In a surprisingly blunt-talking column from the editors of the conservative Wall Street Journal, the Republican Party was served notice that it will be condemned to irrelevance if they don't part ways with a damaged Donald Trump who is dragging them down.
With a headline stating, "Trump's Non-Vindication," the editorial board asserted that the ex-president may have not been convicted in his second impeachment trial due to Republican loyalty to him, but it is apparent to all not blinded by partisanship that he is guilty of inciting the Jan. 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol that resulted in deaths and massive destruction.
Beginning with "The Senate failed Saturday to convict Donald Trump on the single House impeachment article of inciting an insurrection, but the 57-43 vote was no vindication. The statements by Senators who voted to acquit make clear that he escaped conviction mainly—perhaps only—because he is no longer President," the editors agreed with the words of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who said on Saturday, "Former President Trump's actions that preceded the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty. There's no question—none—that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day."
In many ways, the Journal's view is mirrored by MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and John Heilemann who contend the Republican Party is on the verge of falling apart.
According to the board of editors, Trump's refusal to send help after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) informed him the Capitol was under assault is a damning indictment of the ex-president that is deserving of a criminal investigation, insisting, "Senate acquittal does not absolve Mr. Trump of potential criminal or civil liability for actions he took in office."
More importantly, the editors of the conservative Journal are concerned about the Republican Party getting off the Trump train if it has any hope of rebuilding and reclaiming control of Congress and the White House.
"For four years Mr. Trump's conduct stayed largely within constitutional bounds—no matter his rhetorical excesses and Democratic efforts to drive him from office by violating norms and flogging conspiracy theories. But Mr. Trump's dishonest challenge to the 2020 election, even after multiple defeats in court, clearly broke those bounds and culminated in the Jan. 6 riot," the editorial explains before pointing out Trump may run again -- but has no chance of winning.
"He lost re-election before the events of Jan. 6, and as President his job approval never rose above 50%. He may go on a revenge campaign tour, or run as a third-party candidate, but all he will accomplish is to divide the center-right and elect Democrats. The GOP's defeats in the two Jan. 5 Georgia Senate races proved that," they wrote before concluding, "The country is moving past the Trump Presidency, and the GOP will remain in the wilderness until it does too."