Column: The GOP retains doubling down on its greatest loser


There’s a psychological phenomenon recognized amongst gamblers as tilt. It’s a brain-hijacking that occurs after an ego blow. Rather than taking a break, a gambler on tilt turns into completely satisfied he ought to have gained the hand or the slot-machine tug. He begins to danger better and better sums of cash to offset disgrace, regain honor and show he was proper.

Don’t attempt to motive with a tilting mind. As a wild-eyed gambler’s losses compound, he gained’t be stopped. Hit me, hit me, hit me.

This is the Republican Party proper now.

On Wednesday, House Republicans voted to strip Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) of her position as chair of the House Republican Conference, the third-highest place in social gathering management within the House.

Much hay has been product of the Republicans’ causes for doing this. And certainly Cheney, who retains denouncing the large lie concerning the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election, will not be in lockstep with the social gathering, which tends to adore the stolen-election trope.

But, actually, like gamblers on tilt, they’re simply not being rational.

A marquee ideological neoconservative, daughter of a former vice chairman, and thus a family identify, Cheney had held the place of convention chair since 2019. Her caucus had lengthy admired her for her fiscal and social conservatism and her foreign-policy expertise, as she served in a number of key State Department positions underneath Bush.

So why on the planet would Republicans — looking forward to a comeback after former President Trump’s November defeat — cancel her?

This is a query and not using a wise reply. Sure some got. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) advised CBS, “You can’t have [Cheney] attacking the leader of the Republican Party [Trump].”

But House Republicans should not being rational. They’re performing out of the card-table compulsions which have come to outline their despairing caucus.

By each metric, they’re on a vicious dropping streak.

They’re caught within the minority in Congress, they usually misplaced the White House and the Senate six months in the past. They’re combating the shame introduced on them by the twice-impeached, one-term former president whom many nonetheless inexplicably contemplate the social gathering chief.

They’re stigmatized with the disaster of the bloody tried coup in Trump’s identify on the U.S. Capitol. And they’re bitter concerning the recognition and successes of the Democratic President Joe Biden.

Their makes an attempt at reviving their drained tradition struggle — over Dr. Seuss or “cancel culture” or “woke capitalism” — appear to be main nowhere.

On high of all this, distinguished Republicans hold falling exhausting from grace.

Trump favourite Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) is underneath investigation by the Justice Department for potential violations of intercourse trafficking legal guidelines. He denies wrongdoing.

Another Trump favourite, Jerry Falwell Jr., has been kicked out of Liberty University, the place he was president, amid allegations that he and his spouse engaged in a sexual relationship with a one-time pool attendant.

Then there’s Trump ultra-favorite Rudolph W. Giuliani. Last month, the FBI conducted a high-profile raid of Giuliani’s condominium and workplace, escalating the Justice Department’s investigation into the president’s former private legal professional and what precisely he was doing in Ukraine just a few years again.

And then on Thursday, in response to the Wall Street Journal, prosecutors in New York subpoenaed paperwork associated to Allen Weisselberg, Trump’s shut confidant and his firm’s longtime chief monetary officer, in a transfer amongst others extensively believed to be placing stress on Weisselberg to cooperate within the Manhattan district legal professional’s investigation of the Trump Organization.

In the phrases of Norm Eisen, former ethics chief underneath President Obama, such developments “signal turbulent waters ahead” for the Trump crowd. For Republicans, it should really feel like nothing however “bad beats” — the unfair losses that gamblers complain about in bars till they’re blue within the face.

But good grief, politics is outlined by loss. Think of the Democrats in 2016. Though crushed, they started working to chop their losses, lick their wounds, mirror and proper course.

But Republicans appear to have misplaced that sort of resiliency. They will not step away from the Trump blackjack desk, breathe some recent air and devise a brand new technique.

Instead, they’re throwing good assets after unhealthy, manically gunning for Trump’s enemies as if he had been one thing greater than a has-been dwelling in Florida who’s the goal of 1 investigation after one other.

In quick, the hivemind of House Republicans has been seized by the delusion that if it retains putting extra and even greater bets on one-term, twice-impeached Donald Trump — essentially the most disgraced and disliked president in American historical past — this time the social gathering will get its energy again.

And extra! Their dignity will come again. The non-public planes, the ballot numbers outdoors their most rabid base, the righteousness, the adulation of the American folks. Gaetz can return to flaunting videos of semi-naked ladies on his telephone (sources say), and Falwell can publish extra pix of his unzipped pants. Giuliani shall be restored as America’s Mayor. And after all Trump shall be again in workplace, the eternally president.

Deal me in, the House Republicans are saying with the hit job on Cheney. Just yet one more hand. That’ll present everybody.

Mmmm, OK, Republicans. While you retain blowing it on delusions, the remainder of us shall be getting our vaccinations and rebuilding the economic system. We don’t mess with gamblers on tilt.


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