According to a report from the Washington Post, GOP lawmakers are worried about their future, both collectively and individually, after President Donald Trump is out office - whether he is impeached, steps down or loses re-election.
The report from the WaPo's Robert Costa and Philip Rucker, based on conversations with over two dozen Rep[ublican lawmakers, asserts: "A torrent of impeachment developments has triggered a reckoning in the Republican Party, paralyzing many of its officeholders as they weigh their political futures, legacies and, ultimately, their allegiance to a president who has held them captive."
"While GOP senators have engaged in hushed conversations about constitutional and moral considerations, their calculations at this point are almost entirely political," he adds, before writing, "Across the country, most GOP lawmakers have responded to questions about Trump’s conduct with varying degrees of silence, shrugged shoulders or pained defenses. For now, their collective strategy is simply to survive and not make any sudden moves."
And for good reason explains one Republican strategist.
“Everyone is getting a little shaky at this point,” Brendan Buck, who was counselor to former House speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-WI) confided. “Members have gotten out on a limb with this president many times only to have it be cut off by the president. They know he’s erratic, and this is a completely unsteady and developing situation.”
The report notes that GOP lawmakers have become remarkably reticent to defend the president -- with a few exceptions -- over his Ukraine phone call and entreaty to China to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden because they have no idea what bombshells are yet to come.
"Trump’s extraordinary public request that China investigate 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden — adding to his previous pressure campaign on Ukraine — has sparked divergent reactions among other Republican senators, including over whether the president was being serious when he delivered his plea," the report states, before adding, "A Republican strategist who is close with several senators and spoke on the condition of anonymity to share a candid assessment called the situation 'a disaster.' This consultant has been advising clients to 'say as little as possible' about impeachment developments to buy time."
GOP consultant Mike Murphy, said that is a good strategy to, if nothing else, avoid the wrath of the president's rabid base.
“There just hasn’t been pushback, and in part it’s because of this perception that he’s like Rasputin with the base with magic powers,” he explained.
A former Trump administration official -- who wished to remain anonymous --admitted that GOP lawmakers are looking at each other, trying to find the one who will be the first to make a major break on impeachment.
“Nobody wants to be the zebra that strays from the pack and gets gobbled up by the lion,” a former senior administration official said in assessing the current consensus among Senate Republicans. “They have to hold hands and jump simultaneously … Then Trump is immediately no longer president and the power he can exert over them and the punishment he can inflict is, in the snap of a finger, almost completely erased.”
You can read more here.