Well, there’s only two weeks left in President Trump’s term anyway, so this seems a bit dramatic, but nevertheless, Mick Mulvaney has resigned from the administration. This came after a small group of radicals stormed the Capitol Building yesterday following Trump’s rally speech. In the chaos, one woman was shot and killed by police (see Woman Shot in the Neck at Capitol, Violence Escalates).
“I can’t stay here, not after yesterday,” Mulvaney said in an appearance on CNBC. “You can’t look at that yesterday and say I want to be a part of that in any way shape or form.”…
…”I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of my friends resign over the course of the next 24 to 48 hours, and it’d be completely understandable if they did,” Mulvaney said. “Those who choose to stay, and I have talked some of to them, are choosing to stay because they are concerned that the president might put someone in to make things even worse.”
What’s happening here is obvious. This isn’t really about yesterday being a breaking point. For all of Trump’s faults, and people can spend all day arguing about the extent of them, he didn’t call for violence yesterday in his speech. It was just more boilerplate complaining about the election being stolen. Some idiots then chose to be violent, and Trump responded by telling them to stop and go home three times over the course of a two hour period. The point is, Mulvaney and others are looking to protect themselves going forward and this was the perfect opportunity to step away from the administration while claiming the high ground. In reality, Trump is the same guy he was before yesterday. Nothing has really changed.
In that sense, Mulvaney’s move is cynical. Politically, it’s smart, and that can’t be denied. This may not be a popular take, but what happened yesterday did great harm to Trump’s control over the party. Before, we were looking at four years of many Republican politicians still walking on eggshells around him, hoping to not tick Trump off before 2024. Now, you are going to see a gloves off approach. Yes, I realize 75 million people voted for Trump, but you also have to realize that only a fraction of those are diehards. The rest are normal people who go to work every day and think about politics only in the months leading up to an election. I’m seeing a lot of condemnation, even from very pro-Trump people about what happened. There is a sense that patience has been lost.
In other words, the political dynamic was firmly in Trump’s favor two days ago. Now, his appointments and elected Republicans are making the calculation that said dynamic has changed. We’ll find out if they are right in the long run.