When the top Republicans in politics cast their lot with Donald Trump, they all bet their futures on the premise that Trump would win a second term and then transform the United States into a single-party autocracy. Now that Trump has lost, the Republicans are screwed – and they know it.
At this point Trump is toxically unpopular, drowning in scandal, earmarked for prison, and yet somehow still in control of the Republican Party’s purse strings and overall direction. In short, this means that the GOP can’t win anything or function properly, at least until Trump is off the stage and behind bars. This spells bad news for current Republican leaders.
Every few days we see another major media outlet reporting that Mitch McConnell is laying the groundwork for possibly retiring early. This comes even as several Republican Senators have publicly announced that they’re either retiring at the end of their current term or considering retiring.
Now John Thune, the number two Republican in the Senate, is reportedly talking about bailing out in 2022. This is a big deal, because we would have expected Thune to take over as Senate Minority Leader if McConnell resigns next year. Bottom line: the Republicans are now realizing that the gamble and loss they took on Trump is becoming very costly for them.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report