Republicans are slowly coming around to the realization that a flailing Donald Trump is going to drag the whole party down with him. It’s not just 2024 hopefuls like Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse who want to scrape together whatever remaining Republicans don’t have QAnon behind them. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the Alaska Republican who is up for reelection in 2020, has joined Mitt and Sasse, and she made a bit of a dig at her fellow Republicans.
She released a statement Sunday saying that “it is incumbent upon all of us to ensure that we respect the integrity of the election process and uphold Americans’ faith in our electoral system.” Trump had his day in court, she said, and the courts have found his claims “without merit.” Trump’s “pressure campaign on state legislators to influence the electoral outcome is not only unprecedented by inconsistent without democratic process.” Of course, she knew who this guy was when she refused to impeach him back in January, so well, you know. Thanks. What is interesting is that she added that “all of us” in her statement; a nudge to fellow Republicans, perhaps, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who have refused to step up for their country.
Murkowski joins Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican who issued a statement Saturday congratulation Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and told Trump it’s over. Toomey is not seeking reelection in 2022 in the Senate. Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday that it was time for Trump to stop. “You know, the voters spoke,” he said. “And here again, in Michigan, it’s not a razor-thin margin. It’s 154,000 votes. You got to let the votes stand.” You can see why Pennsylvania and Michigan Republicans want to stop the turmoil in their own states. You’ve even got local Republicans breaking with Trump. The Republican mayor of Sterling Heights, Michigan, blasted him on Facebook last week. Michael Taylor wrote that Trump “is deliberately lying to Americans and the world about the Michigan election results in order to create uncertainty, fear and distrust in our democracy. His temper tantrums on Twitter and baseless lies about the election should be universally condemned by all patriotic Americans, regardless of who you voted for.”
Trump isn’t going to particularly care about a handful of elected Republicans or former loyal supporters like Chris Christie, who is now off the bus as well. He’ll just call them all losers and move on. But at this point it’s not just Republican lawmakers. It’s Republican bigwig funders like Blackstone chairman, CEO, and co-founder Steve Schwarzman. He’s been one of Trump’s closest and most loyal allies, but in a statement to Axios, he says he’s done. “In my comments three days after the election,” he wrote, “I was trying to be a voice of reason and express why it’s in the national interest to have all Americans believe the election is being resolved correctly. But the outcome is very certain today, and the country should move on.” Then the dagger: “Like many in the business community, I am ready to help President-elect Biden and his team as they confront the significant challenges of rebuilding our post-COVID economy.”
That’s gotta sting a little. It also signals something to Trump for his future. He’s not going to have the likes of Schwarzman or former megadonor and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Adelson owns and runs the biggest newspaper in Nevada, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which told Trump in an editorial nearly two weeks ago to give it up. This means Trump’s vision of his own party carrying on post-January 2021 is going to be dependent on whatever grift he can scam from his adoring followers. He’s going to have to start rubbing elbows with the deplorables, because the big money won’t be there any more.
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