Inside the Beltway: A Republican identity crisis is coming


Chatter is intensifying about post-Trump America, when President Trump becomes “former President Trump” and prepares to run in 2024, become an even more powerful political force, found his own news organization — or all of the above.

So now what?

“Republicans have some decisions to make. What will future Republicans stand for?” asks National Review columnist Jim Geraghty, who offers a reality check about President-elect Joseph R. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

“No matter how you feel about President Trump running for president again in 2024, there will be four years of a Biden (and perhaps Harris) presidency to get through before then. Republicans in office will have to decide what they stand for during this interim. ‘Oppose Biden’ will be part of the answer, but it is not the complete answer,” Mr. Geraghty advises.

“The complete answer of what Republicans stand for is likely to involve something that moves beyond the fights of the past four years. The answer to the question, ‘What do you stand for?’ really should not involve a particular person,” he says, suggesting Republicans at least will have one clear advantage if they can just hold on to the U.S. Senate.

The other side will have their challenges too, though.

“Democrats won the White House, more or less on the unofficial slogan, ‘Joe Biden is not Donald Trump.’ They’re going to have their own big fights about what they stand for, too,” Mr. Geraghty says.


Here’s some advice to Republicans and conservatives who now sit — irked and astonished — that the Democratic Party, the media and other liberal forces behaved badly during the 2020 presidential election. Matt Mayer, a columnist for The Spectator, explains why Democrats and their ilk act the way the do.

“They don’t give a damn. They won. Specifically, the media, Democrats, Big Tech and their hacks don’t care one jot that their pre-election interviews, tweets, stories and actions were knowingly misleading or worse bald-faced lies. They most certainly don’t care what the rest of us think of them,” Mr. Mayer writes.

“We are just deplorables hanging out in those red counties. All they care about is that they won and roughly half the country will adore them for the lies they told to win. Biden is in and Trump is out. Period. Don’t get me wrong: there should be accountability for people who were knowingly wrong,” he continues.

“A compromised media is simply bad for America. Big Tech clearly taking the side of one political party over the other won’t end well. But we are past that now. The right needs to realize that the left will seek victory at any cost so if they aren’t prepared to meet them in the caged arena in a fight with no rules, then they should accept defeat and move on. Otherwise, start fighting back. I hear Ken Starr might have some time to serve as a special counsel,” Mr. Mayer concludes.’


Many Americans puzzle over aberrant, biased, often infuriating political news coverage which persists despite efforts to quell it.

What happened to the news? What happened to public trust in the news and the viable, service-minded news coverage of yore? A majority of Americans now are aware of the potentially toxic effects of shoddy news coverage.

Let’s move to the numbers. Nearly three-fourths of Americans — 72% — say they saw news that was “made up” during the election. They also witnessed the toxic effect of such news.

“After an election season where viral online misinformation was rampant, six-in-ten Americans say that made-up news and information had a ‘major impact’ on the presidential election, about on par with the portion who say the same of news media coverage,” says a major report from the Pew Research Center released Wednesday.

Not surprisingly, 69% of Republicans and 54% of Democrats agree.

“When asked which party election misinformation was mostly intended to hurt, however, both Democrats and Republicans see it as targeting their own side. About seven-in-ten Republicans (69%) say that made-up election news was mostly intended to hurt the Republican Party, and 63% of Democrats say that it was intended to hurt the Democratic Party,” Pew says.


This is not a movie. Bob Iger, executive chairman of Disney, has a diplomatic future. He is “at the top of President-elect Joe Biden‘s wish list for a key ambassador post,” says the Hollywood Reporter, advising that China or Britain are Mr. Iger’s most likely landing spots.

Film producer and DreamWorks Pictures founder Jeffrey Katzenberg is also destined for an ambassadorship, as is Matt Walden, husband of Walt Disney Television entertainment chairman Dana Walden.

Oh, but it’s a friendly group. Mr. Walden has also enjoyed a 30-year friendship with Douglas Emhoff, husband of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.


Fox News continues to best all of its cable rivals, drawing 2.8 million prime-time viewers last week according to Nielsen Media Research — followed by ESPN (2.3 million), MSNBC (2.1 million), CNN (1.8 million) and the Hallmark Channel (1.6 million.)

Fox News also aired 11 of the top 20 cable telecasts — and delivered 11 programs which drew audiences of over 3 million viewers. In addition, Fox News fans are still flocking to heavy duty politics: The top programs are “Tucker Carlson Tonight” which garnered 3.6 million viewers, and “Hannity” with 3.3 million.


63% of Americans say media coverage of the campaigns had a major impact on the presidential election: 71% of Republicans and 56% of Democrats agree.

60% overall say “made up news and information intended to mislead the public” had a major impact on the presidential election: 69% of Republicans and 54% of Democrats agree.

48% overall say “social media decisions about election content on their platforms” had a major impact: 62% of Republicans and 37% of Democrats agree.

32% overall say “advertisements from campaign and other groups” had a major impact: 30% of Republicans and 33% of Democrats agree.


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