[Read more on Trump and Pence’s blowup.]
Here’s how that might happen. First, the non-Trump faction of the party – embodied by senators like Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski, various purple and blue state governorships and most of the remaining conservatives in the Asella corridor, from attorneys and judges to lobbyists and employees – are pushing for complete repudiation of Trump and all his actions, beyond Accountability to include support for social media bans, FBI monitoring of the MAGA universe and more.
At the same time, these precisely these measures radicalize parts of the party base, and provide clear evidence that Trump was right – and that the regime is not only rallying against them, but actively persecuting them. With this sense of persecution in the background and the perception of the Trump family as party leaders, the myth of voter fraud becomes a real test in many congressional elections, and baroque conspiracy theories abound in the primaries.
In this scenario, the remainder of the center-right suburban vote and the Republican establishment becomes at least as much as Never Trump as Romney, if not for Lincoln’s project; In the meantime, the core of Trump’s support becomes panicked as fans of Q. Maybe this leads to more empty violence, leading to more center-right extremism against the right, or maybe just spawning a lot of Republican candidates like Marjorie Taylor Green of Georgia. So much so, that a large part of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives not only occupies a different tactical reality from the elite in the party, but occupies a completely different world.
Either way, under these conditions that party could collapse or actually collapse. The meltdown will happen if Trumpians with a deceptive narrative and strong vitality start winning nominations for Senate seats and governorships in states that are no more than the now emaciated Republicans. A crazy and radiant party through conspiracy theories could continue to win the Deep Red provinces, but if corporate support is rescued, the remaining technocrats jump in, and suburban professionals see it as the party of the insurgency, it could easily become a steadfast loser in 30 or more countries.
Alternatively, a party dominated by the Trump family at the grassroots level, with Green-like personalities as foot soldiers, may become truly unacceptable as the home of centrist and non-Trumpian politicians. So after Trump himself re-nominated or Don Jr. nominated in 2024, a host of personalities (senators like Romney and Susan Collins, and blue state governors like Larry Hogan of Maryland) might simply jump in to form a small independent party, leaving the Republican Party with the 35th proposal. Per cent, the butt of the rump.
None of this is an expectation. In American politics, a return to stalemate has been a safe bet for many years – in which case you expect the extremists at MAGA to return to their fictional world, the threat of violence to recede, and for Trump to vanish without his Twitter feed and a mixture of the liberalism of the Biden administration and the dramatic expansion of technology. The major re-alliance of the far-right together in time for 2022.
But if Biden rules carefully, if Trump does not go quietly, and if the MAGA fantasies become orthodox right-wing, the pressure on the Republican Party and the Conservatives may be too great to bear.