“It’s an indication that this is a secession-from-reality caucus,” Wehner told the Guardian.

“It’s illiberal, anti-democratic, pernicious and widespread in the Republican party. It’s not just a closing act for the Trump-era but an opening act for the post-Trump era. It’s virtue-signaling to the base that after Trump leaves, these people still consider themselves to be Trump acolytes and part of the cult of Trump.”

Democratic consultants concurred.

“This is still the Trump party,” said strategist Hank Sheinkopf. “They may see this as an act of survival, and may not even believe in the reality of what they’re doing. What they do believe in is getting re-elected in [midterm elections in] 2022. If we had a president who was prepared to leave quietly, this would not be a discussion.”