Jennifer Rubin is a longtime
NeverTrumper member of the marginally sane community. She’s one of The Washington Post’s conservative writers, but when she decided to side with common sense over Trumpite servility, she became an apostate in the eyes of many of her fellow travelers.
Importantly, she pushed away from the Trumpian hog trough ages ago, whereas many conservatives-cum-cultists are now so sated and logy from their unholy bacchanal they should be easier to pick off than fat, flightless pigeons when the voters finally have their say.
And now that Trump has dropped a few more notches on the “acting presidential” scale — from “barely human” to “raw, quavering baboon rectum” — she’s calling bullshit on all the inside-the-Beltwayers who are suddenly trying to flee from the ocher abomination like Quint from the shark on the deck of the Orca.
The big problem is that Senate Republicans wrapped themselves so tightly around Trump — defending his plainly impeachable conduct in the Senate trial, excusing his covid-denialism, ignoring his racist language and incitement to violence and declining to stop his financial self-dealing — that it’s too late to scurry away from the sinking Trump ship. When the GOP eschewed a convention platform this summer in favor of heaping praise on Trump, Republicans made clear that they have no position other than Trump idolatry. Even now, they seem not to have learned anything.
Now that Trump’s worst enablers suddenly find themselves in a hellish Hieronymus Bosch painting — their torsos (and political prospects) being gnawed on by giant, grotesque Trump heads for all eternity — there’s really no escape. The time to take a principled stance is long past. They’ll be treading water in Trump scat until all that bad karma is burned off. Could take a while.
And while Rubin notes that Democrats — fueled by outsized enthusiasm — are outraising their counterparts up and down the ballot, the real problem for Republicans is their generally pusillanimous reaction to Trump’s serial outrages:
The crazier Trump seems in the last stretch (pleading for indictments of his political opponents, recklessly spreading covid-19, on-again-off-again stimulus negotiations), the more pathetic the Republicans who enabled him look. This is the guy you said had it all figured out? This was the guy you defended as a victim of liberal elites? These Republicans long ago threw away independent judgment, character, responsiveness to the voters back home and honesty, for fear of provoking Trump’s ire or the condemnation of the right-wing media and the MAGA crowd. It turns out winning is awfully hard, even in red states, when your Trump sycophancy horrifies women, college-educated voters, non-White voters, young voters and seniors. Money is the least of Republicans’ troubles.
In other words, they should have mutinied as soon as Lt. Cmdr. Queeg flipped out over the strawberries. But they hung on for dear life. And now they’re basically sunk.