As we watch the slow-rolling train wreck Donald Trump is currently engineering for Republicans in Georgia, it’s enjoyable to imagine what kind of havoc Trump may very well visit upon the GOP for the next several years.
Precisely because Senate Republicans allowed Trump to turn the state’s two Senate runoffs into a divisive family feud, Trump could conceivably continue to wield outsized power in GOP primaries for the foreseeable future. In fact, Republicans got a preview of Trump’s spiteful wrath after Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine dared to acknowledge Joe Biden as the president-elect recently on CNN. Trump later tweeted, “Who will be running for Governor of the Great State of Ohio? Will be hotly contested,” he added, angling for a primary fight.
As the New York Times recently wrote:
What’s alarming to national Republicans is that the awkwardness in Georgia may only offer a preview of what the party might confront during the post-Trump era, which itself may be a misnomer.
With Mr. Trump signaling that he intends to try to keep control of the party and potentially seek the White House again in 2024, G.O.P. lawmakers and operatives are bracing for a period in which they’re effectively handcuffed to a former president who demands veto power in intraparty elections.
“It’s very possible, if not likely, that Trump will be in a kingmaker position for the 2022 primaries,” said Todd Harris, a longtime Republican ad-maker. “Whether people like it or not, this is Trump’s party. And nothing that happened on Election Day or since then has done anything to change that.”
Since being the operative word there. Congressional Republicans had a chance to sever ties with Trump, or at least to curb his influence on the party. Instead, they chose to sidle up to him in service of maintaining their hold on the Senate majority. That choice may or may not pay off in January, but it is certainly giving Senate Republicans heartburn at this very moment and will continue to do so right up through January.
The Georgia run-off is January 5. Request an absentee ballot by Nov. 18. Early in-person voting starts Dec. 14. And REGISTER TO VOTE here by Dec. 7.