In the immediate aftermath of Trump commuting the sentence of convicted felon Roger Stone, we’re seeing a glut of articles proclaiming that many Republicans have “had enough” of Trump’s divisive rhetoric and destructive actions — or in the case of Covid-19, his failure to act. This is so much window-dressing. There’s no substance behind it.
Those Republicans who appear to be skittering for the hills are spineless figures who would have us believe that, like modern day Rip Van Winkles, they have — until just now — slept through the Trump presidency. They would tell us that at long last, on the eve of a national election, they have suddenly awoken to the devastation wrought by their standard bearer.
But even at this very late date, their hand-wringing and expressions of concern are tepid and unconvincing. Many of those up for re-election want to create “distance” between themselves and the president, not because they are truly chagrined by his words and deeds, but because they are terrified his plummeting polls presage a rout in November.
The former Republican strategists who run the Lincoln Project predicted in a recent ad that many of Trump’s most unabashed enablers would, in the eleventh hour, begin to gin-up a narrative that they could return the Republican Party to its rightful bearings. The ad minced no words in giving the lie to such a claim; the message was simple: We couldn’t trust them to do the right thing for the last four years. We sure as heck can’t trust them now.
Utah senator Mitt Romney, alone, voted to impeach and he has called out the President’s “historic, unprecedented corruption.” For his pains, Romney has become a pariah in Trump’s party. The rest of them are complicit sycophants, no better than Trump himself. Having sold their political souls to a corrupt, inept carnival barker, they are an integral part of his circus. And, as the polls suggest, the circus is performing poorly in an ever-smaller tent.