After a remarkable period of radio silence, some Republicans are finally saying something about their party leader calling to terminate the Constitution, counteract democracy, and crown him as an unelected president.
On Saturday, former President Donald Trump called to terminate the U.S. Constitution and reinstate himself back to power. He then tried to briefly walk back the comments, before doubling down on Monday, claiming yet again that there was massive fraud in the 2020 election.
Now Senate Republicans are beginning to finally speak out against Trump’s ridiculous remarks.
“I swear an oath to uphold the Constitution and it is a bedrock principle—it is the principle, the bedrock of our country. I couldn’t disagree more,” said Senator John Thune, the number two Senate Republican. “If you’re one of these other people who’s interested in running this year, this is certainly an opportunity that would create some contrast.”
Senator Roy Blunt echoed Thune, saying, “I think you take an oath to the Constitution. You don’t take it provisionally. And I can’t imagine that a former president would make that statement.”
Senator Mike Rounds released a full statement, saying, “Anyone who desires to lead our country must commit to protecting the Constitution. They should not threaten to terminate it.” He also noted “there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would alter the results of the 2020 election.”
Senator John Cornyn said Trump’s tirade was “not a responsible thing to say.”
Late Sunday, Senator Lisa Murkowski tweeted, “Suggesting the termination of the Constitution is not only a betrayal of our Oath of Office, it’s an affront to our Republic.”
Nevertheless, none of these explicitly, once and for all, denounce Trump. And these quotes come from just a smattering of Republicans among a larger party apparatus that refuses to stand unequivocally against Trump’s anti-democratic impulses. Senator Mitch McConnell, for example, has yet to say anything.
And if an entire political party largely refuses to defend basic democracy, all in deference to one individual, one could rightly denote that party as divested from democracy—or, as the White House said earlier this year, invested in fascism.