In 2010 Senator Lisa Murkowski suffered defeat in the Republican primary. She mounted a write-in campaign, and thus won reelection as a senator from Alaska. Now, incensed by the Orange God-Emperor, she is threatening to join the Democrats.
Hold that thought.
Tonight, on the PBS Evening News, we learned that Jonathan Capehart will be replacing the retiring Mark Shields as David Brooks’ foil. In their first disagreement, Brooks took issue with Capehart’s prediction that the Republican Party will not be viable, going forward. Brooks’ specific point was that there are lots of rightists and center-rightists left. Witness Trump’s 74 million votes in 2020.
There are lots and lots of those folks, and there are a damn sight more of them than we thought there were in October.
But here’s the point that Capehart should have made. The current Republican Party is a stool with three legs. Leg One are the Trump cultists. Leg Two are the country club folks. Leg Three are the plutocrats who finance the thing.
If the first part can no longer cooperate with the second and third parts, then what used to be a three-legged stool now has only two legs. And the cultists now have a stool with only one leg.
Each of those stools is unstable. If you sit on the one-legged stool or on the two-legged stool, you will fall off.
There are some politicians who will now refuse to lead a mob of Trump cultists. There are some politicians who may try to keep on marching at the front of the peasants with the pitchforks, but who will no longer be accepted as leaders by the raving mob. The mob will primary them.
For a lot of the politicians, the logical option is to declare themselves Independents. For still others, the most attractive option is to join the Democrats.
The Democrats will shortly control the Senate. They may be prepared to offer some choice committee assignments to folks who see the light.
And this, dear ladies and germs, is why the Republican Party “as we know it” is at risk of extinction.