A new political party? Connublicans?
Could there have ever been a time when the members of a political party in Connecticut have been so disconnected with their national party leadership as state Republicans are now from Donald Trump?
Not only are Connecticut Republicans continuing to try to distance themselves from the sore loser in the White House, as he builds a conspiracy-driven alternate reality, but they've become prickly when you try to point it out.
Rep. Holly Cheeseman of East Lyme went off on The Day in a long op-ed criticism, in which she complained about being asked about the head of her party conceding the national election.
"One has to question The Day's obsession over the reactions/opinions of local Republican elected officials to the activities of President Trump," Cheeseman wrote.
She went on to suggest the newspaper should have asked instead about things with a local impact, like the U.S. Senate cutting a big submarine appropriation from the defense budget.
Doesn't she know or even have a clue that the sub cut was initiated by her own Republican president, with a great detrimental impact on her constituents here in Connecticut?
Honestly, you would think that in asking about the truth-denying Trump, who was at the head of the ballot Connecticut Republicans ran on, that the newspaper was trying to tie them to Hitler or Stalin, not the current head of their own political party, a president whose influence is being felt across the state.
We heard more of this Trump whining by Connecticut Republicans in a recent op-ed in The Day by state Sen. Len Fasano, Senate Republican leader, who complained, "The Day did all it could to make sure this election was a referendum on President Trump and on any Republican who never disavowed the president."
Well, at least in eastern Connecticut, Republican candidates not only did not disavow their president, they said nothing — honestly, zip, nada, zero — to support him.
Why belong to a political party if you don't support or even acknowledge the person or his policies who is at the head of it? This is as bizarre as Trump's own alternate reality, in which he claims to have won the election and that America is ready to install an illegitimate president.
Maybe it's time for Connecticut Republicans to regain some of the dignity that they have lost in the Trump era. I remember not that long ago when there were moderate Republicans who reached across the aisle and elicited enough voter appeal in Connecticut to win some national elections.
It's been a long time since Connecticut Republicans have been able to send anyone to Washington. That abysmal record should tell them something.
Connecticut Republicans did pull the social media plug on their Trump-loving chairman, J.R. Romano, in the heat of the election, when the party's media feed went dark on all the Trump frenzy.
It's pretty clear, even in defeat, Trump is not going to release his tight grip on the Republican party.
Connecticut Republicans, who probably lost a lot of seats in the last two elections because of him, must, like a lot of Republicans in blue states around the country, be despondent over the continuing Trump era.
Can Republicans here continue to ignore the person at the head of their party, as well as all his Connecticut supporters? Will they continue to lash out at anyone who asks them a Trump question and brings up this conundrum?
Maybe it's time for local Republicans to form a new Connecticut party, one that perfects Trump denial and builds a base around its own most enduring policy commitment: No tolls.
How about a party called Connublicans.
They won't have to be bothered any more with Trump questions and they can practice their own alchemy of denial, that Connecticut doesn't need an income tax to balance its budget, as the last Republican candidate for governor insisted, or tolls to fix its deteriorating roads.
I suspect Trump supporters would still choose Connublicans over Democrats.
This is the opinion of David Collins.
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