Two weeks ago, Republican leaders condemned Donald Trump's incitement of the mob that sacked the U.S. Capitol. In the Senate, Mitch McConnell signalled his own support for impeachment. In the House, Kevin McCarthy said Trump bore responsibility for the riot, which killed 5 people including a police officer.
It didn't last. McCarthy soon reversed himself and yesterday flew to Trump's Florida compound to grovel, and McConnell is quietly killing the Dems' lackadaisical effort to impeach the former President.
A statement from McCarthy's office said the two discussed how the Republican Party could win back Congress in 2022. … The abrupt shift comes with polls showing the hold Trump still has over the party's grassroots.
A poll by Morning Consult this week found that Trump's popularity among Republicans – while below all-time highs – had bounced back since the riot. Of the Republican voters polled Saturday to Monday, 81% said they held a favorable view of the former president, a rise from a 76% low in mid-January, while 75% said they disapproved of his impeachment.
They briefly feared being ostracized, but they've looked around and nothing bad is happening to them. All Trump and his supporters have learned is that political violence comes with no significant cost to them or to the Republican Party, which they control.