So when Baier first asked McConnell about 2024, he saidI’ve got at least four members that I think are planning on running for president, plus some governors and others. There’s no incumbent. It should be a wide-open race and fun for you all to cover.” But pressed directly on his position if Trump became the nominee, McConnell was crystal clear: “The nominee of the party? Absolutely.”

And that’s not just sucking up for McConnell. The Republican Party and its power is his first and foremost concern, always.

Former President Trump’s actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful dereliction of duty,” McConnell said after voting to acquit him.

If Trump is nominated in 2024, “absolutely” McConnell will support getting him into a position where he’ll again have a duty to derelict.

The leader of the free world cannot spend weeks thundering that shadowy forces are stealing our country and then feign surprise when people believe him and do reckless things,” McConnell said.

But the Republican leader in the Senate can and will back a nominee who he knows for a fact will do exactly that, apparently. McConnell has told us that Trump incited an insurrection, but he is willing to subject the nation to that again out of loyalty to his party. McConnell may think he’s swearing loyalty now because he has a handle on things and won’t ever have to follow through on supporting Trump. He may not. But he’s also showing that, as Kerry Eleveld recently wrote, he doesn’t realize the Republican Party as he knew it is dead. McConnell thinks he can reconsolidate his leadership, but all he’s done recently is follow the extremists of his party.

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