There are a sizable number of Republicans in Washington who rode the Trump train for 4 years, not only supporting Trump’s agenda but defending some of his more outrageous rhetoric and actions. Those Republicans’ heads are now on the chopping block as any and all “enablers” of Donald Trump must pay the price for their political fealty.
Do they deserve to be canceled? That’s up to the voters in their various districts and states, but the growing calls for some Trump supporters in Congress to resign or be indicted have most Republicans on Capitol Hill scurrying for cover.
It will do them no good to claim that their eyes have finally been opened and that they are now jumping on the impeachment bandwagon. Most of them haven’t gone public yet, but there is likely to be a tsunami of Republican lawmakers in the next few days who realize their political survival depends on appeasing the lynch mob that is gathering in Washington.
“We should have done more to push back, both against his rhetoric and some of the things he did legislatively,” said the lawmaker [who spoke anonymously]. “The mistake we made is that we always thought he was going to get better. We thought that once he got the nomination and then once he got a Cabinet, he was going to get better, he was going to be more presidential.”
Many Republicans are shell-shocked over the horrific scenes at the Capitol and seem to be trying to come to grips with their role in the disaster.
That kind of wishful thinking afflicted many of us. How could anyone take this clown Trump seriously? Well, millions did. And when Trump sicced the most unhinged among his supporters on Congress, those lawmakers may sincerely have had a come-to-Jesus moment and now support getting rid of him.
But others are looking at surviving the next few weeks until everything dies down and we go back to normal political warfare.
The GOP senator said he and his colleagues expected Trump would eventually accept the results of the election after courts ruled against his legal team’s challenges, which were resoundingly dismissed by Republican- and Democratic-appointed judges alike.
But Trump never did, and most Republicans — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — held back any sharp criticism.
This was largely because Republicans calculated they needed Trump to get out the vote in two runoff races to decide the Senate majority in Georgia.
Of course, Trump undercut those same supporters by sabotaging the runoff elections, deliberately killing Republican hopes of maintaining control of the Senate. What did Trump have to gain? Unchallenged power in the Republican Party. He would have been the most powerful Republican in America with no one on the horizon to go against him.
That was before his supporters led the mob assault on the Capitol. Since then, he has been stripped of his social media power base and even longtime media allies have thrown him to the wolves.
But there remains the question of what to do with all those Trump “enablers” in Congress. The media can call on Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley to resign but both men have ambitions for the presidency and they’re not likely to heed the calls for resignation from those who would oppose them.
As for others in Congress who strongly supported Trump in word and deed, many will throw themselves on the mercy of the mob and apologize for being wrong about Trump. By doing so, they will hope the mob will spare them and move on to more enticing targets.
But they’re only hoping the crocodile eats them last. The mob doesn’t want apologies. They want political blood. And they won’t stop until they cancel all who can be connected with Donald Trump if only in the most tangential way.