All very interesting.
I see several folks have said something like “The Republicans will …”. I see that as a category error.
There is not one “the Republicans”. There are several. With wildly different agendas and constituencies.
As to Federal legislators and state-level elected officials … Some represent districts or states where Trump is God-King and his supporters are the electorate. Others where Trump is an embarrassment to all right-thinking R’s, but at least he’s preventing a D from sitting in his spot doing even more unspeakable things to our beloved Republic. And several shades in between.
Other significant R players, more in the executive, the judiciary, the think tanks, and the commentariat, are simply looking forward to going back to servicing their traditional patrons, whether that’s as deficit hawks, foreign policy hawks, strict constructionist hawks, shills for the CEO class, shills for Wall Street, shills for the defense industry, whatever.
Or simply as principled believers in traditional non-reactionary US (mostly white male) values as Reagan would have recognized them.
In the middle of the current southern-fried racism + NYC-style abject lawless greed shit show it is easy to forget that there were, and still are, such things as principled Rs; millions of them in fact. Whether I agree with their principles is a different question from whether they have any.
Factions with the R upper hierarchy would love to jettison Trump yesterday. Others still think his coat tails are valuable, perhaps even more valuable than he himself is. And an awful lot of the newest generation of opportunistic carpetbaggers owe their position and their ongoing access to the trough entirely to Trump; they know they’ll sink if he does.
By far the most interesting part to me, and I said as much shortly after the election, is how many other folks have carefully watched what worked with the MAGA crowd. Thank goodness Trump is such an incompetent tyrant. But he has shown the understudy wannabe tyrants how easy it is to get the American electorate to not only elect a tyrant, but then demand that their Dear Leader destroy the constitution in pursuit of naked power.
IMO that will be Trump’s lasting legacy: the need for us to fight the second US Civil War to save the constitution, whether at the ballot box or later in the streets. Unlike the first Civil War, the battle lines next time will be zipcode to zipcode, not state to state. Although as any CW history buff will gladly tell you, there were a lot of deeply divided states along and beyond the confederacy’s frontier last time.