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Throughout 2020, I keep reaching the same political conclusion about the Republican Party, at both a national and state level. Even though this year has felt like 1918, 1968, 1998 and 2008 combined, it’s pretty wild how many crises the Republicans in D.C. and Ohio have weathered since the year began. Not surprisingly, it seems like even 2020 is finally starting to take a toll on the ol’ Party of Lincoln.

Consider that when 2019 rolled over, President Donald Trump had already been impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives and was about to face trial in the Senate. Not only did the impeachment process irreparably divide the country, but Republicans found themselves divided on how the rule of law should apply to The Teflon Don. Some conservatives like Rep. Justin Amash (L-MI) and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) felt Trump’s actions were worthy of impeachment, which naturally earned them their due condemnation from their conservative counterparts and right wing media. Nonetheless, the cracks were beginning to form in the GOP’s foundation -- and it was only January.

Then came the global pandemic and subsequent economic crash caused by COVID-19. The Trump Administration didn’t take measures against the coronavirus early enough, while other GOP leaders across the country refused to act as well, in hopes of preserving their precious economy. Hollow press conferences pitting science against the potential political and economic ramifications became the norm. Sure enough, plenty of Republican governors opted for economics over public health, only to see the virus eventually spike in their states.

One governor who didn’t fall for Trump’s tricks was Ohio’s own Mike DeWine, who earned praise early on for listening to his health advisors and taking actions to slow the virus’ spread. However, because of this, another rift began to widen within Ohio’s GOP. On one side were the more “moderate” followers of DeWine and former Governor John Kasich, while the other side was made up of right-wing, mask hating, “liberty for me, but not for thee” conservatives who like to show up to the Statehouse every now and then. Such conservatives include “hot celebrity” state representatives like Candice Keller, Nino Vitale and Ohio’s Speaker of the House, Larry Householder. For months, these Republicans fought DeWine on everything -- masks, the shutdown, listening to Dr. Amy Acton, you name it. All of this set the stage for a showdown between the two sparring factions of Buckeye State conservatives, as the cracks in the Ohio GOP’s foundation continued to grow.

At the end of May came the tragic killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, as well as the civil unrest that ensued around the nation. Across America, conservatives were once again forced to pick a side and decide if they were for “law and order” or against innocent Black Americans being the constant target of police bias and brutality. While many conservatives still bucked the old “back the blue” stance, others began to question whether an abusive police force serves the needs of a just government, or if it turns our society into exactly what the colonists feared when they fought the British in the first place.

At this point it was only June -- arguably a simpler time in hindsight, despite the circumstances. But for us true political nerds in Ohio, this was all before the most delicious political meal ever occurred towards the end of July. Yes, a sweet gift of swift justice was delivered when Householder, former Ohio GOP chairman Matt Borges and three others were brought up on historic racketeering charges surrounding the controversial nuclear bailout bill, HB6. Thankfully, the FBI had been investigating the money laundering scheme since FirstEnergy first picked up the phone to call some of Ohio’s shadiest operatives.

Now the cracks in the Ohio GOP’s foundation are so big, the entire house of cards is certainly doomed to fall -- as long as they don’t rig the elections against Democrats and minor political parties again (like they have in the past!) Either way, it does seem like Republicans in Ohio and around the country are finally facing a much due reckoning. Maybe it was Trump’s lawlessness, or the pass he’d always get from Ohio Republicans like Senator Rob Portman and Rep. Jim Jordan. Maybe it was all the contrived money-making scams from “moderate” Republicans like Kasich, John Weaver and their shadyLincoln Project operation. Maybe it was all the insane bullshit that came out of the mouths and Facebook posts of Candice Keller and Nino Vitale, or the completely corrupt money laundering and racketeering plots engineered by sellout scumbags like Householder and Borges. Whatever it is, it’s just good to know that the Ohio Republican Party is finally falling apart -- and it’s spectacular!

However, this doesn’t mean they won’t win again in November… so remember to do your part.