MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said the GOP’s problem is not Donald Trump but the Republican Party. She compared Trump to Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro, who is banned from running for office for eight years, saying that country took action to prevent further abuses of power, whereas Republicans want to return the American equivalent to the Presidency.
“Bolsonaro has since become totally irrelevant in politics in Brazil, while Trump is still at the head of the Republican Party,” she said. Maddow added that far from condemning Trump for the events of January 6, Republicans would be happy to see the same situation play out again.
Mr. Bolsonaro was found guilty last year of abusing his power in the run-up to Brazil’s Presidential election by claiming that electronic balloting would lead to electoral fraud, thereby encouraging distrust in the result. Carlos Melo, a political science professor at Insper University in Sao Paulo, said, “This decision will end Bolsonaro’s chances of being president again, and he knows it.”
The former President is appealing the ruling, but legal experts suggest an overturn is unlikely. Bolsonaro is barred from the 2024 and 2028 municipal elections as well as the 2026 general elections.
Current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he would not pardon his predecessor following riots that erupted in Brasilia last year. More than 1,500 people were arrested last January when Bolsonaro supporters rioted near Parliament buildings in protest at what they saw as a fraudulent election that removed Mr. Bolsonaro from power. “All those who financed, planned, and committed this coup attempt must be made examples of and punished,” da Silva said.
Ms. Maddow’s assessment was posted to Twitter, and she received a lot of support, but others said the issue is not Trump; the issue is Rachel Maddow and similar commentators. “Maddow is a problem. We are sick and tired of her baloney,” said one. Another wrote, “She has lied for years, and some of you still believe her.”