TheGrio Daily

Where Are the Good Republicans?

Episode 34

When it comes to policy and governing, there is no war inside the Republican party, they’re a united front.” We hear so much from the media flooding our eyes and ears with the notion that there are good republicans who are trying to save democracy and us from Trump. But is there really such a thing as a “good republican”? Michael Harriot answers that question.

You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. Black Culture Amplified. 

Michael Harriot [00:00:05] After suffering a scathing defeat in the primary, the Republican primary for Wyoming, Representative Liz Cheney announced that she is thinking about running for president in 2024. 

Liz Cheney [00:00:21] It has been said that the long arc of history bends toward justice and freedom. That’s true, but only if we make it bend. 

Michael Harriot [00:00:31] Like I don’t even know how she thinks, like, well, I can lose the primary, but then I can get enough votes to become president of the whole United States, even though I’m from like the smallest state, the state with the smallest population in the country. But I know it don’t make no sense unless you figure out that the content creators responsible for manufacturing the political narrative insist that there is only one hero who has the courage, conviction and character to prevent the collapse of the American democracy. Liz Cheney. Good Republican. Welcome to theGrio Daily, the only podcast that knows that there is no such thing as a good Republican. I’m Michael Harriot, world famous wypipologist and this is theGrio Daily. I know y’all heard about this, or maybe you haven’t because, you know, like maybe you don’t follow white politics. But here’s what Liz Cheney said about her decision or weighing whether she would run for president or not. 

Liz Cheney [00:01:44] So you’ve said that you’re going to think about running for president. Would you be running to send a message or would you be running to win? Now, look, you run for president because you believe you would be the best the best candidate. 

Michael Harriot [00:01:54] Yeah. That she really is considering running for president. And that’s because according to pundits and our political, you know, commentators, the 2024 presidential election is going to come down to one thing. Do you care about American democracy? And y’all know how we do, right? With all political conversation we take all the nuance and perspective out of them and the stripping down to something that, like dumb white people can understand. And so it’s like a comic book. Liz Cheney is like a superhero in the Republican cinematic universe. She’s held for or vilified, depending on your perspective, being a Never Trumper, even though he’s the important part. She voted with Donald Trump’s political position 92% of the time when he was in office. But still, she’s now a Republican in name only. She ain’t the only one like her. Mitt Romney. Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and all those white dudes who are members of the what do you call them, the Lincoln Project. They all are hailed now as people who are standing up for democracy, even though they built the whole Republican platform that Donald Trump ran on. 

Michael Harriot [00:03:22] Even though they enabled the party that doesn’t disbelieve what Donald Trump disbelieve. They just do it with better dog whistles. Right. And even some Democrats are invested in this mythology. Right. Like the same comic book. Democrats are reading it, too. They think there’s a league of extraordinary Republicans who can defeat the evil force known as Ultra MAGA and the bad Republicans, they aren’t like the good Republicans because the bad Republicans voted against the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act await the good Republicans do too. So the bad Republicans voted against the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. The good Republicans did it that, too. Okay, here’s one. The bad Republicans hailed the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe versus Wade. Whoa. Shit. The good Republicans did it, too. Wait, wait. What is the difference between a good Republican and a bad Republican? And why is Liz Cheney all of a sudden a good Republican? 

Liz Cheney [00:04:37] Today, we’re focusing on President Trump’s relentless effort to pressure Mike Pence to refuse to count electoral votes on January 6th. 

Michael Harriot [00:04:46] Like just because she pursuing the people who were responsible for January six. Well, see, here’s how I think about that. Right. Even though I do applaud her for doing that. There’s just one thing that I have to point out. It’s her fucking job. She literally took an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States. Which includes. People who foment or participate in insurrection. You know, applauding her for doing her job is like praising the cab driver for not steering the taxi into a wall. You supposed to get us where we want to go? But somehow. She’s created this illusion that she’s a valiant hero, engaged in an existential battle against the sinister adversaries of the bad Republicans. You know, the bad Republicans, they incite insurrection, inspire white right wing extremism and sort to invalidate the electoral process. Now the good Republicans of they just. Built the violent extremists from a grass roots. White supremacy platform. The good Republicans, they don’t try to overturn elections. They just try to suppress Black voters. Which, okay, that overturns elections. The good Republicans would never try to be racist outwardly, but they will sign on to racist laws like. You know, the don’t say gay bill or anti CRT legislation. Because there is no such thing as a good Republican. There is no difference between the good ones and the bad one, they are just Republicans. The difference between the ultra MAGAs and the regular white dudes who vote for a border wall like Liz Cheney did. Is what it is. No difference. The difference between the good Republicans who wanted a muslim ban and the bad Republicans is okay. There is no difference. And if there are so-called good Republicans, why hasn’t a single GOP senator broken their party’s filibuster and joined the right’s effort to protect voting rights? 

Michael Harriot [00:07:22] Why hasn’t any of the so-called good Republicans supported police reform. Why didn’t any of the good Republicans vote to increase the minimum wage and the infrastructure bill? What is he role as when the GOP killed the try to kill health care? Where are these good Republicans everybody keeps talking about? Maybe they have a secret identity that allows them to march in lockstep with their party to condemn special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which Liz Cheney called a partizan agenda of attacking President Trump. And she’s one of the good ones. She’s one of the good ones who supports LGBTQ rights now, because she said that. Right. But when she was just a regular Republican, when it mattered, she voted against marriage equality. Her investigations into the efforts to overturn an election cannot outweigh her support for suppressive voter restrictions. A single vote to impeach Trump cannot win all the votes he cast in favor of his policies. And the two factions might be different in their approach and their decorum and the volume of their dog whistles. But neither side has reservations about weaponizing religious fanatics, right wing extremism and voter suppression to maintain the status quo. And that’s the point. See, the good Republicans still want to build a border wall. They still want to deny climate change. They still want to control women’s bodies. They still want to restrict access to polls and suppress political dissent. The desire to preserve democracy is as fictional as this fabricated storyline. Now, to be fair, it’s inarguable that the Trump wing of the Republican Party threatens democracy. But making a distinction between the MAGAs and the regular Republicans is dangerous because painting them as good obscures the fact that Liz Cheney, the members of the Lincoln Project and other lifelong party loyalists, helped build the death rate that is now pointed at the American Republic. 

Michael Harriot [00:09:53] When it comes to policy and governing, there is no war inside the Republican Party. They are a united front. Perhaps the only Republican superpower is their ability to manufacture villains out of thin air, even when they’re forced to sacrifice their fellow Republicans to maintain the party’s cloak of invisibility. They’ve already suppressed enough votes. They’ve already disenfranchized enough felons. They’ve already gerrymandered enough districts to maintain their strength. Maybe the most fantastic part of this whole story. That involves Liz Cheney’s heroic fight to preserve democracy lies in the premise of this that America is a democracy. Remember, there are no such thing as good Republicans. And remember. To download theGrio app. Remember to listen. Remember to tell one of your friends about it. And remember that we always leave you. With a famous Black saying the only thing worse than a Republican is. All right. We’ll see you later. If you like what you heard, please give us a five star review. Download theGrio app, subscribe to the show and share it with everyone you know. Please email all questions, suggestions and compliments to podcasts at 

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Dr. Christina Greer [00:11:35] You’re watching the Blackest Questions podcast with Christina Greer. In this podcast, we ask our guests five of the Blackest questions so we can learn a little bit more about them and have some fun while we’re doing it. 

Guest 1 [00:11:47] Okay, so this is a trick question. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:11:50] We’re also going to learn a lot about Black history, past and present. 

Guest 2 [00:11:53] Beautiful. I learned a wonderful fact today. Great. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:11:56] So here’s how it works. We have five rounds of questions about us. Black history, the whole diaspora, current events, you name it. With each round, the questions get a little tougher. 

Guest 3 [00:12:06] Oh, you got me. You got me. Let me see. Let me see. Let me see. 

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Guest 2 [00:12:10] I knew you were going to go there. Dr. Greer. 

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