For those who believe that Donald Trump’s defeat in the November election is directly proportional to the collapse of the Republican Party, we have some not-so-helpful news.
The most rotten root of American politics has shown a twisted resilience in recent months, driven mainly by the new female faces in its leadership.
As CBS News reported, of the 135 women the United States has elected to represent it in Washington, many are Republicans.
Citing Center for American Women and Politics figures, the media reported that 32 GOP women will join the next Congress, surpassing the record of 30 Republican women sent in 2006. At least 24 Republican women so far will be headed to the House — including at least 13 new members — closing in on the party’s 2006 House record of 25 women.
Republican Beth Van Duyne in Texas’ 24th District declared victory after Democrat Candace Valenzuela conceded on Tuesday. In California’s 48th, incumbent Democrat Harley Rouda has conceded to Republican Michelle Steel. Their wins would surpass the record of 25 Republican women elected to the House. CBS News has not yet called these races.
“The 2018 cycle was a story of Democratic success; this year, we are seeing significant gains on the Republican side,” said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics, in a statement. “Advances for women must come from both sides of the aisle if women are to achieve equal representation in Congress.”
For Rolling Stone columnist Tessa Stuart, the rise of Republican women on the U.S. political scene is an alarming paradox, considering that more than 12.1 million women lost their jobs this year, that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the lives of women across the country, and considering that Donald Trump has framed his political life with the worst record of misogyny and sexism in history.
While in the 2018 mid-term elections the wave of women in Congress numbered only 13 Republican women, the 2020 elections show another reality.
“The 2020 election shows there are signs that the GOP is evolving — in the sense that wildlife in the fallout zone ‘evolved’ after Chernobyl. The Republican Party didn’t much improve its demographic makeup this year — members who have promoted the deranged QAnon delusion now outnumber black Republicans in the House of Representatives — but at least 35 Trump-loving Republican women were elected, five more than the party’s previous record,” Stuart writes. “As the president is forced to leave, spitting and screaming, his toxic, pugilistic brand of politics will live on in those women: paranoid conspiracies, partisan firebrands, and ardent Trump loyalists — a lot more Sarah Palin, and a lot less Margaret Chase Smith.”
Among the newcomers to the House of Representatives is Beth Van Duyne, the former Texas mayor who gained national attention by embracing the conspiracy theory that Muslims were conspiring to take over the United States and enforce Sharia law; Lauren Boebert of Colorado, an open restaurant owner and antagonist of Beto O’Rourke, who said she “hoped” that QAnon was real “because it just means America is getting stronger and better, and people are coming back to conservative values; and the infamous 9/11 truth-teller, Pizzagater, and QAnon devotee Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who is already picking fights on Twitter with fellow Republican Dan Crenshaw over what she sees as his insufficient loyalty to Trump.
It seems then that the feminist movement is growing a second, scary head determined to laugh in the face of those who innocently believed that democracy and women’s revolution were homonyms.