GOP Lawmakers Are Retiring in Droves. Trump Is Partly to Blame.

A Washington Post analysis looks details how the President has shaped his party.

President Donald Trump arrives at Lima Allen Airport to participate in a tour of Pratt Industries with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday.Evan Vucci/AP

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Since Donald Trump took office in January 2017, Republican lawmakers have left the House of Representatives in droves. A Washington Post analysis found that 40 percent of the 241 Republicans who have been in office since January 2017 have departed or retired.

Forty-one have announced they wouldn’t seek reelection or left national politics altogether since Trump took office, more than the two dozen Democrats who left during Obama’s first term in office. But why? “The vast turnover is a reminder of just how much Trump has remade the GOP—and of the purge of those who dare to oppose him,” the Post reported.

Though many have publicly cited family as the reason, the Post reported that privately, there’s some frustration about the party’s future direction under Trump. “I think a lot of members are pretty nervous that Trump doesn’t win reelection. And then we’re in the minority and we have a Democrat in the White House,” a Republican leadership aide told the Post. “We’re in the wilderness right now, but if you lose the White House, then that is the extreme wilderness.”

Republican Rep. Paul Mitchell, who announced his retirement in July following Trump’s tweets telling Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, put it this way: 

“Did any member of this conference expect that their job would start out every morning trying to go through the list of what’s happening in tweets of the day? We’re not moving forward right now. We are simply thrashing around.”

Read the rest of the report here

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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