Stop telling me there are “no consequences” for the worst of Republicans, and that they’re “getting away with it all.” That’s simply not true. Donald Trump has lost everything he cared about, and he’s about to get hit with criminal charges. Mitch McConnell lost his cherished Majority Leader position. Every Senate Republican committee chair lost their position. Marjorie Taylor Greene was banned from every House committee.
If your idea of “consequences” is that Republicans must instantly fall through a trap door any time they do something bad, that’s simply not how things work. It’s not how things have ever worked, or ever will work. Our system isn’t built that way. It’s designed to make it a complex process to properly punish the worst of politicians, as a safeguard so that the system can’t be used to improperly punish the best of politicians.
The Republican Party is completely out of power at the federal level right now. It’s stuck trying to get back in the game by making a case against President Biden, which is difficult because he and his agenda have turned out to be very popular. The GOP can’t make up its mind whether to distance itself from its most embarrassing members or put them in charge.
This is what consequences look like in politics. We won. The Republicans lost. They’re still losing. Trump’s life is shattered. McConnell is so thoroughly neutered, he’s kicking around the idea of early retirement. Lindsey Graham is no longer Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. And Ted Cruz is more of a national punchline than ever, to the point that we just might be able to kick him out of the Senate when he’s up for reelection. Rarely are there any trap doors involved. But the Republicans are gradually getting what’s long been coming to them.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report