Pretending he is less powerful since losing an election and inciting an insurrection is foolishness. He is more powerful today than he was a year ago, and can do even more damage to Republicans hoping they can move on from Trump.
So next summer, when Trump is still targeting McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, that will be a problem for every Republican candidate running for a House or Senate seat, as well as McCarthy’s hope of becoming speaker. The question of whether or not McCarthy deserves to be speaker is separate from how disruptive an insurgent threat to him is to the entire party. Empowering Gaetz and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to challenge McCarthy in the House still affects the Senate, no matter how different the two GOP conferences are and no matter how much stronger a leader McConnell may be. Efforts to undermine leadership by galvanizing radicals spills into all Republican campaigns up and down the ballot.
Trump won’t call off the dogs, won’t admit McConnell and the establishment are right about anything, and won’t stop fighting Republicans. Why? He has no incentive to.