IIt may seem like the walls are closing on Matt Gaetz, but a recent survey of GOPers in his heavily Republican district shows less than 19% think he should step down. These figures, however, return if he is convicted of sex trafficking.
Regular readers of this column will spot a few recurring trends: Republican voters have become less religious and more partisan, and politicians have learned that it’s better to weather the storm. As a result, the only effective way to control or deter behavior is through the legal process (rather than political or electoral).
Meanwhile, another trend has emerged in recent years: Donald Trump has attracted rabid boosters who had a vested interest in lowering the bar on ethical and moral standards (see Gaetz), and he created an authorization structure that spawned other imitators (see Marjorie Taylor Greene). If you don’t believe me, you can take their word for it. “We now have a president who doesn’t care about Puritan majesty or moralistic smoothing,” Gaetz boasted. Vanity Fair Last September. “Now is the right time to be a fun-loving politician rather than a stick in the mud,” he continued. “I have an active social life, and it’s probably easier in Trump’s day.”
“If Gaetz survives, the lesson will be that Telegraphy Preventing Your Vice is a kind of free card to get out of jail.“
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