Like an old-time circuit rider evangelist Donald Trump is traveling the country, but other than his fanatical base no one’s paying attention to the circus. Even Trump-friendly Fox News doesn’t air his MAGA rallies and speeches to conservative audiences.
Trump’s evangelical base still worships their orange-tinged messiah, they still accept all of his vain babblings as the Gospel and they still promulgate all of his conspiracy theories.
The Dear Leader’s hold over congressional Republicans, especially House Republicans, remains secure. House GOP leaders regularly make a pilgrimage to his palaces in Florida and New Jersey. The two GOP representatives who actively oppose the Big Lie, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, are treated like lepers and apostates by their conservative brethren.
But the short-fingered vulgarian’s sway over Republicans at large seems to be diminishing. Trump prides himself on the power of his endorsements to influence the electorate, he makes a Hollywood production over issuing endorsements. He acts like the Pope issuing Papal honors to the most devout Catholics. Trump’s anointed candidate in the special House election in Texas lost on Tuesday to another Republican, embarrassing him to no end. On Wednesday, 17 Republican senators voted to advance a bipartisan infrastructure deal that he had railed against for weeks. Every other week in the Trump administration was infrastructure week, and if Biden manages to sign an infrastructure bill into law it will devastate him.
Trump is still the undisputed leader of the Republican Party, and his base will remain loyal to their cult leader to the bitter end, but there’s enough erosion in his support overall to ensure that if he runs again in 2024, he will lose in a bigger landside than 2020.