Republicans Don’t Like Trump Anymore….If They Lose Power

Well, there it is. Trump is running again. I guess we knew it was coming. But, there’s something different this time around. It’s starting to look like Republicans may have seen the light. In state after state, they under-performed in the November 8 elections where Trump-backed election deniers and MAGA extremists were shown the door by voters.

The news media is dutifully informing us that Republicans have had enough. They know that their attachment to Donald Trump is turning wide swathes of the American people against them and tearing away the power they planned to wield in Congress. Their hopes of winning the Senate have already been dispatched, and their likely majority in the House will be unwieldy, at best, and a complete implosion, at worst.

In essence, Republicans may (and I emphasize may), at long last, be pulling the plug on Trump. Why? Simple. Because he drove them to losses and undercut their political power.

That’s where it starts and that’s where it ends. It’s all about power. Nothing more.

Republicans didn’t turn away from Trump when he rejected the results of the free and fair 2020 election he lost. They didn’t pull back when he led his extremist MAGA supporters to attack the United States Capitol and attempt a coup d’etat.

Republicans didn’t withdraw their support for Trump when he withheld U.S. assistance for Ukraine in exchange for a ‘favor’ – that President Zelensky investigate his political opponent, Joe Biden. And let’s not forget that today, Ukraine is fighting Vladimir Putin and the Russian Army, in the aftermath of Trump’s political gambit.

Republicans didn’t hold Trump accountable for the hundreds of thousands of additional Covid deaths when he lied to the country about the pandemic, saying “like a miracle, it’s going to disappear” and “within a couple of days, it’s going to be down close to zero.”

Republicans didn’t dissolve their bond with Trump when he pressed Justice Department officials to “just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest up to me and Republican congressmen,” – even after his own Attorney General William Barr and other senior officials told him their was no widespread fraud in the election.

Republicans wouldn’t demand basic humanity from Trump when he mocked a physically handicapped reporter, when he said he grabbed women by the p****, when he stoked hatred of Muslims, Mexicans, and others, or when he called on his supporters to “knock the crap out of” hecklers.

Frankly, the list of offenses which didn’t turn Republicans against Donald Trump goes on and on. Abuses of power, horrific losses of life, and constitutional violations didn’t drive Republicans to pull the plug on him.

But, now Trump’s failure in the elections has undercut their power and turned likely wins at the ballot box into losses. So, now – and only now – Republicans are starting to withdraw their support.

To my Republican friends: Please come back to policy. The country needs you. We can honorably disagree on such things, defend our points of view, and seek middle ground. That’s how our system can and should work, and it’s how we always got things done together in my many years on Capitol Hill.

It takes courage to stand up to a bully. It takes a moral backbone to stand up for a principle at the risk of personal loss…or even harm by a violent Trump supporter. Sadly, such acts and demonstrations of valor have been few and far between.

Power. That’s what it came down to. Not policy. Not the law. Not humanity or dignity. Just loss of power. That’s where Republicans appear to be drawing the line for Donald Trump. Let that sink in next time you ask yourself, “What do Republicans believe?” or “What would Republicans do if they ran the government?” The answer is pretty clear to me: They’ll do whatever they perceive to be in their interest and whatever will promote their power – and it seems the American people will see to it that until Republicans change their ways, power will remain out of their reach.