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GOP establishment's dream of a post-Trump party has shattered

For a brief moment on election night a few weeks ago, you may have thought Republicans were preparing to turn on Trump. That clearly isn't happening.


After the GOP’s historic underperformance in the midterm elections, several conservative pundits declared the time had come for the party to move on from Donald Trump, who endorsed a raft of failed candidates this cycle. 

This may have seemed foolish to anyone who, for years, has watched Republicans seemingly acquiesce to Trump’s every demand and excuse the MAGA movement's most deplorable behaviors

Now, just mere weeks removed from the Election Day hand-wringing, it seems certain the GOP establishment's dream of a post-Trump party has been shattered. 

Consider the proof. 

As House Republicans prepare to hold the majority next term, the semblance of an agenda they’ve revealed is almost wholly inspired by Trump-backed lies and delusions. Party leadership has vowed to probe conspiracy theories related to Hunter Biden, the Jan. 6 attack, the pandemic and immigration, including claims that hew closely to the racist “replacement theory” Trump White House officials helped popularize. 

If you believe a party eager to invest in these conspiracy theory-pushing extremists is going to turn on Trump, I have a beachfront property in Arizona to sell you.

What's more, Trump sycophants continue to wield power in the Republican National Committee. Current RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel is such a Trump brown noser that she reportedly altered her publicly used name at his petty urging. But she's facing at least one challenger in her fight for re-election: the Trump-loving MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.

So much for a post-Trump push from the RNC.

In fact, the RNC even gave Trump-supporting figures in the GOP power in setting the party’s priorities going forward. 

As Politico reported on Tuesday, the RNC has commissioned a panel tasked with assessing the party’s midterm failures, which is being led, in part, by pro-Trump lawyer Harmeet Dhillon. A separate council focused on GOP outreach includes failed Arizona Senate candidate (and creepy pistol-whisperer) Blake Masters, another Trump-loving conservative

If you believe a party eager to invest in these conspiracy theory-pushing extremists is going to turn on Trump, I have a beachfront property in Arizona to sell you. 

Even Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who many Republicans claim would be a departure from Trumpism, is essentially just a shorter, less-charismatic version of the former president who relied on Trump’s support to become governor in the first place. 

And, of course, the clearest indicator of all that the GOP is unwilling to challenge Trump in any substantive way is the party’s widespread meekness in confronting Trump's overt bigotry. Bigotry that stands to harm the GOP’s electoral chances. 

For example, few Republicans have denounced Trump by name for his recent meeting with Nick Fuentes, a high-profile white nationalist, and Ye, the rapper who has made headlines in recent weeks for spewing antisemitic vitriol, at his Florida estate. (Many haven’t denounced the meeting at all.)

And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s response to the meeting showed Trump’s grip on the GOP is still tight. 

“There is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy,” McConnell said Tuesday. “And anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States."

Note: McConnell didn’t say this unnamed person wouldn’t win. He didn’t even say the person shouldn’t win. He just said the person was unlikely to win, essentially leaving the door open that Trump could still earn his support as a future nominee. 

Wary conservatives can try all they want to pretend Trump is old news in the conservative movement. But there’s indisputable evidence to the contrary.