While it’s not surprising that Donald Trump is still purveying his face-saving lie that the election that he lost by over seven million votes was somehow stolen from him despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the fact that the Republican Party is still showing such fealty to the man who was responsible for their political downfall seems inexplicable.
Particularly since Trump is proving to be so divisive, not just for the country as a whole but within his own political party.
As the elite fundraisers for the GOP gathered together in Florida this weekend to lick their wounds and contemplate their strategy going forward, their dependence on the still somehow lingering political attraction of the disgraced former president seems more like a case of extreme self-loathing and flagellation than any effort to learn from the mistakes that the party has made over the past four-plus years.
After spending Saturday gathering in private conclaves at a toney Four Seasons resort to discuss the future of their party, top Republican donors boarded shuttle buses to Mar-a-Lago to listen to Trump spew invective, some of which was directed not at the Democratic opposition but to the unhinged ex-president’s perceived enemies within his own party whom he feels were not sufficiently supportive of his demonstrably false explanations for his historic loss.
Trump reserved his most vehement vitriol for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) whom he faults for apparently refusing to go along with his delusions regarding the integrity of the election results.
“If we had a real leader instead of Mitch, who is a total stone cold loser, if we had a real leader, he would have never, ever accepted the results of that election,” Trump claimed, forgetting that if he had acted like a real leader instead of a self-interested wanna-be dictator then perhaps the results of the election may have turned out differently.
The Mar-a-Lago retiree was unsparing in his attacks on the Senate leader who he sees as responsible for the failure of his coup attempt, calling the Kentucky senator a “dumb son of a bitch,” while claiming that he was the one responsible for McConnell’s successful re-election to his Senate seat despite dismal poll numbers.
“Did he ever say thank you to me? No. I hired his wife. Did he ever say thank you to me? No.” He said he feels “sorry” for her, said, “She’s suffered so greatly,” The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman quoted one of the speech’s attendees as relaying Trump’s remarks.
The internecine warfare within the GOP should be welcome news to Democrats as the schism in the Republican Party has fractured their fundraising ability as Trump seeks to siphon donations from the party’s regular channels for donations into his own Save America PAC, giving him a war-chest to primary non-compliant GOP candidates with deplorables of his own choosing.
While many Republicans are anxious to leave the failures of the Trump era behind them, last night’s speech by their nominal political leader proves how difficult that will be for members of the GOP who may be ready to jettison Trump, but need the votes of his still loyal base of deluded MAGA supporters and QAnon devotees.
It’s a strategy and formula that is a recipe for political disaster for their party as Biden’s poll numbers far exceed any level ever reached by Trump during his term and his handling of the economy and the pandemic response far outshines his predecessor’s feeble and incompetent efforts.
If nothing else, it will be at least fun to watch the GOP commit political suicide by refusing to abandon the man who led them to such a humiliating defeat and has no ability to deliver an agenda based on anything but hatred and white nationalism.
Original reporting by Shane Goldmacher, Maggie Haberman, and
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