by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
As President Trump’s term comes to a screeching halt, he leaves behind a party split between MAGA loyalists and Republicans who are ready to turn the page on his presidency.
“We’re done with the surrender caucus. We’re done with pina colada Republicans who go to retreats in resorts in Amelia Island in the most important three days of our republic,” said John Fredericks, a conservative radio host who served on the Trump campaign’s 2020 advisory committee, referring to the Republican National Committee winter meeting on Amelia Island, Florida, where top Republican brass are in situ with grassroots activists this week. “While Rome burned, they are sipping margaritas out of swizzle sticks.”
Fredericks told the Washington Examiner that in time, party leaders would have to start ceding control.
“The Trump movement, the deplorables, the America First movement is bigger and stronger and more vibrant than it’s ever been right now,” he said. “We are the new woke, and we’re going to take over the Republican Party. We’re going to primary the RINOs and hold them accountable.”
But Trump isn’t politically invincible, other Republicans warn.
“Certainly in Georgia, you saw the limits of his political power,” said Mike McKenna, a former top aide in Trump’s White House. “You can’t just wave a magic wand to get people to win.”
And if Trump strikes out alone, he will need to marshal more than just his base to secure major electoral wins, for other candidates or for himself.
On Thursday night, a top presidential prospect and former Trump official, Nikki Haley, rebuked him.
At the party’s Sea Island winter meeting, Haley pointedly criticized the president’s actions leading up to his supporters breaching the Capitol on Wednesday, determining that he “will be judged harshly by history.”