In yesterday’s post about a Lincoln Project ad, there was some discussion in the comments about what the Lincoln Project founders would do after Trump’s defeat (if he’s defeated), as well as some well-deserved skepticism about their motivations.
If you put yourself in a position of a never-Trumper political consultant — the genuine kind, not the kind that will leave the box for President blank on their ballot because Joe Biden said something about taking down a statue once — you’re in a tough spot. If, Dios mediante, Trump is defeated and Democrats get the Senate and increase their majority in the House, who’s left in those seats on the R side of the aisle? Hard-core Trumpers in R+10 and better districts, that’s who. They’ll re-brand if Trump loses (“the Qanon party,” probably), but the ideology and motivations will remain. So that rules out pretty much every sitting Senator and Representative as a potential client if you’re a never-Trumper consultant.
But what about the challengers to the newly elected Democrats in 2022 and beyond? Good question — every one of the candidates who would want to hire a never-Trumper will probably face a primary challenge from a Qanon supporter. Having a never-Trumper on staff is a big problem that will probably hurt a Republican candidate facing a Qanon opponent, and as we’ve seen, these Qanon candidates can beat Republican incumbents in primaries.
So, it’s pretty likely that a never-Trumper consultant is politically radioactive in today and tomorrow’s Republican party. I’m not saying this to shed a salty tear for some DC bottom feeders who would be happily lining up to work for President Jeb Bush or President Marco Rubio if the chips had fallen a different way. I’m saying it because the modern Republican Party is rotten to its Qanon, OAN core, and Trump exiting will not drain the pustulated furuncle that the party has become. I don’t know if I’ll see a functioning, conservative opposition party rooted at least in part in reality during my lifetime. Certainly a never-Trumper who thinks that Trump is the only problem with their party is living in a rock-and-roll fantasy.