D’oh. The problem at hand? How dare he! The Louisiana State Republican Party went into action, saying it was “deeply disappointed” that Cassidy was supporting it A “kangaroo court” that, according to the Washington Post, amounted to an “attack on the foundations of American democracy”.
Cassidy, who was re-elected for a six-year term in November by 40 points, appeared unimpressed. “As an impartial juror, I’ll vote for the side that did the good job,” he said. Cassidy was so convinced of the rigor of the House Democrats’ reasoning that he actually flipped his vote on last month’s constitutional question when he voted in lockstep with 44 other GOP senators against the legitimacy of the Senate process. This time he joined the other five GOP Senators who both split from their peers: Sens. Susan Collins from Maine, Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, Mitt Romney from Utah, Ben Sasse from Nebraska and Patrick Toomey from Pennsylvania.
Cassidy is clearly a rare GOP bird right now, and he could feel empowered by his overwhelming re-election and the fact that he has six years to live that vote. Who knows what form the Republican Party will be in by then?
But the conversation between him and his state party is exactly what Republican lawmakers across Washington fear – or at least those Republicans who still have a clue on sanity. Under Trump, the States parties radicalized and the high voter turnout in 2020 had a positive effect on them in Downballot races, even if a significant number of Conservative voters split their tickets to reject Trump. So Trump or no Trump, these parties will stick to the election successes of 2020 if they draw the lines for 2022.
Frankly, it should be fascinating to see how Trumpism behaves in 2022 without Trump on the map. Due to past national races in Kansas (2018 gubernatorial), Louisiana (2019 gubernatorial) and last month, as well as the two runoff elections in the Georgia Senate, Republicans have repeatedly lost high-stakes competitions that Trump was not present. So the state’s Republicans are betting on pro-Trump zeal to wear the day in 2022 in a situation where Trump is not on the menu. Many of his supporters actually believe the GOP cheated on him, and many other Conservative voters are leaving the party altogether.