Mitch McConnell is a professional thief and savvy villain who’s been at this a long time. So it wasn’t surprising that, despite losing his status as Majority Leader, he was still able to use procedural nonsense to stall out the official Senate changeover of power until last night.
Then there are these other Republican leaders like Kevin McCarthy, Matt Gaetz, and Lindsey Graham, who simply have no idea what they’re even trying to do. It’s not surprising. Donald Trump always picked his top henchmen on the basis of how loyal they’d be to him, not how effective they’d be. To that end, he liked to pick people who were inept, incompetent, compromised, or otherwise in over their heads, because these are the types who tend to be the most personally loyal to the person who elevated them.
Now Trump is gone. He’s gone from the political stage, and gone from political relevance. Sure, his former top henchmen seem to still be calling him for advice, but it’s clearly not doing them any good. So the stooges he installed in key Republican positions are now simply flailing. They don’t know how to run the show with him gone. And he’s surely just giving them bad advice aimed at spiting the entire political landscape because he lost, instead of even trying to tell them anything constructive.
So we’re now seeing Trump’s former top henchmen fail miserably at trying to carry out what they think his agenda is supposed to be. And because Trump elevated these stooges to official or de facto leadership positions in the Republican Congress, they’re screwing up the entire Republican Party.
It’s not that Kevin McCarthy has any good options when it comes to Liz Cheney trying to take control of the Republican House from him, and Marjorie Taylor Greene trying to take the Republican House off the deep end. It’s not that Lindsey Graham has any good strategies available to him for Trump’s impeachment trial. But they’re finding ways to screw these things up on a level that’s almost comically inept.
None of this is funny, of course. When a nation is governed by a two major party system, it’s always dangerous for the entire nation when one of those parties dissolves into an extremist deranged violent cesspool. But the Republican Party spent four years eagerly embracing Donald Trump, even as he did his best to destroy everything that this nation was supposed to stand for. The Republican Party needs, and deserves, to fall. And thanks partly to Trump’s insistence on elevating inept loyalists to key positions within the party, we’re now seeing the party indeed taking major steps toward a fall.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report