Opinion: The only way Republicans can lead again

4 min read
Republicans in Congress have had the chance to stop the recklesness of Donald Trump's presidency, writes CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer. Instead, the party has let Trump's presidential power run amok and they're the only ones capable of stopping him, Zelizer argues.
(CNN) President Donald Trump is conducting an all-out assault on our democracy. There is no other way to look at this. The President lost the election and his legal team has failed to produce evidence of voter fraud. So now President Trump is attempting to convince state legislatures to overthrow the results. Voters made their decision, and yet he wants to force a different outcome. His attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is spewing the kinds of conspiracy theories that even conspiracy theorists shy away from. This is dangerous stuff. When some writers, such as Barton Gellman, writing in the Atlantic, predicted this would happen , too many people shrugged off the warning.

None of this should come as a surprise. In February, Congressman Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, warned the Senate at the end of the President's impeachment trial : "We must say enough—enough! He has betrayed our national security, and he will do so again. He has compromised our elections, and he will do so again. You will not change him. You cannot constrain him. He is who he is. Truth matters little to him. What's right matters even less, and decency matters not at all."

Confronted with all of the testimony and evidence as to how Trump abused presidential power, Senate Republicans didn't take Rep. Schiff up on his warning. With the exception of Sen. Mitt Romney, who voted to convict Trump , the rest of the party stood by the President. Sen. Susan Collins assured voters that "I believe that the President has learned from this case. The President has been impeached. That's a pretty big lesson."

By now it should be clear that the only lesson President Trump learned from the impeachment process was that almost every elected Republican…
Opinion by Julian Zelizer, CNN Political Analyst
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