It has been a relief to wake up every morning and not be confronted with some idiotic or hateful act from Trump. While his banning from Twitter and Facebook has some problematic aspects that I am planning to address at a future date, there is no question that his inability to make waves on an hourly basis has brought back some level of calm to political discourse.
But Trump is not silent and yesterday he issued a lengthy statement where he blasted Republican senator Mitch McConnell for strongly criticizing him on the senate floor and in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, even though McConnell had acquitted him at the impeachment trial.
“There is no question former President Trump bears moral responsibility,” McConnell wrote Monday in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal of the riot. “His supporters stormed the Capitol because of the unhinged falsehoods he shouted into the world’s largest megaphone. His behavior during and after the chaos was also unconscionable, from attacking Vice President Mike Pence during the riot to praising the criminals after it ended.”
The statement was vintage Trump, using childish insults, calling McConnell a “a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack” and referred to his “dedication to business as usual, status quo policies, together with his lack of political insight, wisdom, skill, and personality”. He even said that “McConnell has no credibility on China because of his family’s substantial Chinese business holdings” even though those holdings come via his wife Elaine Chao whom Trump himself appointed to his cabinet as transportation secretary. But consistency has never been Trump’s strong suit. There are reports that Trump’s original draft was even more childish, drawing attention to McConnells multiple chins but advisors persuaded him to tone it down.
It looks like there is going to be a fight for dominance of the Republican party, between a bombastic flailing slugger in Trump versus a cagey political infighter in McConnell. Lines are being drawn between those who think that Trump must remain as the leader of the party and those who think he will bring it down. The real test will be what happens at the state and even down to the very local levels which select their leaders on a more frequent basis. If the Trumpists retain control of those levers of party influence, then he can remain a significant force.
It will be interesting to see how other prominent Republicans who have presidential ambitions line up. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley have clearly thrown in their lot with Trump, no doubt hoping to reap his followers if Trump should not run again. Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton and others seem to be keeping their options open, seeing which was the wind blows. Lindsey Graham is as usual saying whatever will get him on TV.
Just a word to those who have thrown in with Trump: McConnell’s going to win.
You don’t need a PhD in political science or Machiavellian manuvering to figure that out. That’s why McConnell cut Trump loose: even if Trump is a force for a while, he’s going to lose power eventually. And so, Ben Sasse will be the republican presidential candidate that McConnell gets behind in 2024. So far, Sasse has played all his cards right, even though he is just as much guilty of enabling illegal, immoral, and corrupt actions of Trump’s, as all the others.
It is to be hoped, though, that the Trumpists will get behind some crazy presidential candidate and split the right, perhaps forever or at least for a very long time, so that they won’t be in power. Trump can certainly try to accomplish that!
johnson catman says
I am not sure that The Orange Toddler-Tyrant could have even conjured those phrases from his addled mind without some significant help from some writers.
Now THAT is very consistent with his speechwriting abilities.
Perry Bacon Jr. at 538 points out that the Trump cult is still very much in control at the state and local levels. That’s where candidates get selected; that’s where voting happens. I fear that Trumpism won’t end quickly or quietly.
There are several stories in recent news that document the thousands of Rs who have left the party due to the maga riot.
Some have joined the Ds, others switched to independent, and some have joined minor political groups.
Tethys @4: thousands aren’t nearly enough. Tens of thousands might be depending on how they’re distributed. Hundreds of thousands would be good news, but I can’t see that happening.
consciousness razor says
Then it’s good news, for once. From the NYT:
Keep in mind that it’s also a long time before 2022 or 2024. We’re talking about just a few weeks, after all. So if that’s a trend which continues (even if it does slow down a lot), it could be a pretty sizable number when it actually counts during the coming elections.
I wonder how many lifelong elderly republicans are no longer alive due to covid?
The R base has always skewed towards the older side of the population, so logically, letting a pandemic rage through the nations assisted living and eldercare homes is going to reduce the R base permanently.
John Morales says
Tethys, OTOH people age, and the population pyramid being what it is, the older side will grow.
“dour, sullen” : Someone is showing off their vocabulary, and it ain’t Donald Trump.
@Garnetstar: “It is to be hoped, though, that the Trumpists will get behind some crazy presidential candidate and split the right.”
Given the American political system the second part (“split the right”) will not be the consequence of the first part.
Also: the right already has another option. It’s candidate is right now in the Whtie Hosue.
Pierce R. Butler says
Alternet’s Cody Fenwick makes an interesting case that the Trump-McConnell spat is (so far) more theater than knockdown.
Meanwhile, the really hard right wing is regrouping and reinforcing itself.