Republican lawmakers have resigned themselves to slaughter as they watch Donald Trump doom their chances in November. It’s too late to change course, according to Republican operatives and others.
“The escape tunnel caved in a year ago,” GOP strategist and anti-Trumper Mike Murphy told The Washington Post. “So they carry on, and some of the people who are not up for reelection this year are just waiting for the year to be over. It’s a party that has been trapped and is now full of fatalism.”
There’s always dignity. Some people actually care about being able to look in the mirror for the rest of their lives, but apparently the Republican party weeded out that quality many moons ago. All that’s left are a bunch of soulless lemmings praying for deliverance.
Scott Reed, senior political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, outlined what that deliverance might look like: “By Labor Day, if we have a growing economy and a vaccination for first responders, Trump is going to have some real momentum,” Reed said.
Republicans are reportedly clinging to a single data point for salvation: the fact that Trump still beats Joe Biden with most voters on the economy. Trump loses on practically every other single issue and his approvals are cratering, but Republican lawmakers are apparently happy to stand by and watch Trump shred the U.S. Constitution and set the country aflame on the prayer that they just might manage to hold onto their seats.
And their main strategy is to go into hiding—dodge questions, run from the reporters in the hallways and, whatever you do, don’t under any circumstances upset Trump. Not kidding—it’s what GOP strategists are advising.
“It’s subtle stuff, like maybe your senator should try to duck [NBC’s] Kasie Hunt in the hallway,” one strategist told the Post.
Brendan Buck, a former adviser to House Speakers Paul Ryan and John Boehner, summed up the ethos this way: “There’s no middle ground to run to anymore. […] I continue to believe that there’s really no political upside to running away from [Trump]. You gain nothing and you raise the ire of not just the president but people who support him.”
Of course, this is the guy who shaped the dismal legacies of Ryan and Boehner and who, apparently, still continues to enjoy some clout in the Republican party. That really says it all.
One party veteran said GOP lawmakers had reached the “acceptance phase of grieving,” where “there is an understanding that he’s president until at least November, and there is not much we can do about it.”
That type of herd mentality is what got them here to begin with. There are always choices, like Sen. Mitt Romney voting against acquittal, or Sen. Lisa Murkowski embracing former Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ denunciation of Trump. In some ways, those small acts hardly count as heroism—except they do in today’s Republican party, which is packed to the gills with lawmakers who would gladly watch Trump turn the U.S. military loose on its own citizens if it could save their own seats.
If there’s any grace in this world, the Republican party will get absolutely annihilated in November.