Last week, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell condemned Trump after the sacking of the U.S. Capitol. It was "a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty," McConnell said. "Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day."
Yesterday, though, he pledged his vote to Trump, who is all but certain to win the party's nomination in 2024: "Absolutely."
McConnell's comments on Thursday underscore the political reality that Trump remains overwhelmingly popular and there is little desire to cast him aside or move on to a new generation of leaders now that he is out of office. … In the latest sign of the party's enduring embrace of the former President, Trump is set to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando on Sunday. He plans to address "the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement," a source familiar with Trump's plans previously told CNN.
One thing that never quite sinks in is that Republicans see everyone else as enemies and that they'll do anything to win1. One reason it never sinks in is because mainstream media are obsessed with the idea that the American polity is built on civility, bipartisanship and reaching out.
As a result, even when an obviously partisan horrible thing happens the coverage can be as shrill as all get out yet remain evasive about the causes of the effects. We can't be forthright about the grossly uneven distribution of horrible because we can't be honest about the fact one party is horrible on purpose.
To paraphrase Frank Wilhoit, there is a cause which civility advances but does not bind, alongside a cause which civility binds but does not advance.
This is one reason why Mitch McConnell can oscillate so freely between condemning Trump and supporting him: because he knows it will be reported as tactics (McConnell a Hypocrite) rather than strategy (McConnell Working the Refs).
1. The traditional GOP list of things they will do to win—lie, cheat, steal—has recently been extended to "kill cops".