We haven’t heard much from Donald Trump since he left office one month ago. I’m sure he’d rather we did. But social media bans have done something no debate moderator was ever able to do: shut Donald Trump up.
It’s not like Trump has been hiding in Mar-a-Lago. Residents certainly know he’s there. According to Politico, Trump receives a standing ovation whenever he goes out to dinner at his club. And he’s been meeting with some people about his future. He’s recently met with former campaign manager Brad Parsacle to plot an online comeback. And he earlier met with Minority Whip Steve Scalise and his son Don.
Everyone knows Trump is eager to taste his revenge against the handful of Republicans who voted against him during impeachment. That appears to be his top priority as he re-emerges to do battle with his enemies.
According to three people familiar with the planning, Trump will soon begin vetting candidates at Mar-a-Lago who are eager to fulfill his promise to exact vengeance upon incumbent Republicans who’ve scorned him, and to ensure every open GOP seat in the 2022 midterms has a MAGA-approved contender vying for it.
Trump already has received dozens of requests from prospective candidates seeking to introduce themselves and nab his endorsement, and formal meetings with them could begin as early as March. Now that Trump has survived his second Senate impeachment trial, he has shifted his focus to post-presidential activism — a venture mostly bankrolled by his new leadership PAC, Save America, which had $31 million in its coffers at the start of this month.
Money will not be a problem for the former president. He’s always been a prodigious fundraiser and he is preparing his online fundraising tools for the long haul.
But other Republicans want to utilize Trump as a GOP surrogate during the mid terms.
The planning for Trump’s coming revenge tour comes as other top Republicans try to cajole him into working with the party’s apparatus ahead of next year’s midterm elections, rather than recruiting rival candidates whose bids could complicate primaries and cost the GOP critical seats. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is expected to meet with Trump over the weekend to discuss his upcoming plans, including the former president’s desire to push for voter reforms at a time when the topic of election integrity has created a major split among elected Republicans.
More than four years later and these Republicans still don’t understand Donald Trump. Trump is not a Republican. He doesn’t care a fig for the Republican Party, except as a vehicle to give him power. He has no loyalty to the party or people in it. If by exacting his revenge he prevents the party from becoming a majority, it is immaterial to his campaign to destroy his enemies.
In this, he has the support of his base of voters. They are the majority in the party and will indulge their leader in his quest to take down those he perceives as having wronged him.
Whatever Republican Party emerges from this civil war, it won’t look anything like the party of Teddy Roosevelt, Robert Taft, or Ronald Reagan. It is Donald Trump’s party and will be until he relinquishes power voluntarily or unto death.