Dem 51
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GOP 49
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The GOP 25: A Rundown

On Friday, as the introduction to "This Week in Freudenfreude: When Republicans Do Good" we wrote:

We don't often get to talk about a Republican (or multiple Republicans) in this space. That is because the modern Republican Party is largely in the control of slimeballs who cater to their voters' basest instincts. Quick, can you name a plank of the GOP, as currently constituted, that involves making the world into a better place in some way? It's all about undoing one thing or another, or protecting turf of one sort or another (financial turf, religious turf, national turf/borders, etc.).

We got some pushback on that, although the pushback was largely focused on the use of the word "slimeball," which was deemed a cheap shot. Maybe so, but it's hard to think of another word that's substantially more dignified and yet conveys our meaning. In any event, in response to that pushback, we wrote this:

We thought carefully about that characterization before writing it, and while we are happy to share your critique with the readership, we stand by it. If you or anyone else can name, say, five Republicans who can be ranked among the 25 most important Republicans in the country right now (a mere 20%!), and who have not directly engaged in extremely undemocratic behavior, or enabled such behavior, or pointedly looked the other way while such behavior took place, then we are happy to reconsider our assessment once again. We will spot you Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), but you still need four more.

Even though we provided an e-mail link in the text, we heard from only one reader, and that reader was only able to name two people in addition to Romney (Larry Hogan and Asa Hutchinson). We are disinclined to include medium-state former governors in the Top 25 and, in any case, two is not four.

That said, the fact that Congress is not in session right now means the news cycle is a little slow. So, we thought we would examine our presumption a little more thoroughly. We now present a list of the 25 most important Republicans in the nation, in our view, along with examples of anti-democratic behavior, where applicable (and it usually is):

Rank Person Examples of Undemocratic Behavior
25 Kari Lake Election denial
24 Rep. Matt Gaetz Election denial, Trump apologia, (alleged) sex trafficking
23 Gov. Chris Sununu N/A
22 Rep. Scott Perry Freedom Caucus shenanigans
21 Mike Pence Trump apologia, demagoguery, undermining separation of church and state
20 Gov. Kristi Noem Trump apologia, immigration vigilantism, corruption
19 Gov. Glenn Youngkin Demagoguery, election denial, conspiratorial thinking
18 Rep. Lauren Boebert Trump apologia, abetting insurrection, undermining separation of church and state
17 Sen. Tim Scott Trump apologia, undermining separation of church and state
16 Rep. Elise Stefanik Trump apologia, election denial, abuse of House procedures
15 Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Trump apologia, abetting insurrection, gross abuse of House procedures
14 Sen. Mitt Romney N/A
13 Sen. Rick Scott Trump apologia, election denial
12 House Maj. Leader Steve Scalise Trump apologia, abetting insurrection
11 Sen. Tommy Tuberville Trump apologia, abetting insurrection, undermining military
10 Ronna Romney McDaniel Extreme Trump apologia
9 Sen. Lindsey Graham Trump apologia, extreme dishonesty
8 Sen. Josh Hawley Trump apologia, abetting insurrection, antisemitism
7 Rep. Jim Jordan Freedom Caucus shenanigans, abetting insurrection
6 Sen. Ted Cruz Demagoguery, Trump apologia, abetting insurrection
5 Gov. Greg Abbott Immigration vigilantism, abortion vigilantism, undermining separation of church and state
4 Gov. Ron DeSantis Demagoguery, immigration vigilantism, policing speech
3 Sen. Min. Leader Mitch McConnell SCOTUS hypocrisy, Trump apologia
2 Speaker Kevin McCarthy Trump apologia, election denial, gross abuse of House procedures
1 Donald Trump Ahem...

Having laid it all out, we think we still have the right of it, namely that the modern Republican Party, in contrast to past editions of that political organization, is in the thrall of a mostly undemocratic oligarchy. But did we err? Did we rank someone too high or too low? Omit someone we should have included? Give someone an unfair review? Offer a completely unreasonable assessment of the whole ball of wax? We welcome comments. (Z)

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