Donald Trump really is trying to take the Republican Party down with him
Throughout the course of 2021 we’ve watched the systematic dismantling of Donald Trump. He lost his Twitter account. He lost the White House. He gradually lost his relevance, to the point that his periodic “press releases” are merely laughed at. He’s under criminal investigation in three jurisdictions, with Manhattan closing in. And the January 6th Committee is gearing up to try to get him criminally indicted on the federal level.
Now that Trump has been dismantled, we’re about to spend 2022 watching him get finished off. The big question is what the ever-destructive Trump will do as he realizes it’s all over for him. He’s spent all year hinting that he would merely try to settle old scores against the Republicans he blames for his downfall. Sure enough, now he’s revealing just how badly he wants to screw the Republican Party on his way out.
Trump has apparently decided that Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is public enemy number one. In the name of trying to harm her, Trump has endorsed a Republican primary challenger against her. Now Trump is endorsing Alaska’s Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy in his reelection bid, but making clear that he’ll revoke the endorsement if Dunleavy offers any support for Murkowski’s reelection bid.
This is bonkers level absurd. For one thing, Trump’s endorsement doesn’t generally go very far these days in terms of helping a Republican candidate win a Republican primary race. In fact Trump has been striking out so badly on this front that even some pundits on MSNBC and CNN are finally acknowledging as much.
So Trump’s endorsement of Dunleavy, or potential revocation of it, doesn’t necessarily mean much either way. But like the poor businessman that he is, as Trump’s leverage continues to fade, he’s trying to make up for it by ramping up the severity of his empty threats – which only makes it that much easier for everyone to figure out they’re empty threats.
It’s not entirely clear what will end up happening in these Alaska races. But Trump’s actions in the state do make clear what’s likely to happen across the nation as 2022 plays out. Trump will continue to meddle in Republican Party primary politics in a way that doesn’t benefit anyone in the party, and only makes it that much harder for the Republicans to win seats.
Donald Trump’s mere existence is already set to be a huge gift to the Democrats in the 2022 election cycle. He’s a toxically unpopular pariah who can’t drive turnout for Republican candidates and can instead only threaten to hinder turnout for them if he doesn’t get his way. His worsening criminal scandals are also going to leave a number of 2022 Republican candidates unsure of whether to embrace Trump or run away from him. And now on top of all that, Trump is outright trying to sabotage certain incumbent Republicans out of a desire for revenge, with no regard for whether it might end up handing those seats to the Democrats.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report