Who will be leader of the GOP for the next four years?

I do think that Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley are going to rapidly find out that they sold their souls (such as they were) for nothing when they try to pick up the MAGA flag and run for President in 2024. Even assuming Trump dies or is impeached or flees to Moldova, I just can’t see either man successfully commandeering Trump’s movement. No matter how much they try to MAGA it up, both are Ivy-League-law-school-learnin’, Supreme-Court-clerkin’ products of the elite establishment. The most genuine bond that Trump was able to forge with his followers was a mutual, burning resentment of “elites.” Cruz and Hawley can play at the same resentment, but their insincerity bleeds through.

I also think their behavior this last week is going to hurt them tremendously with the Trump base. Sure they raised objections to certifying Biden electors in Arizona and Pennsylvania. But then when the real patriots came bursting into the building in the same effort to deny Biden’s fraudulent win, both men denounced them. And they lost the courage of their convictions, failing to object to electors from Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and other states where the election was stolen. The MAGA Heads are not going to forget this.

It would seem that the corporations and billionaires are now making their bets. And the Trumplicans are not getting much action now.

Follow the money. The money train is leaving the Trump station, and leaving nothing but some lumps of coal and toilet paper on the tracks.

They’re going to have to send him cash in an envelope from now on:

What are the chances that any Republican leader in the near future will end up as an American version of Theresa May - doomed to fail? It is all well and good to put in place a safe figurehead who will work on reconciliation, but I don’t think the Republicans want a red version version of Joe Biden and anyone who accepts the job on that basis will find their political career ending quickly. That leaves the question as to who wishes to wear the mantle of Trump and continue Trumpism?

I remember the last time the GOP was totally out of power (2009) there was a dispute over whether the leader of the party was RNC chair Michael Steele or Rush Limbaugh. Steele brought in the cash and grassroots for the successes of 2010, but, with the help of Democrats like Raum Immanual trying to paint the GOP as the party of crazies, Limbaugh came out the other side as the steadfast (white) flag bearer of the party while Steele was thrown on the heap of supposed RINOs for not being crazy (or white) enough. I hope Democrats learned the lesson. Half of this country loves crazy, and there aren’t enough swing voters to use that as a disqualifier. Democrats and the country are better off with a sane Republican Party.

The thing about the US is we don’t have a “Leader of the Opposition.” Any number of officials can try to claim this role — RNC Chairman, ranking Republicans in Congress, former Republican Presidents, etc. But it all comes down to who Republicans will follow, and the anti-elite mood of most Republicans makes it unlikely they’ll rally to Mitch McConnell’s or Ronna McDaniel’s banner. With Trump diminished, it’s likely that the party will simply be rudderless until a clear Presidential nominee emerges.

A rudderless boat is one thing. That just drifts. A rudderless boat with many jumping up and down in it, some threatening to sink it if it does go where they want it to go, and others caring less about what happens to their boat as long as they’re still less underwater than the “others” so throwing the rocks is all they want to do?

Perhaps asked and answered already (old guy memory problems here) but do we encourage Biden to offer The Don a pardon in exchange for officially becoming ineligible to run for future office?

I don’t know if this intriguing possibility even exists. And I’m still craving the next four years of intra-party warfare, hopefully of a permanently destructive nature, within the GOP with an active, dangerous and even loonier Trump. But Christ on a cracker, he might be a threat to at least win the '24 nomination.

Trump doesn’t have the power to make himself ineligible. He would have to lobby Congress to make it official.

That could be fun. Biden says, You convince Congress to pass the ineligibility measure. As soon as it’s official, you get the pardon.

So we get to see Trump sweat the dilemma of groveling before Congress to render himself impotent versus rolling the dice on actual prosecutions.

No.

Biden beat him by a healthy margin this time and would again. Better to marginalize him, the beliefs he exploited, and those who hold them, by actually winning public opinion. What the DoJ and the states Attorneys General decide to prosecute is up to them based on facts without political interference in either direction.

As long as at least one Dem Senator will vote against filibuster repeal, and as long as Mitch can consistently get at least 40 GOP Senators to rally to his side, he can obstruct everything the Dems try to do that won’t fit in a reconciliation bill.

Call it what you will, but to me that makes him the functional leader of the GOP through the midterms, at least.