“The Republican Party, both in this state and nationally, is a broad party,” Reagan said. “There is room in our tent for many views; indeed, the divergence of views is one of our strengths.”
Five decades on, in the era of Donald Trump, the Republican Party has wholly abandoned Reagan’s call for a big-tent party. In its place has emerged calls for utter party purity — or, more accurately, demands of total and utter fealty to the former president of the United States.
“This proposal is not because of a policy or political difference, but because some members have chosen to work with the Democrats to investigate and potentially remove Republican Members from the House. Republican Conference meetings are an opportunity for elected House Republicans to come together and strategize the most effective path to push back on the radical policies of Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi and the Democrats.”
So, because Cheney and Kinzinger agreed to serve on a committee aimed at getting to the bottom of a riot that left five people dead and more than 100 police officers injured, Biggs wants them booted out of the Republican conference entirely? Even though he acknowledges that his call for their removal “is not because of a policy or political difference”?
Let’s remember how we got here, shall we?
Biggs’ vision of the Republican Party appears to be one in which only people who believe a) the election was stolen b) January 6 was no big deal and c) Donald Trump is the reigning king of the GOP belong. Such a vision would shrink the party to true believers and conspiracy theorists — just the sort of party Trump would like to lord over.
Republicans would do well to take a breath and remember Reagan’s assertion of who was welcomed into the GOP. It worked out pretty well for the Gipper — and the GOP.