The conservative movement is directing its palpable frustration over Tuesday’s tepid election results at Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel.
GOPers lost a gubernatorial race in conservative-leaning Kentucky, a referendum affirming abortion rights in Ohio, several notable school boards across counties in Iowa, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and they saw Democrats take control of the Virginia statehouse.?
Republicans, understandably, aren’t very happy about these outcomes, and some are training their ire at McDaniel. The mutiny took center stage at the GOP debate Wednesday night, when Vivek Ramaswamy used his opening remarks to call for McDaniel to step down.
“We have to have accountability in our party. For that matter, Ronna, if you wanna come onstage tonight, you wanna look the GOP voters in the eye and tell ’em you resign, I will turn over my — yield my time to you,” he said. He also called the GOP a “party of losers.” (Progressives were quick to agree).?
Here, the perpetually online Ramaswamy was merely channeling the angst of conservative accounts on social media that have been posting since Tuesday night. Earlier in the day, right-wing activist Charlie Kirk had suggested Ramaswamy ought to take McDaniel’s place as RNC chair.
Former Trump-whisperer Steve Bannon and influencers in the far-right media ecosystem have also been calling for McDaniel to resign, with figures like Rep. Matt Gaetz and far-right activist Scott Pressler floated as potential replacements.
It’s been a slow build to this level of anti-Ronna rancor. Last year, I wrote about right-wing efforts to oust McDaniel during the RNC chair election and replace her with a more extreme voice. Pillow-monger and election denialist Mike Lindell launched a long-shot bid. But the more formidable insurgent candidate was conservative lawyer Harmeet Dhillon, who has pushed for the RNC to hire an army of lawyers to challenge the election processes in various states in 2024.?
McDaniel has tried to quell the backlash in the wake of Wednesday’s debate, telling CNN’s Dana Bash that Republican infighting “颈蝉苍’迟 helping our party.”
“I’m not running for president, so I’m not in this primary,” she noted. Indeed, McDaniel 颈蝉苍’迟 running for office. But right-wingers feel like they can see her fingerprints all over their election losses. And if the MAGA-era GOP is good at anything, it's finding someone to take the blame.