The Republican Party of Kentucky was asked by several voting members of its central committee to urge Mitch McConnell to stand behind Donald Trump in the second impeachment trial. The party overwhelmingly rejected that request.
Trump won 118 of Kentucky’s 120 counties in 2020. He received 62% of the popular vote. McConnell received 58%.
Cut off from directly communicating with his supporters by the censorship imposed by Twitter and Facebook Trump is now at the mercy of media influence over public opinion.
McConnell’s recent remarks in advance of the senate trial indicate that he has pre-judged Trumps responsibility for the actions of a few rioters who sought to confront Congress and secure a pubic vetting of the legitimacy of the November election in several states. A handful of the protesters did property damage to the Capitol and after Capitol security seemed to have stood down, gained access to areas of the public building usually off limits to visitors.
McConnell recently expressed what seemed to some to be his pre-judgement that Trump “provoked” the violence of a few (though speaking to millions). McConnell’s comments expressed his agreement with the allegation contained in Article 1 of the house impeachment document.
Over the years McConnell has exercised a great deal of control over the Kentucky state party apparatus which operates out of a building in Frankfort which bears his name.
But in a state which showed such strong support for Trump, McConnell’s public statements in advance of the senate trial (due to begin on February 8th) have left many republicans wondering who he speaks for.
The motion before the RPK to urge McConnell to support Donald Trump was soundly defeated. That result will be used to suggest that Ky republicans have abandoned Trump. It will certainly be used to show that McConnell’s control over the party apparatus is stronger than ever. But are either of these impressions true?
Kentucky republican voters will likely not accept or react favorably toward either narrative unless party leadership explains the committee vote in a way which does not slap them in their face on either account.
Failure to do so could have repercussions in the near future as the RPK is about to enter that period during which party reorganization takes place.
Beginning at the precinct level and having impact all the way to the next national presidential nominating convention four years from now, Kentucky republicans get the first and last word on who runs the party, to whom it listens and for whom it speaks.
Traditionally this process has been controlled from the top down with little grass roots participation. But as 2021 arrived and draconian top down censorship, crackdowns and turncoat politics seem to have been absorbed into the GOP a quiet, peaceful, process driven revolution seems to be building.
And what those in power fear most is being watched very carefully. It’s not the fringe, they only make headlines.
What the establishment fears most is the organization of, the collective power of, and the determination of grass roots Americans.