The real reason congressional Republicans are still so terrified of Donald Trump

John Heilemann is a renowned journalist. He has ‘cred.’ He works for NBC News and MSNBC. He was formerly a staff writer for the Economist. Not too shabby.

He recently did a podcast interview with Meidas Touch. The thrust of the podcast was about the GQP being in the thrall of the Orange Homunculus. He met the following questions head-on; Why are they still carrying his water? Why do they continually curry favor with a loser so out of his depth; one so morally and, probably, financially bankrupt? Why kiss his ring when he’s stabbed so many in the back? Why do they buy (and sell) the ‘Big Lie’?

The pat answer is that they are ‘afraid.’ They are deathly afraid of being primaried by a Trump loyalist. They know that they serve him under threat; the threat that he will stab them in the back by endorsing a MAGA-mutt who is more deeply indoctrinated then they, should they show disloyalty. This terrifies them into a well-disguised, begrudging compliance. Uh-huh…

Mr Heilemann admits that he once held that excuse for craven behavior as plausible. However, he argues that it is a nonsensical rationale for the GQP’s subservience to the Former Guy. As Mr Heilemann says, should any of the members of Congress actually lose their bid to return to office, they would more than likely get very lucrative positions as lobbyists, lawyers or consultants making far more than they do earn. They would not be unemployed and homeless, most certainly. Losing a primary would not be a horror they couldn’t bear; nor would it be life-threatening.

A good point, to which can be added that being endorsed by the Orange Lord of Mar-a-Largo does not weigh heavily on the scales. Trump’s picks lose; ask Roy Moore how much the endorsement of the then-sitting president meant to his campaign.


Moreover, whether or not a member resigns, retires or is voted out of office, his or her pension is unaffected. There are also other perks that they retain. In short, to lose re-election is not an existential threat. So, what justifies the ‘fear’ they claim drives them to kiss the hem of Trump’s baggy trousers? It ain’t fear, that’s clear.

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