partisan political figure, she made some colorful observations about some U.S. senators whose votes she may not get now.

ELVING: One lesson here is that a 50-50 Senate truly empowers the individual senator. So losing one or two can cost you your power to act. And that’s a lesson we’re likely to learn over and over. And another lesson is that even in the age of Trump Twitter, what others say on social media can still come back to haunt them.

SIMON: NPR’s senior Washington editor Ron Elving, thanks so much.

ELVING: Thank you, Scott.

Copyright © 2021 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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Equal Voice delegate in B.C. says gender equality in politics should be considered the norm, not a revolution – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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Maritha Louw, one of three Lower Mainland women selected as delegates for Equal Voice Daughters of the Vote , has often been told she’s too loud and that she shouldn’t share her opinions quite so much.

As a student at a Christian secondary school in Abbotsford, she was even grilled on her dreams of becoming a lawyer. “A classmate asked me how I was going to take care of the children when I had a family?” said Louw.

The consequence is that Louw, now a 20-year-old political science student at Trinity Western University, says she is even more committed to speaking her mind. “I’ve never been afraid to speak my mind because if you don’t stand up for yourself there might not be anyone to stand up for you,” said Louw.

Louw said she’s interested in the power the younger generation has to make the world a better place and that’s exactly what she hopes to do.

Although Louw doesn’t plan on pursuing a political career, she said she is hoping the online summit, which brings together gender-diverse women and youth from across Canada, will give her the opportunity to learn from others, and perhaps even “challenge some of the MPs on the Hill currently.”  Delegates who represent their ridings in the March 8 virtual mock Parliament will meet with MPs and other officials in virtual sessions to learn more about Canada’s political processes.

“It would be great to see a time where having an equal amount of women in politics wouldn’t be seen as record-breaking, or revolutionary ideal,” said Louw.

Barbara Szymczyk, 28, who will be representing Vancouver Centre, said a highlight of the process before the summit was the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with her MP, Hedy Fry.

Szymczyk doesn’t take the opportunity to be involved in the democratic process for granted. “I grew up with my mom always reinforcing how fortunate I was to live in a country with a well-established democratic system like Canada,” said Szymczyk, whose mother grew up in Poland. “I hold a deep gratitude for the right to vote.”

“It needs to be acknowledged that not all women got the right to vote 100 years ago,” Szymczyk said.  “Black, Asian and Indigenous identifying women got the right much later.”

She’s fascinated with decision-making processes, served three terms as a senator in student government at SFU, and doesn’t rule out a possible future in politics.

“Taking part in Daughters of the Vote will help me in that journey of discovering in how I can best support Canada’s democratic system,” she said.

So what, exactly, did she learn in that conversation with Fry, Canada’s longest serving female member of Parliament?

“She shared a piece of advice she got from (former prime minister Jean Chretien) about needing a thick skin: When you are in politics 15 per cent of people will support you all the time and 15 per cent of people that will have more of a negative attitude and there will be lots of people in between — your job is to serve all of them.”

Daughters of the Vote is a meeting of 338 delegates representing every federal riding in Canada, dedicated to increasing women’s participation in the political arena by connecting them to those already serving in office, and will take place online this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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Equal Voice delegate says gender equality in politics should be considered the norm, not a revolution – Vancouver Sun

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Equal Voice Daughters of the Vote hopes to increase opportunities for women in political leadership as part of the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote

Article content

Maritha Louw, one of three Lower Mainland women selected as delegates for Equal Voice Daughters of the Vote, has often been told she’s too loud and that she shouldn’t share her opinions quite so much.

As a student at a Christian secondary school in Abbotsford, she was even grilled on her dreams of becoming a lawyer. “A classmate asked me how I was going to take care of the children when I had a family?” said Louw.

The consequence is that Louw, now a 20-year-old political science student at Trinity Western University, says she is even more committed to speaking her mind. “I’ve never been afraid to speak my mind because if you don’t stand up for yourself there might not be anyone to stand up for you,” said Louw.

Louw said she’s interested in the power the younger generation has to make the world a better place and that’s exactly what she hopes to do.

Although Louw doesn’t plan on pursuing a political career, she said she is hoping the online summit, which brings together gender-diverse women and youth from across Canada, will give her the opportunity to learn from others, and perhaps even “challenge some of the MPs on the Hill currently.”  Delegates who represent their ridings in the March 8 virtual mock Parliament will meet with MPs and other officials in virtual sessions to learn more about Canada’s political processes.

Article content

Maritha Louw, one of three Lower Mainland women selected as delegates for Equal Voice Daughters of the Vote.
Maritha Louw, one of three Lower Mainland women selected as delegates for Equal Voice Daughters of the Vote. Photo by Handout /PNG

“It would be great to see a time where having an equal amount of women in politics wouldn’t be seen as record-breaking, or revolutionary ideal,” said Louw.

Barbara Szymczyk, 28, who will be representing Vancouver Centre, said a highlight of the process before the summit was the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with her MP, Hedy Fry.

Szymczyk doesn’t take the opportunity to be involved in the democratic process for granted. “I grew up with my mom always reinforcing how fortunate I was to live in a country with a well-established democratic system like Canada,” said Szymczyk, whose mother grew up in Poland. “I hold a deep gratitude for the right to vote.”

“It needs to be acknowledged that not all women got the right to vote 100 years ago,” Szymczyk said.  “Black, Asian and Indigenous identifying women got the right much later.”

She’s fascinated with decision-making processes, served three terms as a senator in student government at SFU, and doesn’t rule out a possible future in politics.

“Taking part in Daughters of the Vote will help me in that journey of discovering in how I can best support Canada’s democratic system,” she said.

So what, exactly, did she learn in that conversation with Fry, Canada’s longest serving female member of Parliament?

“She shared a piece of advice she got from (former prime minister Jean Chretien) about needing a thick skin: When you are in politics 15 per cent of people will support you all the time and 15 per cent of people that will have more of a negative attitude and there will be lots of people in between — your job is to serve all of them.”

Daughters of the Vote is a meeting of 338 delegates representing every federal riding in Canada, dedicated to increasing women’s participation in the political arena by connecting them to those already serving in office, and will take place online this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

dryan@postmedia.com

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