In an interview with CNN, former Bush administration official Peter Wehner called the GOP “a dangerous party,” becoming the latest longtime Republican to decry his own party in the wake of its embrace of former President Donald Trump’s fictions about the 2020 general election.
“I think it’s bleak,” Wehner said when asked to prognosticate about the GOP’s political future. “I think it’s electorally bleak, but more importantly than that, I think it’s bleak in terms of morality and justice.”
“As you said, this is a party wedded to a big lie. Really, a whole series of big lies by a man who is perpetrating lies morning, noon, and night. And so this is a party that I would say is a diseased party right now. A dangerous party,” he added.
Wehner said that Republicans have suffered as a result of “the big lie” and that attempts by congressional Republicans to hold their own colleagues accountable have largely faltered.
“People like Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney and Adam Kinzinger who dare to speak truth to this party and talk about the reality of things are targeted, and in Liz’s case, she may lose her leadership position. So it’s a very difficult situation right now for the party, but one they have chosen,” he said.
In a piece for The Atlantic that was published last week, Wehner called the GOP “a grave threat to democracy.”
“Many of those who are part of MAGA world are post-truth, subordinating reality to partisanship and ideology, but they are not, strictly speaking, relativists. Or to be more precise: They don’t believe they’re relativists; in fact, they would argue to their dying breath that they’re defending the truth,” he wrote. “The problem is that the information sources on which they’re relying, and that they seek out, are built on falsehoods and lies. Many Trump supporters aren’t aware of this, and for complicated reasons many of them are, for now at least, content to live in a world detached from objective facts, from reality, from the way things really and truly are. And without agreement on what constitutes reality, we’re lost.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.