Waldman is correct–the backlash among Republicans is not going to be any kind of self-reflection. It’s going to be QAnon as party platform.
To get some clues about what might happen after the election, we can look at the case of Marjorie Taylor Greene, who this week won a runoff in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, all but guaranteeing her a seat in Congress.
Greene has a lengthy history of not just promoting QAnon but of posting racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim videos online. When she won the runoff, Trump tweeted his congratulations, calling her a “future Republican Star” and “a real WINNER!” Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Rep. Douglas A. Collins, competing for a Senate seat in Georgia, both applauded Greene’s victory. “It’s clear that we need more outsiders with business sense in Washington,” said Loeffler.
If Greene were alone, it might not be so important. But QAnon followers have won Republican nominations for U.S. Senate in Oregon and for House seats in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio and Texas. Media Matters for America has identified 70 Republican congressional candidates who have promoted QAnon this year.
And how have Republicans in Congress reacted? Only one, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), had the courage to say that there is “no place in Congress for these conspiracies.” In response, the Trump campaign attacked him. Politico reported that the House Freedom Caucus, the home of far-right congressional Republicans, is “actively supporting Greene and recruited her to run for the deep red seat instead of a more competitive one.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — who had criticized Greene’s views before — released a statement saying he looked forward to her winning in November.
This is why we can’t overly focus on Donald Trump as the core of the problems facing this nation. Republicans nominated him and like him so much precisely because he is who he is. This is what they’ve wanted for years. And they will continue to want that. The Republican Party doesn’t only need to be defeated in 2020. It needs to be destroyed. The future of this nation is very much in doubt otherwise.