Tony Kendall

I’m getting a kick out of this argument that what is happening within the former Republican Party is a battle for the soul of the party.

Naww, bruh, it’s not a battle for the soul of the party; the party has no soul to fight for and hasn’t had one for 50 years or more.

Former President Donald Trump didn’t create this atmosphere, he only sucked the oxygen out of it.

For all intents and purposes, the battle has been over since the days following the Jan. 6th insurrection and the attempted coup by Trump supporters, who were egged on by 147 members of the Trump Political Party, also known as the Cult.

And regardless of what is said by old-school Republicans like Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney and Adam Kinzinger, who have been the most vocal in their opposition to what their party has become, the Cult of Trump won easily.

While I appreciate their recent refusals to bend a knee and pledge featly to Trump and not toe the Trump Party line about the Big Lie, I have no lofty platitudes for any of them because, for the most part, they toed the party line when resistance would have mattered.

Examples include all the times Trump refused to allow members of his administration to appear before congressional committees, ignored congressional oversight and other traditional government norms.

During Trump’s first impeachment trial, Romney was the only Republican senator who voted to convict him.

But up until then, he was as a reliable GOP vote for anything Trump wanted to do politically, voting with Trump 78% of the time.

No Republican members of the House voted to impeach him the first time.

Kinzinger, Cheney and eight other Republicans thought that inciting an insurrection was a bridge too far and voted for impeachment the second time around.

But before that moment, all of them combined voted with the Trump Party position at an 82% clip.

Individually, Cheney voted with Trump 93% of the time while Kinzinger did so 90% of the time.

Only one of the 10, Peter Meijer from Michigan had a pro-Trump rating of less than 70%, coming in at a near-moderate Democrat rating of 42%.

When you are in a political war for the soul of a nation, it doesn’t matter when someone joins your cause ,as long as they get there before the shooting stops.

But they don’t get an all-is-forgotten pass, especially Cheney.

Alongside her father Darth — er, I mean Dick — Cheney, she help create the atmosphere and conditions that led Republicans down the road to Trump.

Before Trump’s Big Lie about the 2020 presidential election, there was her father’s big lie about Saddam Hussien possessing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that were poised to attack the United States.

That led to one of the United States’ worst wars, in Iraq.

Liz, who worked at the State Department, echoed her father’s position and didn’t change her mind even after no WMDs were found and we got bogged down in the region fighting wars in two countries.

She stood by Trump as he violated and ignored portions of the U.S. Constitution, the same way she did when her father was doing it in the early 2000s in the name of fighting the war on terror by curtailing civil rights at home and abroad.

Not once during her many appearances on the Fox network pre-insurrection did she ever utter a discouraging word against Trump.

In the days leading up to her being removed from her leadership position, one of the national newspapers ran a photo of her smiling as she shared a tender moment with Trump at a bill signing.

I don’t recall one of those with Trump and Mitt taken in the last couple of years.

But the Liz Cheney memories that are burned into my political mind are the ones when she was attacking former President Barack Obama, always on Fox.

Early on, she had a chance to denounce the Trump-led Obama birthier conspiracy, and she responded by saying that it was “people being uncomfortable with having for the first time ever a president who seems so reluctant to defend the nation overseas.”

Yet, she was silent while Trump played footsie with Vladimir Putin.

But, as the ole saying says, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and all not Trump Republicans qualify.



From time to time, I’ve written about law enforcement and how my interactions with them went.

I had one last week that didn’t go that well, and it wasn’t due to anything the officer did — it was me.

For reasons I can’t explain, I got more defensive than was necessary when he approached my vehicle after blue-lighting me on Highway 641 in Puryear, and he didn’t respond in kind.

He treated me with the upmost respect during the entire event, and I was a jacka--.

This is my apology to Deputy Kyle Waldron. I’m sorry for how I reacted to you.


Hi, Momma Lois.


TONY KENDALL of Hazel is a writer, teacher, actor, playwright and sports fanatic. He can be reached by email at

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