I’m sure you’ve seen the news about the search warrant being executed on Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago compound. Donald J. Trump and his attorneys have refused to disclose the warrant, which they would have received. It doesn’t matter to Republicans, who have decided now is the time to back Trump as strongly as they possibly can, bashing the FBI. Let me just say: How many unforced errors can a party make, really?

Republicans are working hard to convince people that this was a huge mistake. That executing the search warrant will rile up Trump’s fan base and make them turn out in greater number than ever in the midterms. I think we need to talk a bit about the reality, and why this is the moment a lot of Republicans are going to regret, and they might regret it very quickly.

This will excite Trump voters!

For the last 14 years that I know of here in Kansas, people were told, “Never talk about abortion, or the anti-abortion voters will turn out! Give them a reason to vote and they will make sure they vote!” Let me say something really clearly: The people who voted with abortion as their only issue had the highest turnout percentage in my state anyway; they didn’t need a reason to turn out, they already were turning out. Meanwhile, when faced with that same decision, our side found reasons to turn out and turn back the amendment.

People who are major Trump voters were always going to vote for Trump-endorsed candidates. In the end, that may work out very well for us as it has advanced some truly terrible general election candidates who are in bad shape to win.

The more Republicans kowtow to Donald Trump and his power, the more they put at risk everything they have based on an uncertain outcome. Lining yourself up with someone who has had a search warrant served against them, who just pleaded the Fifth, is generally not the place where a party wants to be, and many know it.

Lawrence Hogan Sr., representing Maryland in 1974, put out a television ad announcing that as a Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee, he would be voting for Richard Nixon’s impeachment. He could see where, in the long term, the waves were headed. He tried to get ahead of it.

Voters aren’t excited if it seems as though you are on the side of a loser.

Trump is a loser. Republican analysis is a disaster

This election cycle looks to prove several things over and over again: Donald J. Trump is backing candidates who are losers. These candidates put the Republican strategy to take the Senate and take their hopes for the House in danger. This is not normal in an off-term election, which should favor them as the party that’s not currently in power.

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Republicans are taking high-fives about how great this is for Trump and how it will help him in 2024. It might help him among his hardened base who love the idea that Trump is above the law, but most Americans don’t think that way. Whether they are right or left, we as a country love to sift through the details. We are a nation of TMZ, Instagram, TikTok, breaking news. People love the sheer concept of finding out what was found. After all, Geraldo Rivera could tell you all about people standing around to see what was in a safe, even one for a dead man that ended up empty.

Americans as a whole will be far more interested in what comes out of the investigation than the initial tweets. As time goes on, those original “we support Trump with no question” moments are more likely to look exceptionally bad. 

Republicans jockeying for hopes at defeating Trump in the 2024 primary are also finding this is a difficult situation as it lionizes Trump if he decides to run in 2024, which seems likely, further cementing him and his followers as the modern GOP.

I spent last night speaking to a judge who told me that for the FBI to get such a warrant, if he were the judge presiding over that case, they wouldn’t need smoke or even a smoldering fire—they would need a forest fire-sized blaze for the judge to sign off on that warrant.

Republicans have decided to back Trump with no exceptions, banking on the fact there is nothing but green grass and an empty field in those boxes.

The moment they discover it’s a forest fire, the burns will be charring.

Sign if you agree: No one is above the law.

Trump and his followers proved on Jan. 6 how dangerously close they came to overturning our democracy. Help cancel Republican voter suppression with the power of your pen by clicking here and signing up to volunteer with Vote Forward, writing personalized letters to targeted voters urging them to exercise their right to vote this year.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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