The Morning After the Night Before

The Article of Impeachment was officially “engrossed” last night. Today, I would submit, three things are clear. First, it’s clear that the events of the last days have caused a minority of the Republican Party to hive away from Trump. That’s exemplified by the ten (out of 211) Republican congresspersons who voted to impeach.

Second, in view of the fact that the Republican Party was already a minority of the population—a very large minority, but a minority nonetheless—it’s clear that the loss of a minority of its minority will make it hard will make it damn hard for the Republicans actually to win elections, going forward. See Georgia.

Third, because of the first two circumstances, supporting the Republican Party, going forward, looks like a piss poor way for the monied elite to advance its agenda.

I won’t reargue these points here. I think we may take them as given. Even so, this afternoon, the pundits are all over the place about whether the effort to expunge Trump from the Republican Party is likely to succeed, or to fail miserably.

Politico, Trump’s grip on the Republican Party loosens ever so slightly

Greg Sargent, Trump’s ability to terrorize Republicans is fizzling out

But compare this, from Jonathan V. Last, in my inbox:

    • 91 percentof self-identified “Trump supporters” say Trump was right to try to overturn the election. 46 percent of people who say they are only “traditional Republicans” agree.
    • Pollafter poll shows that three quarters of all Republicans say that the 2020 election results were fraudulent.
    • 92 percent of “Trump supporters” say he should run in 2024.

Donald Trump owns this party because he owns its voters. What guys like McConnell and McCarthy don’t understand is that to the extent that they have any power, they serve at the pleasure of the man who commands their mob. Sorry, I mean “their voters.”

I don’t know the answer to Trump’s future hold on the Republican Party base.  I don’t think the pundits know the answer. I don’t think Mitch McConnell knows the answer. And I strongly suspect Mitch McConnell knows that he doesn’t know the answer. But I think Mitch will do what he has to do, to bar Trump from seeking office again. Not because Mitch is stupid. Not because Mitch has miscalculated. But because Mitch has no other choice.