It’s possible that the 2022 midterm election will lead to the end of Donald J. Trump in American politics.
Yes, he’s still the leader of the Republican party and he still has huge and vocal support in the party, but it’s clear that although vote counting is still ongoing in a number of races around the country, the election has changed Trump’s fortunes.
Simply, the election was a disaster for Trump and the Republican party. The widely expected “red wave” never materialized for the Republicans. Instead, the Democrats are likely to keep their majority in the Senate, and possibly even in the House of Representatives, which would be a stunning, and completely unexpected, election result. President Joe Biden can point to the fact that few previous presidents have had similar success in a midterm election, making this year’s election an historical anomaly.
A jubilant, surprised, and united, Democratic party today stands in sharp contrast to a Republican party in chock, wondering what happened and questioning the strategy and its leadership, including Donald Trump.
There is no question that the Republican party is still led by Trump, “a con man who incited a putsch on the U.S. Capitol,” as J. Patrick Coolican, editor of the Minnesota Reformer, recently put it. And on Tuesday next week, Trump is expected to announce his candidacy for President in 2024. That announcement is not welcomed by everyone in the Republican party, although congressional leaders such as Senator Mitch McConnell and Representative Kevin McCarthy have so far stayed silent and there is no big wave of criticism of Trump among Republicans, at least not yet, for his role in the election. Coolican asks:
“Under Trump’s tutelage, Republicans have (more or less) lost three consecutive election cycles (2018, 2020, 2022). Like his customers, lenders, suppliers, wives, employees — they’re left holding the bag. What more evidence do they need?”
Murdoch-owned media outlets, long strong supporters of Trump, do not seem to need more. A Wall Street Journal editorial on Thursday this week was headlined “Trump is the Republican party’s biggest loser” as Trump had “flopped in 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022.” And New Post Post depicted Trump as Humpty Dumpty, who had a great fall, and asked, “can all the GOP’s med put the party together again?”
Will Republicans finally say no to the “self-described MAGA-king? asks Jackie Calmes in her column in the Los Angeles Times:
“Will they publicly disavow his inevitable and dangerous conspiracy mongering about election fraud to explain away the losses among MAGA candidates? The initial signs are not good.”
This silence, she writes, enables Trump. It also keeps “Trumpism” alive, although no one can say for how long if the “Chief Trumpist” should vanish from the scene.