After years of bearing the brunt of the Democrats in Disarray narrative, Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington senses a new Beltway buzzword in the making: “Republicans in ruin,” she joked in the aisles of the Capitol on Wednesday — the day after donald trump officially announced his 2024 presidential candidacy. For the past week, Republicans have been agitating about their failure to hold a “red wave” election. Trump announced his run on Tuesday, despite pleas from his own allies to put his comeback on hold. On Wednesday, Mitch McConnell defied a similar chorus in his caucus call to delay Senate leadership votes until after the Georgia runoff, and reclaimed his title of minority leader. While Republicans narrow themselves to a slim majority in the House of Representatives, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy still seeking the votes to become speaker in the 118th Congress. As all of this plays out, Democrats sit back and watch — with a touch of glee.
“There’s a circus going on at the Republican Party right now across the aisle. You see a civil war taking place. The main clown just announced he will be running for re-election,” Rep said. Ami Bera of California tell me. “Bring it on. Let’s get the popcorn out.”
Bera, who led the Democratic campaign committee’s “frontline” efforts to protect its most vulnerable members, says Republican infighting is conveying a winning message to Democrats. While they failed to retain a majority in the House of Representatives, the chaos among the Republicans is an “opportunity for us as a party to show that we are a governing coalition,” he says. “I don’t think they can do anything in this Republican House of Representatives.”
Trump’s announcement could arguably also come as a gift to Democrats — especially ahead of Georgia’s Senate runoff between the Democrats Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker, where Trump’s ambitions could motivate Democrats to vote. It’s not that Democrats wouldn’t love it when Trump goes away. The country is ready to “just move on,” said the California representative. Adam Schiff said. “He was a disastrous president, a disastrous candidate. I think the midterms were in favor of that.” But the start of Trump’s presidential campaign is also likely to give McCarthy a big headache. He is already facing a revolt in his party; a contingent of Republicans, including people like Reps. Matt Gaetz and andy biggs, use Speaker election to win more power for hard-line House Republican faction (specifically, not all hard-liners are on board; Reps. Jim Jordan and Marjorie Taylor Greene appear to have made their own deals with McCarthy). Still, four years of Trump’s presidency have shown Republicans that he’s an element of chaos they can’t always control.
“It’s like one big happy family,” the Democratic Representative said. Gerry Connolly from Virginia speaks about Trump’s return to the campaign trail. “I wouldn’t underestimate Trump. He’s been underestimated before, but I would say his timing couldn’t be worse from a Republican perspective.”
“They will fight and tear each other down,” says Jayapal.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that Republicans on the Hill continue to accept that Trump could once again be their chosen leader; Any admonishment of the former president or the poor performance of his chosen candidates in the midterm elections was mild. And the GOP appears to be slow in its analysis of what happened last week. “I think they’re the last to get the message from last week’s election, which is that the country wants normal, practical and sane people, and that’s what they voted up and down for, especially in the swing states. Somehow the Republican Party didn’t get that message,” said Rep. Elissa Slotkin from Michigan, who won a close race for re-election in her state, says. “They’re getting more extreme and that means they’re bringing back people like Donald Trump.”
Despite the Democrats’ apparent delight at seeing the Republicans squirm aside, there is a realization that the stakes couldn’t be higher. A number of GOP House members are campaigning to launch investigations into suspected Trump rivals, and Joe Bidens family. There is already talk of impeachment. A Republican House will no doubt impede any progress on Biden’s agenda. “This Republican faction in the House of Representatives will be the most extreme in modern American history, and the most likely front runner for the organization announced last night is the most extreme candidate to incite an insurgency,” said Rep. Colin Allred from Texas says.
But if Democrats can build on the coalitions that gave Biden the presidency two years ago and maintained the Senate majority and staved off crushing defeats this cycle, Pennsylvania Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon has no doubt: “Donald Trump has no prayer.”
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/11/democrats-republican-congress-donald-trump-2024 “Let’s get the popcorn out”: Democrats cautiously happy about a Republican implosion