I think Bill Kristol has the right of it:
One can argue Republicans didn’t really do that well given the strong economy. One can argue Trump is on net a burden to the party and that in the long term he’ll do great damage. But one must also admit the public did not rise up as one yesterday to repudiate Trump and Trumpism.
Of course it didn’t take long for Trump, emboldened by Republican gains in the Senate, to start the process of dismantling the Mueller investigation by firing* Sessions and replacing him with a loyalist. (* Sorry: I meant “accepting the resignation of”.)
Prior to the election, in a rare rant-fueled moment on Twitter, I wrote:
Trump is an unambiguous danger to our democracy. The GOP has unambiguously aided and abetted him.
I know many conservatives feel that Trump is an aberration: constrained to a small corner of the party, soon to be exorcised.
I reject this view as counter to trend and evidence. I believe the rot is deep and permanent.
For these reasons, the Republican Party deserves an electoral death penalty.
Vote. But please: do not vote Republican.
This is admittedly extreme; I stand by it.
So: here we are, with a split decision. What happens next will certainly be sporting.