Tom Basile: GOP Senate majority doomed if it doesn't have Trump's back

You have to hand it to the Democratic Party's leadership and the media. They came up with a plan to discredit, delegitimize and destroy the Trump presidency in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016 and they have followed it with unqualified fidelity. Certainly, they have not been alone. Some Beltway Republicans have also helped lend credence to the hysterical anti-Trump crusade.

The question now is, absent real evidence of the president breaking federal law, will the Republican Party establishment aid Democrats in trying to bring an early end to the Trump presidency?

After years of inquiries, thousands of pages of testimony, made-for-TV hearings that produce nothing but spectacle, tens of millions in taxpayer dollars spent, and a drumbeat of false claims of impending doom for the president from lawmakers and the press, the situation is now reaching a critical juncture -- particularly for Senate Republicans.


True, many in the party are not fans of the president. Trump’s free-wielding, often ill-mannered Twitter presidency has left many feeling like they have little to defend. This is despite significant accomplishments during Trump’s presidency in terms of judges, regulations, tax reform, foreign relations and pro-growth policy.

The president’s tweets, dozens of times a day, are making him look unhinged and his Twitter habit also doesn’t help to give shaky GOP senators cover or confidence.


However, aligning in any way with this impeachment effort driven by the left (that means you Mitt Romney) without convincing evidence of the president committing federal crimes, will not only needlessly fuel a damaging crisis of confidence in government, it will aid the left’s broader plan to remake this country in a way that would be unrecognizable to most people.

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It will fulfill the goals of the cycle of collusion on the part of a biased media, radical progressives and Washington elites to bring down a presidency by means other than a lawful election.

Giving momentum to impeachment without all the facts is to embolden all of those who have blindly driven the anti-Trump narrative, from the “Russia collusion” crowd to the Green New Dealers to the antics of the "Squad."

Even a small number of GOP senators aligning with the left will prompt backlash from pro-Trump voters in marginal Senate seats that will be fierce. It could consign the Republicans to the minority for a generation.

There are 22 Republican seats in play in 2020 — seven of them arguably vulnerable — where margins will be tight. A drop-off of even single digits from pro-Trump voters who opt not to vote in the Senate contest in those states could doom Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s majority.

Among the Washington set, some who have been stalwarts of the party for decades, there has long seemed to exist a mindset that Trump’s collapse will not hurt the party and in fact, could be a benefit to their influence.

Not true. Absent convincing evidence of wrongdoing, Trump voters will be emboldened and turn out, but if congressional Republicans don’t stand with the president, down-ballot federal races could pay a heavy price.

Additionally, it cannot be denied by the Washington echo-chamber that the Republican grassroots organizing machine is inferior to that of the left. Its messaging and communications operations are inferior to the left.

The GOP’s ability to pull together a voter coalition is inferior to the left. Its activist core is far inferior and less organized than that of the left.

It is constantly playing defense in the face of a well-funded, well-established combination of tech, entertainment, education and news that is decidedly opposed to the party’s platform in virtually every respect.

They have demonstrated they cannot compete.

Remember, congressional Republicans gave a majority of Americans a tax cut in 2017 but lost in 2018. The president, for his part, has little in the way of a surrogate or broader communications operation.

Some Washington Republicans may dislike Trump, but they need him, however uncomfortable that may be for them.

The perfect storm of circumstances in 2016 that led to President Trump’s victory proved, more than anything else, that Washington Republican elites had lost the ability to speak to working-class Americans struggling under the weight of the cost of government.

For all his faults in the way he communicates both from a strategic and tactical standpoint, Trump does speak directly to Americans' real frustration with a government that is bloated, ineffective and unsustainable.

He is right to stand against the kind of policies that would result in an explosion of government dependency, open borders and a middle class that would end up paying for it all.


Call it a train-wreck. Call it spaghetti-throwing. It’s been happening in slow motion for three years now. Democrats have handed control of their party over to extremists. Whether this media and far left-driven crisis goes anywhere now largely depends on whether Republicans will allow it.

If they do, the consequences will be dire.