The GOP’s Big, Fat Problem

I understand Rep. Jamie Raskin was on The View today calling Donald Trump “the GOP’s problem.”

“I think he’s a pariah in terms of American politics, while he continues to exercise a stranglehold psychologically and politically and financially over the Republican party,” Raskin told the co-hosts. “And I feel bad for the Republicans, because they had an opportunity to do the right thing for America, for the Constitution, and to render impartial justice. But 43 of them didn’t and now he really is the GOP’s problem.”

This is what I’ve been thinking all along. I have thought that if the GOP and right-wing media heads had any sense at all they would have destroyed Trump after the 2018 midterms. If not through impeachment, they could have worked together to take him down in other ways. But they didn’t. And now much of the GOP seems to be doubling down on Trumpism. Republicans in state legislatures are calling for censure of Republicans who voted for impeachment, for example. See also Lindsey Graham’s toadyism on Fox News shows where the GOP is heading.

A number of news stories today say that Trump will speak at CPAC next weekend and tell the assembled wingnuts that that he is Republicans’ “presumptive 2024 nominee” and that he’s “still in charge” of the party. He also has let it be known he will be going after Repubicans’ who voted to impeach him or who have otherwise shown themselves to be insufficiently obsequious to His Orangeness. See Mike Allen, Scoop: Trump to claim total control of GOP at Axios.

Meanwhile, the Republican voter base is divided between those who think the party didn’t do enough to support Trump and those who are disgusted with Trump and want him to go away. Good luck threading that needle, Republicans.

Also today, the Supreme Court finally said Trump has to turn his tax returns over to the Manhattan District Attorney. We’ll see what Cy Vance does. Vance has a reputation for being soft on white collar crime, but he probably realizes that prosecuting Trump would be a huge boost to his political career.

Also today, Merrick Garland’s confirmation hearing for the Attorney General position finally began. Garland said that investigating the January 6 atrocity at the Capitol will be his top priority. And I believe him.

See also This is Trump’s heaping list of legal problems post-impeachment at CNN. These include a criminal investigation into Trump for his “attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia general election.”

IMO it’s extremely unlikely Trump is going to skate through all of this. Four years is a long time in politics. I could understand being afraid of Trump’s base if there were an election around the corner. But it’s too early to know what impact he’ll have in 2022 or 2024, and it could well turn out that Republicans will be pretending they never heard of him by the next time voters are lining up at polls.