Today's version of the congressional GOP has lawmakers who are die-hard fans of Donald Trump, lawmakers who are willing to move on from the former president, and who are willing to say or do anything about Trump. To keep their jobs.
But no matter what faction they belong to, Republican members of Congress are coming together to lay a big gift at the former president's feet this Christmas season.
Because in the wake of the Colorado Supreme Court's ruling to keep Trump off the state's 2024 primary ballot, Republicans are falling over themselves to interfere with Trump, sending a message to their constituents that the decision is out of line.
Since Colorado's high court ruled that Trump was disqualified from the polls for violating the 14th Amendment's ban on “insurgents” from holding office, many congressional Republicans have condemned the decision and called for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn it.
But a broad cross-section of Republicans has gone a step further to defend Trump.
Hours after the Colorado result, Sen., a close ally of the former president and a major confidant of MAGAworld. Rep. Thom Tillis (R-NC) has introduced legislation that would prevent institutions like the Colorado Supreme Court from releasing rulings. Did last week. Tillis' proposal would allow only the Supreme Court, which currently has a 6-3 majority for conservatives, to decide such ballot questions.
“Whether you support or oppose former President Donald Trump, it's outrageous to see left-wing activists making a mockery of our political system by manipulating partisan government officials and pressuring judges to remove him from the ballot,” Tillis said. Report.
Meanwhile, the head of the Senate GOP's campaign arm and a staunch Trump ally, Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), said He plans to “send a letter to the Supreme Court of the United States calling for the immediate reversal of this blatant election interference for our democracy.”
In a characteristic development for the Republican-controlled House, Trump supporters began threatening to use the power of Congress not only to oppose the Colorado ruling, but also to retaliate against Democrats.
On Wednesday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) shared Post on X Pro-Trump activist Wade Miller, who encouraged a panel in Congress to issue a report finding Biden “guilty of rebellion” for “permitting an open border invasion,” said “red states” could be used as grounds to ban Biden. Ballot.
“I also serve as a member of Congress on the Homeland and Oversight Committees, which is 100% on board,” Green said. said In response to a quote from Miller.
Meanwhile, freshman Rep. Mike Collins (R-GA), raised the bar for a post by right-wing pundit Eric Erickson, who warned, “You're setting precedents that Democrats will use against you.”
“If only the GOP had the balls to fight back,” Collins replied.
As these Trump-worshippers push the rhetoric so far to the right, even Republicans who fall on the other side of the MAGA divide have no choice but to get on board.
On Tuesday, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX)—who supports Ron DeSantis for president—Tweeted Removing Trump from the ballot is “bad, unconstitutional and an unfortunately predictable, but outrageous, piece of legislation.” Earlier that day, Trump hates being thin Roy appointed a primary challenger to run against him, apparently as a “RINO”.
Republicans are taking aggressive but largely incoherent action in filing bills to address the Colorado decision, which is unlikely to have any effect. The US Supreme Court is set to consider Trump's appeal in January, which will be the definitive and final word on the topic.
But for Republicans, openly showing outrage or concern over the ruling reflects a cold calculation: It's a cheap and easy way to score points with the party base for everyone from the skeptical RINO to the MAGA diehard.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, told The Daily Beast that “I'm surprised that Republicans in Congress are objecting that this is somehow undemocratic.”
“The Colorado case was brought by Republicans to prevent a Republican insurgent from appearing on the Republican primary ballot,” Raskin told The Daily Beast. “The Colorado Supreme Court has engaged in a literal textual and original analysis of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was added to the Constitution by Republicans in the 19th century, to find that Trump is clearly disqualified for attempting to overturn the 2020 election.”
As Ruskin, a professor of constitutional law, said, “What is more democratic than a constitution which disqualifies officers who become insurgents and traitors to democracy?”
The Constitution, Raskin added, “did not believe he would be re-elected. He is barred from it.”
However, some Democrats did not exactly welcome the Colorado ruling.
Representative Dean Phillips (D-MN), who is challenging President Biden for the 2024 presidential nomination, posted on X that he believes Trump is guilty of inciting a rebellion. “Do I believe it's wrong to ban him from the ballot in Colorado with impunity? Absolutely,” he added.
A generous interpretation of the GOP reaction is that the regime was so bad that it united the party; In fact, retiring Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), a vocal critic of the former president, tweeted that he disagreed with his own state's high court ruling.
The answer also fits neatly into what has been the comfort zone for the congressional GOP during the Trump years: correcting the misdeeds and exaggerations of his critics without publicly worrying about the former president's misdeeds and exaggerations.
That anti-Trump faction struck a chord with Colorado Govt. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), for example, Published in X “The United States has imposed sanctions on other countries, as the Colorado Supreme Court did today.”
With Trump, the political incentives for Republicans and even some Democrats to find some common ground are powerful.
For Republicans, Trump's primary approval rating remains influential, and primary voters who support him don't want to forget even the tiniest instances of credible infidelity.
Tillis, for example, could easily face a challenge from the right if she runs for re-election in 2026. Rep. Nancy Mays (R-SC), sure to face a primary—revenge from former Speaker Kevin McCarthy or a Trump base she won't win—quickly trashed the ruling, Tweeting“Due process and the rule of law are being thrown out the window by people hell-bent on 'getting Pres Trump.'”
But for Democrats, finding a way to side with Trump on a matter like the Colorado ruling also has benefits. While Trump is an important bogeyman among Democratic voters, it's also important for lawmakers to burnish their independent credentials — showing they're not anti-Trump and can side with the other party.
Even with Preliminary voting Given that most voters actually approve of the Colorado ruling, it wouldn't be too hard to argue that a Democrat would be more comfortable if Trump were actually convicted of a crime before being barred from the ballot. That position may be more attractive to some Democrats Most legal experts believe the Supreme Court will reverse The Colorado decision.
That possibility really underscores the free cycle Republicans have had to get word of the ruling. If Congress is unlikely to act on the issue, and the Supreme Court is going to act immediately anyway, Republicans can improve their standing with MAGA voters.
Judging by GOP news coverage, Republicans are happy to give Trump a win in this one.