People who spent years coddling the president will recast themselves as voices of conscience, or whitewash their relationship with Trump altogether. Policy makers who abandoned their dedication to “fiscal responsibility” and “limited government” will rediscover a passion for these timeless conservative principles. Some may dress up their revisionism in the rhetoric of “healing” and “moving forward,” but the strategy will be clear—to escape accountability by taking advantage of America’s notoriously short political memory.

When I asked Doug Heye, a longtime GOP strategist, how his party will remember the Trump years, he responded with a litany of episodes to memory-hole. “Republicans will want to forget the constant chaos, the lies, the double-dealing, the hiring of family, and the escalating rhetoric that incited hate for four years [and] directly led to what happened at the Capitol,” he told me. “Basically, any of those things that we never would have let an Obama or Clinton get away with, but constantly justified to ourselves in the name of judges.”…

Indeed, the narrative now forming in some GOP circles presents Trump as a secondary figure who presided over an array of important accomplishments thanks to the wisdom and guidance of the Republicans in his orbit. In these accounts, Trump’s race-baiting, corruption, and cruel immigration policies—not to mention his attempts to overturn an election—are treated as minor subplots, rather than defining features.