Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., listen as the House select committee tasked with investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol meets on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 19, 2021. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

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The Republican National Committee seems to be intent on continuing the party’s self-inflicted lobotomy. The RNC passed a censure resolution, on voice vote without any discussion, against Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. Their transgression: participating in a “Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse.” If a rampaging mob yelling “Hang Mike Pence,” on Jan. 6 qualifies as “legitimate political discourse,” then I sure as hell would hate to see the “illegitimate” version. While the Republican Party vilifies Cheney and Kinzinger, they embrace the politics of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan.

As an erstwhile member of the Republican Party, leaving in August 2017 after the tragedy at Charlottesville and Donald Trump’s pathetic response, I am stupefied by the level to which my former party has sunk. Gone are the days when Ronald Reagan’s Republican Party rightly referred to Russia as an “evil empire.” A number of today’s Republicans, when faced with a choice of supporting a Democratic Ukraine or an autocratic totalitarian regime under Vladimir Putin in Russia, are siding with Putin. This is a leader who routinely jails or threatens his opponents. President Reagan must be spinning in his grave.

The Republican Party desperately needs their elected officials to speak out. Instead, it is being led by Trump sycophants. The party should recruit honest people who are unafraid to ask tough questions and speak out when inconsistencies arise. Republicans need to summon up the courage to say, “The Emperor Trump has no clothes.”

Samuel Rosenthal