To hear just about every media outlet and political pundit tell it, Donald Trump still has a firm iron grip on the entire Republican Party. And there’s certainly a good deal of evidence pointing to specific ways in which Trump still has influence over the GOP. But there are also important instances where Trump’s GOP influence is waning or even vanishing entirely – and these instances are being underreported.
We all saw Trump release public statements urging the Republican Party to vote against President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure deal, which ended up passing anyway. But now we’re learning that Trump was so desperate to stop that bill from passing the Senate, he was actually working the phones, begging Republican Senators to shut it down – and they still defied him. Further, thirteen House Republicans also voted for the infrastructure bill against Trump’s wishes.
This isn’t necessarily a good thing. Donald Trump is so toxically unpopular with mainstream Americans, and the candidates he’s backing in 2021 are so non-viable, we might be better off if the entire Republican Party remained fully beholden to Trump’s selfish whims throughout the midterms.
Instead we’re seeing mounting evidence that even though Republican office holders are still afraid of landing on Trump’s “naughty” list, they’re increasingly willing to go against him in ways that they think will help them get reelected. This means the Democrats and activists will have to work even harder in 2022. While Trump will drag the Republicans down in the midterms, he won’t single handedly wipe out their chances; it’ll require activist work on your part to help the Democrats win.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report