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MSNBC Guest: Al-Qaeda Terrorists Have ‘Got Nothing On’ The Republican Party
attends Politicon 2018 at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Via Getty Images

A frequent MSNBC guest said last week that al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and Osama bin Laden may be bad, but one entity is even worse: the Republican Party.

The former Republican went on to imply that voting to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from her post as the third most powerful Republican in the House of Representatives will supposedly lead to “more attempts to overthrow our government” and result “in people losing lives, just like January 6th.”

On MSNBC’s “The ReidOut,” former Lincoln Project Senior Adviser Kurt Bardella classed the GOP as one of the world’s most destructive terrorist organizations. “You know, al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, the people who wanted to do harm to our nation and to our way of life and democracy — they got nothing on what this Republican Party is doing,” he said. 

Host Joy Reid invited Bardella, a NeverTrump political consultant, to talk about the future of the Republican Party if it replaces Cheney with the Trump-supporting Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY. 

Bardella claimed the stifling of Cheney’s growing list of anti-GOP grievances would topple American democracy itself. “The fact that they won’t — people like Cheney won’t support the great lie that this election was rigged or there was voter fraud, the anti-democratic forces are hijacking this party, purging one of the members who won’t abide by the party line. That is so detrimental and dangerous,” he said. 

Bardella did not explain how putting Liz Cheney’s leadership position up for a vote is “anti-democratic.”

Instead, he complained that Republicans of Cheney’s variety were vastly outnumbered by Trump supporters. “I don’t think there are enough people who are willing to stand up to this iteration of the Republican Party to build another party at this point,” he said. “I mean, for all of the conversation about Liz Cheney, or Mitt Romney, or Adam Kinzinger, they’re the outliers.”

He said he could not believe the party would eject any member “of their leadership whose last name is Cheney.”

“When one of the two parties becomes this radicalized, and the core of the party’s ideology is anti-democratic, that is a very dangerous development going on,” Bardella said. “That’s going to result in more violence. That’s going to result in more attempts to overthrow our government. That’s going to result in people losing lives, just like January 6th.”

“We are a two-party system in this country. That’s how it was built, for better or worse,” Bardella said. 

In fact, the Founding Fathers warned against the formation of political parties. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I am no believer in the amalgamation of parties, nor do I consider it as either desirable or useful for the public.” James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 10 that “rival parties” have “inflamed [Americans] with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other.” And in his Farewell Address, George Washington famously warned his fellow Americans “in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party,” which is “sharpened by the spirit of revenge.”

Bardella has entertained — and profited from — thoughts of revenge against the Republican Party’s conservative base more than once.

In 2018, Reid asked Bardella if conservative media will eventually “run out of viewers, because it is appealing to sort of an old kind of crusty, creepy, worldview.”

Bardella replied that “at some point [through] just the process of evolution, some of these viewers, they are going to thankfully die off, and that’ll be the end of that.”

While claiming to support democratic discourse, Bardella tried to prevent then-President Donald Trump from communicating with the American people in prime time in 2019.

Bardella wrote in USA Today that any TV network that aired a presidential address by Donald Trump “unchallenged and unfiltered” would be “complicit in spreading propaganda and disinformation to the American people.” Trump is “using the airwaves for the sole purpose of lying to the American people about an overtly racist agenda,” Bardella said.

Bardella was a Republican until 2017, when he wrote an op-ed saying the only way to save the GOP is by becoming a Democrat. “Rebuilding the [Republican] party will require dismantling it. And helping in that cause doesn’t mean becoming an Independent or agitating for a third party,” he wrote.

He served as senior adviser to the Lincoln Project, which proved profitable. By last October, the NeverTrump operation had given Bardella’s Endeavor Strategies $153,439 in consulting fees. 

In February, Bardella resigned from the Lincoln Project after numerous men, as young as 14, accused co-founder John Weaver of grooming and sexually harassing them.

One day before he quit, Bardella posted private text messages between another of the project’s co-founders, Jennifer Horn and reporter Amanda Becker, accusing Horn of collaborating in “a smear job on the Lincoln Project.” 

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