by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The marriage of convenience between President Trump and the Republican establishment ended in a nasty divorce on Wednesday, culminating in Vice President Mike Pence being ushered away as angry Trump supporters stormed the Capitol during a joint session of Congress convened to certify the Electoral College results.
“I am absolutely appalled by what the president has allowed some of his supporters to do,” said a Republican strategist who has been supportive of Trump.
Trump’s efforts to overturn the outcome of the presidential election broke his fragile relationship with the GOP governing class that only reluctantly and warily embraced him following his romp through the 2016 Republican primaries.
“There will be no going home again,” said a longtime Republican operative in Washington, D.C.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican who has served in the upper chamber since the Reagan administration, issued a scathing rebuke of colleagues amplifying Trump’s claims of voter fraud and challenging the results in multiple close battleground states.
“It would be unfair and wrong to disenfranchise American voters and overrule the courts and the states on this thin basis,” McConnell said. “And I will not pretend such a vote would be a harmless protest gesture while relying on others to do the right thing.” …
… As the protests turned violent, more Republicans broke with the president. “The President bears responsibility for today’s events by promoting the unfounded conspiracy theories that led to this point,” said Sen. Roy Blount of Missouri, a member of the GOP leadership team. “It’s past time to accept the will of American voters and to allow our nation to move forward.”
“Today, the United States Capitol — the world’s greatest symbol of self-government — was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard — tweeting against his Vice President for fulfilling the duties of his oath to the Constitution,” Sen. Ben Sasse said in a blistering statement.