Opinion: GOP silence greets latest Trump actions

Sometimes in life, we choose to ignore problems, in the fervent hope that they will somehow magically disappear.

That may have been the game plan for many Republicans in Congress this week when it came to the declarations of former President Donald Trump.

Instead of echoing GOP election-year concerns about inflation or President Biden’s student loan plan, Trump said it was time to nullify the results of the 2020 election.

Trump presented America with two choices — immediately install him as President again, or quickly hold a new election for the White House.

That’s not how things work — but the reaction from Republicans in Congress to Trump’s call was almost total silence.

Only one conservative Republican stood up to challenge Trump — U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., who noted that Trump had previously denied such plans, which clearly would violate the Constitution.

“Honesty matters,” said Brooks, whose own dispute with Trump over this matter probably cost the Alabama Republican a seat in the U.S. Senate.

If any other Republicans had concerns about Trump proposing ways to subvert the Constitution, they kept it to themselves — not wanting to be targeted by the GOP frontrunner for 2024.

That was also true about the ongoing controversy over classified materials held by Trump at his Florida estate.

The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio — who called for an independent counsel investigation of Hillary Clinton over her emails — brushed off concerns about Trump and classified information.

“This sounds like a bookkeeping issue,” Turner said.

Republicans also looked away from several days of Trump’s social media outbursts, as he used his Truth Social platform to post anti-government themes, QAnon conspiracies, false election fraud claims, attacks on the FBI, and much more.

By Tuesday night, Trump was even trying to rewrite political history in Georgia, blaming U.S. Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell for the double Senate loss suffered by Republicans on Jan. 5, 2021, when Georgia Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler lost their seats.

“McConnell lost those two Senate seats, not Donald Trump!” Trump wrote, not mentioning how he spent the Georgia runoff unleashing a firehose of false charges about election fraud in 2020.

Almost 20 months later, not much has changed. Trump remains hyper-focused on the 2020 election, says little about pocketbook issues, still has zero evidence of election fraud and welcomes talk about being installed again as President.

If Republicans in Congress don’t like that midterm election year menu, they better speak up soon.

But the record of the past few years shows that is unlikely.

Jamie Dupree has covered national politics and Congress from Washington, D.C. since the Reagan administration. His column appears weekly in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For more, check out his Capitol Hill newsletter at http://jamiedupree.substack.com