Republican Senators Are Delusional, Part Infinity

Most GOP senators have fallen in line with Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign to return to the White House, starting from the top with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. They’re with him despite everything, including Jan. 6 when he unleashed a mob on the Capitol that threatened their physical safety, if not their lives. 

But they are hanging on to the pretense that they’ll be able to constrain him by continuing to refuse to nuke the filibuster for him, something Trump demanded when he was in the White House. 

Axios reports that they “are locking arms to defend the filibuster,” pointing out that both senators vying to replace McConnell as leader when he steps down next year—John Cornyn of Texas and John Thune of South Dakota—continue to defend the filibuster as a Senate institution needing to be maintained. 

The would-be No. 2 leader, Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, told Axios “the filibuster is the character of the United States Senate. I continue to support the filibuster.”

Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Tom Cotton of Arkansas also robustly defended the filibuster, attacking Democrats who were considering eliminating it in 2022 to restore voting rights. And the current chair of the Senate GOP campaign arm, Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, says he’s “evolved” his position on protecting the filibuster “because we see what the Democrats would do.” 

Even candidates who Trump has endorsed for 2024, like Kari Lake in Arizona, David McCormick in Pennsylvania, and Tim Sheehy in Montana, say the filibuster has to be preserved. McCormick told Axios the “filibuster protects America from being subject to the whims of the majority,” and a spokesperson for Sheehy said he “believes in preserving the filibuster.”

McConnell and GOP leadership could be trying to keep the team together on Trump, as a few Republicans are on record saying they will not vote for him. Republicans need a united front to win back the majority, and they know that they must find a way to make Trump seem less of a threat. Maintaining that they’ll continue to fight him to keep the filibuster could be GOP leadership’s way of trying to convince waverers—and maybe even themselves—that they’d have any power over Trump.

If they truly think they could constrain Trump, they have very short memories, and they are not paying attention to what Trump and his team are planning for a potential second term. Even in 2019, Trump was threatening to bypass Congress and assert his unitary executive authority to get his border wall. He also issued an executive order in the last days of his term to gut the civil service and replace workers with Trump loyalists.

Since then, the Heritage Foundation and a team of other extremists have been creating the blueprint for Trump to dramatically expand presidential powers and install a fascist theocracy. Under Project 2025, Trump wouldn’t have to bother trying to get legislation through Congress; he could just destroy democracy by executive actions.

Republished with permission from Daily Kos.

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