If Trump Costs the GOP the Senate.
Watching the President potentially destroy the Republican party on his way out the door has been fascinating.
As I’ve discussed before, watching the way the Republican party changes after Donald Trump exits the White House will be interesting to say the least. With half of Republicans believing that Donald Trump will be inaugurated on January 20th, there’s no denying the impact Donald Trump had on the Republican party will continue to be a factor for a long time to come. The President’s hold on the party has become so intense, I would argue there’s at least a chance it could cost Republicans the looming Georgia Senate races, and thus control of the Senate.
At a recent rally in the State of Georgia, incumbent Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue were — unsurprisingly — met with cries of “fight for Trump”, and “stop the steal”. Naturally, that was just the tip of the iceberg, with Pro-Trump attorney L. Lin Wood going so far as to urge Georgia Republican voters to boycott the runoff election. Considering the fact that Donald Trump’s hold over the party only seems to intensify the closer we get to January 20th, I can’t help wondering how the party would respond if the President did in fact cost them control of the Senate.
At the end of the day, no matter how much Republican lawmakers might fear the wrath of the base, it is the donors and CEOs who have the final say. Should Donald Trump ultimately be responsible for costing the GOP their power in congress, it feels safe to assume that the Republican donor class would do everything in their power to ensure he does not run in 2024, and would be unsuccessful if he did. Not only that, every Republican lawmaker who was going along with and putting up with Trump’s antics will stop the moment they realize they have nothing left to gain from doing so. It would admittedly be surreal to watch people who stood back and allowed Trump to flourish toss him aside the moment they’ve decided he is no longer of use to them. Arguably even more interesting — I would argue — would be watching Trump’s response, and that of his base.
Having said all that, the most important figure in all of this would probably be Mitch McConnell.
At the end of the day, it will be Mitch McConnell who the donors rely on and trust to find an alternative to the monster they helped create and elevate. It will be McConnell who — the moment he hears Donald Trump plans on running again — will be calling Tom Cotton into his office, urging him to announce a run for the Presidency as well. McConnell will be the one responsible for orchestrating the party’s response to their most effective weapon that turned against them.
With signs of division between the donor class and the base only intensifying, the loss of these crucial senate seats could solidify that divide in the GOP for the foreseeable future. The thing is, how are we to know what’s going to emerge from that? Would it weaken the party forever, or allow the authoritarian nature to fester and emerge even stronger than before? Mitch McConnell is far too intelligent to outright reject the populist sentiment that Donald Trump fostered, and Trump would not dream of abandoning the donor class for his base. The Republican party undeniably knows how to achieve power and use it to their benefit, so it will be fascinating to say the least to see how these two factions within the party decide to deal with each other in the aftermath of this election.