The Democrats aren't the only ones fighting among themselves as the result of Republican Glenn Youngkin's victory Tuesday night in the Virginia's governor's race.
The conservative National Review had this blunt take as its lead story today:
"Virginia Shows Why a Credible Conservative Needs to Challenge Trump in 2024: The stakes simply will be too high for conservative Republicans to defer and allow Trump to use the election as an extended ego trip to air his grievances about 2020."
The magazine observed what commentators on both side of the aisle in the closing weeks of the race: Trump's presence in the state he lost by 10 points last November could only hurt Youngkin's chances. That's why the Republican candidate asked Trump not to show up in his state, while offering enough lip service to Trumpism to keep him--and the base--at bay.
"If you spoke to any plugged-in Republican in the closing weeks of the Virginia governor's race, you would hear something along the lines of: Glenn Youngkin is positioned to win, unless Donald Trump shows up and throws a monkey wrench into things," the commentary stated. "Terry McAuliffe, on the other hand, was so desperate for Trump to plop down in Virginia and start rambling about the stolen election that when a Trump visit didn't happen, McAuliffe lied and pretended it did anyway."
"So, while progressives and moderates in the Democratic Party are finger-pointing over what caused McAuliffe to blow a sizeable lead in the race, it turns out a similar scenario is playing out on the Right.
"As they look ahead to next year's midterms and beyond, there should be an obvious lesson for Republicans. They will be more competitive if they do not have Trump leading the party. If Republicans rally around another nominee in 2024, they have a chance to secure control of Congress and retake the White House. If they nominate Trump anyway, it puts Democrats back in the ballgame."
The National Review is, of course, not coming up on any ballots. So, it's quite unlikely that any of Trump's legions of docile servants in Republican ranks will dare utter similar words anytime soon.
And this was hardly a profile in courage by the magazine. After discounting the notion of a traditional challenger of the ilk of Jon Kasich or Jon Huntsman, it took a pass on namechecking even a single anti-Trump conservative it has in mind.