Another one of the ‘Trump 10’ heads for the exits

Katko is one of ten Republican members of the House of Representatives who voted to impeach Trump for his actions (and inaction) during the January 6 riots at the US Capitol. He is now one of three Representatives — Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — who have announced that they will leave Congress at the end of this term.

The truth for Republicans right now is that getting out with Trump — especially in such a notable way as the vote to impeach him — is political poison. And the ex-president himself will try to drink it.

“1 down, 9 to go!” Trump said in a statement issued after Gonzalez’s announcement. “2 down, 8 to go!” said after Kinzinger’s decision. “Great news…another bites the dust,” the former president said in response to the KATCO news.

Aside from the three retired members, the remaining seven members are also exposed to varying degrees of political risk.

Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney has already been stripped of her leadership role after outspoken criticism of Trump and fighting for her political life against a Trump-backed opponent.

The former president also endorsed primary challengers to Rep. Jaime Herrera Butler of Washington State, Peter Major of Michigan and Fred Upton of Michigan. (Upton also remains a retirement possibility.)

The message here is simple: Separate from Trump and watch the end of your political career (or take on the toughest fundamental challenge you can imagine). Not exactly a motive for elected officials to express any criticism or difference of opinion with the former president.

the point: The current Republican Party is more like a personality cult than a national political organization. And every time someone bows down to the Trump 10, the former president’s grip on the party gets tighter.

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