No Going Back: Senate Republicans Have Made Their Bed with Trump

Since Donald Trump effectively secured his party’s nomination on May 3, Republican Senators and candidates have lined up to support their party’s new standard bearer, hoping for a general election “pivot” that never came and is never going to come.

Yet with the GOP only now reaching a “new level of panic” over their toxic, bigoted, and divisive nominee, it’s important to remember how many opportunities Republican Senators have had to stand up to Trump and firmly disassociate themselves from his hateful campaign. Instead, they have followed the NRSC’s guidance from their September 2015 memo to “avoid piling on the nominee” in order to not “depress the GOP vote,” and they’ve maintained their support for Trump as he:

· Said that Russia should engage in cyber-attacks against our country

· Refused to commit to defending our NATO allies if attacked

· Accused most Mexican immigrants of most likely being “rapists,” drug traffickers, or criminals

· Declared that a federal judge from Indiana could not do his job due to the judge’s Mexican heritage

· Argued there should be “some form of punishment” for women who get abortions

· Called for a total shutdown of Muslim immigration into the US, repeatedly

· Praised — and been praised by — Putin

· Claimed that President Obama supports ISIS

· Mocked a reporter with disability

· And most recently, repeatedly attacked the Gold Star family of Khizr and Ghazala Khan

Through it all, Republican Senators maintained they will vote for Donald Trump as our next commander-in-chief come November.

But here’s the plain reality for any Senators thinking that they can now create some distance between themselves and Trump: The damage is done. Whether — or if — they try to disavow Trump in a few hours, a few weeks, or after Election Day, GOP Senators and candidates will be remembered for not having the guts to take a stand against Donald Trump and put their country over their party.

And there’s nothing they can do at this point to change that perception.

Any attempts to withdraw their support from Trump at this point would be seen, rightfully, as cynical political moves to save their own electoral prospects and would simply beg the question: What took so long?

While Senators from Kelly Ayotte to Rob Portman to Ron Johnson were reiterating their support for Donald Trump, national security experts, previous GOP nominees, GOP Governors, and major Republican operatives have refused to support Trump and even left the Republican party. In light of the stand these Republicans are taking, GOP Senators look even weaker, and they have enacted irreversible damage to their own reputations.No potential last minute “change of heart” on Trump can fix that.

At the end of the day, this is about more than just winning and losing elections. This is about our values as a country, and whether or not our leaders have the moral fortitude to stand up for what’s right, no matter the consequences for one’s party. But Republican Senators haven’t been motivated by what’s best for our country or our families. Their priority has been saving their own jobs at the expense of everything else — even if it means watching Donald Trump get sworn in as our next President.

To sum it up, Republican Senators made their bed with Trump, and no matter what they do next, they are going to have to lie in it.