09:05 GMT25 February 2021
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    As former US President Donald Trump faces an unprecedented second impeachment trial over "inciting insurrection" during the 6 January Capitol riots, there were ten of his fellow Republicans who supported his impeachment in the House of Representatives.

    As the United States appears to be struggling to overcome the political division boiling between the Democratic and the Republican parties over various issues, beginning with the COVID relief package and ending with Donald Trump's impeachment, the GOP has its own issues to resolve as well.

    One of the Republicans who faced intense criticism for backing Trump's impeachment was third-ranked House GOP leader Liz Cheney. The Wyoming Republican Party rolled out a censure resolution against her, calling on Cheney to resign. Another House Republican, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, also faced censure attempts for denouncing Trump's claims of election fraud.

    Sputnik has discussed the current state of the Republican Party and its prospects for the future with investigative journalist Mark Dankof.

    Sputnik: Several Republicans who backed Trump's impeachment are now facing a backlash in their home states. What does it tell us about the split between the mainstream Republicans and their voter base?

    Mark Dankof: I think when we look at the actions of Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, of course, the former being in the House of Representatives, the latter being in the US Senate, we can understand that their involvement in this Trump impeachment situation is largely due to their links to the pro-Bush, pro-John McCain neoconservative wing of the Republican Party, which favours the United States being in a constant state of war. Liz Cheney was in the Bush administration as an undersecretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. She was involved with an Iran and Syria policy group with Elliott Abrams. That name should set off alarm bells among many, many people.

    Elliott Abrams is a leading Zionist, а neoconservative who was criminally involved in the Iran-Contra affair years ago during the Reagan and Bush administrations. And Liz Cheney, of course, and Ben Sasse, both last year opposed Senate House Joint Resolution 68, which would have forbidden the United States from taking any actions to go to war with Iran without explicit congressional authorisation.

    So, I think when we look at the deeper truths about both of these people, you have a situation here where they, again, are a part of the Bush-McCain wing of the Republican Party that favours the United States being in a constant state of war. Liz Cheney was involved with William Kristol, the former editor of The Weekly Standard, and an organisation called Keep America Safe, which she co-founded with Mr Kristol. And again, this organisation represents the worst neoconservative, warlike, and Zionist policies of American foreign policy and Trump's deviations from the standard line on war and peace that these people believe is the case has earned him the animus of people like Cheney and John McCain, the late John McCain's wife, and the Bush empire and William Kristol, and so forth and so on.

    So, I think that this is the political truth of all of this that needs to be understood by people who are really analysing what it is that Cheney and Ben Sasse and others are doing. When it comes to this whole issue of the political aspects of this, I think it is going to backfire on Cheney and backfire as well on Ben Sasse, that simply because many Republicans believe that the election was stolen, and that the American establishment did not fairly examine those allegations and the evidence that supported those allegations. But the notion that someone who is now out of office should be dragged through a second impeachment trial, that the American people should be dragged through this nefarious process again, that's a notion that most people, certainly in the Republican Party, don't buy.

    And I think an increasing number of Americans just wish that this whole thing would go away.

    Trump is out of office now. There's no point to this embroiling of the country and the embroiling of the former president in these ongoing political actions on the part of the Democratic Party, and largely most people want the American government to get on with the business of governing, which means doing something about our national debt, doing something about a foreign policy which has us in a constant state of war with other countries.

    Most Americans want us to stay out of a Third World War that could involve both Iran and Russia. And a lot of Americans are concerned about their healthcare and about the miserable state of the economy here because of these COVID-19 shutdowns.

    Sasse and Cheney being involved and supporting this ridiculous impeachment procedure, again, for a man who is now out of office, I think does not sit well with a lot of people. And I think both in the state of Wyoming and in the state of Nebraska, the backlash is going to grow against both of these individuals to an even greater extent, along with this freshman Republican representative from Michigan whose name I don't remember and I'm not familiar with him, but I think he's going to face trouble, too. 

    Liz Cheney (R-WY) departs after a House Republican Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 3, 2021.
    Liz Cheney (R-WY) departs after a House Republican Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 3, 2021.

    Sputnik: Will we see new Republican challengers to the establishment emerge in these states? If so, how likely will their agenda correspond to that of former President Trump?

    Mark Dankof: I think you're going to see a situation where there are going to be primary challenges to all of these people. I think it's important to see that when I, again, have been a consistent critic of Donald Trump in regard to his foreign policy, especially as that relates to Iran. So, I am not blindly pro-Trump by any means. Yet, I do think that basic division in the Republican Party over Donald Trump has an awful lot to do with the issue of globalism versus nationalism.

    An increasing number of Americans have come to understand that the global elite that is represented in both the Republican and Democratic policies has destroyed the industrial economy that we once had, it has exported jobs overseas, it has involved the United States in all of these worthless foreign wars that we did not need to be involved in. And if these people gain the ascendancy again, they will continue to push the United States down that pathway

    The Biden, Clinton, Obama wing of the Democratic Party, which is, of course, has a globalist orientation, is an orientation that is not largely at odds with what the Bush empire and William Kristol and Liz Cheney and Ben Sasse would represent in the Republican Party and an increasing number of Republicans have come to understand that there's a major difference in their own party on this issue of globalism as opposed to nationalism, and as this whole thing continues to play out in regard to the obvious political context of this impeachment trial, it may well be that the Robert Taft, Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul wing of the Republican Party may actually rise in stock again with an increasing number of Republican voters who are sick of debt. They are sick of war, they are sick of these COVID-19 shutdowns.

    They're sick of intrusive government, and they're sick of a situation where there continues to be unrestrained immigration into the United States that is not vetted, that is fundamentally changing the demographics of this country and the political and cultural scene in this country.

    That's been going on, of course, since the Immigration Reform Act of 1965. So in this regard, there's a lot at stake in this in regard, again, to the globalist versus nationalist conflict within the Republican Party and what it is that the Republican Party is going to stand for. And in this regard, I think it's important for people to see that if the globalist wing of the Republican Party manages to take complete control of the party again through people like Cheney and Sasse, they're basically working with people like the Bushes and William Kristol and Elliott Abrams, so forth and so on, that there may be a stronger effort once again in this country to produce a third party, a populist third party that on issues of war and trade, and economy could basically have independent voters and Democrats and Republicans together who are fed up with this globalism and what it has done to their country coming together to form a grassroots party that basically would oppose the globalist elite in both the Democratic and Republican parties.

    That remains to be seen. There are a lot of built-in institutional factors that make it very difficult for a third party, a good one, to gain any traction in this country. And I know a great deal about that because I once ran for the US Senate as a third party candidate, basically representing the Buchanan-Ron Paul wing of the Republican Party. But in this regard, we need to watch this very closely because the economic and political and cultural tensions in the United States are almost at the boiling point. And if Sasse and Cheney are not careful, this boiling point could be reached in such a fashion as to end both of their political careers. 

    Sputnik: How else can this backlash transform local state politics?

    Mark Dankof: I think you're going to see here in our scene here in the state of Texas, for example, there is tremendous tension within the Texas Republican Party on this whole issue of Donald Trump and this whole issue of the struggle really for the soul of the Republican Party in terms of what it's supposed to stand for.

    And it's important to see, I believe, that since the end of World War II, that the internationalist, pro-Zionist, neoconservative, military interventionist wing of the Republican Party that basically has been on the ascendancy since Dwight Eisenhower defeated Robert Taft in 1952 for the Republican presidential nomination that long ago, that since that time, the Republican Party has increasingly come to represent this globalist, internationalist, military interventionist, world policeman role that a lot of average Republicans and Americans have grown increasingly tired of in this particular regard.

    This helps to explain the ascendancy of Donald Trump to the presidency once. In this regard, the nature of the 2020 election and questions about its legitimacy and questions about the mainstream media's role in obviously working hand in glove with the globalists in both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party to get Trump out of office, that the implications of this and the playing out of this in the next couple of years is going to be an extremely interesting thing to watch. 

    Sputnik: What should the Republican Party do to win back the House in 2022 and the Presidency in 2024?

    Mark Dankof: I think the Republican Party needs to return to some populism as opposed to globalism. I think the Republican Party needs to stand foursquare against these international wars. And this has been a point where the Republican Party has not spoken with great clarity because of, again, the power and the strength overall of this globalist, internationalist wing of the Republican Party, especially since 1952. Pat Buchanan and his candidacies against George Bush in 1992, and then in 1996 in the Republican primaries against Bob Dole, his candidacy really brought to the fore these divisions within the Republican Party, again, in what was largely understood to be a struggle for the soul of the party.

    I would say that if the Republican Party can return to trade and economic policies that emphasise a revitalisation of the domestic economy here, if the Republican Party will stop supporting these internationalist, constant military conflicts abroad on behalf of the Israeli lobby and on behalf of the armaments industry, if the Republican Party can get back to supporting, again, the policies of a Robert Taft or a Pat Buchanan, I think it would actually revitalise the Republican Party, where a lot of working class voters who in many respects have Democratic Party leanings, would vote for Republican candidates who would bring the economy back home in regard to reestablishing our manufacturing capability and our industrial capability. And if the Republican Party was to get out of this business of supporting intrusive government, do something about the national debt of this country, stabilise individual communities around cities and states in the United States, and again, if the Republican Party was to stop supporting policies in foreign policy that basically, I think have enhanced central banking, that has enhanced international petroleum conglomerates that have enhanced the political fortunes of the Israeli lobby in this war party lobby represented by people like William Kristol and George Bush and Liz Cheney's father Dick Cheney and so forth, the Republican Party could get away from all of that.

    And I think it would have a chance to actually flourish again. But again, if the internationalist wing of the Republican Party continues to basically hold its position in a post-Trump era as the powerbroker within the Republican Party, then I think you're going to see the GOP largely disintegrate as a political force in this country, especially with all of this ongoing immigration into the United States on the part of people who demographically and politically represent a perspective that will largely vote in tandem for the Democratic Party.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


    GOP Senator Threatens to Put Kamala Harris' 'Bail Fund' in Limelight of Donald Trump's Senate Trial
    GOP Struggles With Internal and External Controversies
    Joe Biden on COVID Relief Bill: GOP Not Willing To Go as Far as We Need
    impeachment, populism, globalism, Democrats, GOP, Republican Party, US
    Community standardsDiscussion