He has his eyes on the prize: 2022, perhaps the most crucial nonpresidential election year in U.S. history. It might determine whether the Republican Party can be a plausible participant in the healthy oscillations of a temperate two-party system.

In Republican Senate primaries for open seats in Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Alabama and perhaps elsewhere, and against Senate incumbents, too — and in the challenge to Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), third-ranking in the Republican House leadership, who voted to impeach — Trump probably will endorse acolytes. They will mimic his sulfuric rhetoric and, if nominated, many will lose in November…

A McConnell vote to convict Trump on Saturday would have made it easier for the ex-president’s minions to cast the coming 2022 intraparty contests as binary Trump-vs.-McConnell choices. No one’s detestation of Trump matches the breadth and depth of McConnell’s, which includes a professional’s disdain for a dilettante. Trump enthusiasts are as hostile to McConnell as progressives are. He is equally impervious to the disapproval of both factions.