Romney’s break with Trump is not without risk to the first term senator. But then again, neither is Trump’s attack on a member of the Senate jury. Leaving aside Trump’s own apparent obsession with Romney (who got a higher percentage of the popular vote than Trump himself), his attacks are also an unsubtle warning to other senators who might be tempted to speak out.

But this sort of intimidation only works as long as the wall of silence holds.

What would happen if three or four—or eight or nine—Republicans senators joined Romney? How would Trump react to a critical mass of senators who pushed back?

What would happen if a half dozen senators who remembered the legacy of Margaret Chase Smith joined together to condemn “Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear”? Would Trump tweet insults at them all? And how would their Senate colleagues react then?