It's already doomed, which is why Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is the perfect person to head south on a mission to soothe the mangy ruffled feathers of Donald Trump.
Here's how CNN frames the mission: "Graham plans to spend his time on the golf course with Trump -- ideally convincing the former president that regaining congressional majorities for Republicans will help bolster his own presidential legacy. This person said Graham wants to be 'constructive,' urging Trump to use his influence for the party's good."
A little golf, a few chats, and—voilá!—suddenly Trump is going to morph from a self-obsessed ghoul into a vision of magnanimity willing to table his own concerns for the greater good. That seems realistic.
One thing Graham is right about is the fact that the internecine warfare between Trump and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is a ginormous cumulonimbus cloud hanging over Senate Republicans heading into 2022.
"They're now at each other's throat," Graham told Fox News this week, adding, "I'm more worried about 2022 than I've ever been. I don't want to eat our own." Graham has also repeatedly insisted that Trump is the must-have, essential GOP ingredient to prevailing in the 2022 midterms, despite the fact that to date, there's zero evidence of Trump delivering his voters when he's not on the ticket.
In the meantime, McConnell has reportedly left Trump for dead and—hoo boy!—nothing ticks off Trump more than people who won't give him the time of day.
On the flip side of the Graham equation is one group that is indeed giving Trump the time of day: the never-Trump Republican Accountability Project. The group just launched a $1 million ad campaign targeted at Fox News viewers defending the GOP lawmakers who voted to convict Trump of betraying the country by inciting the Jan. 6 riot.
“After our capitol was attacked, our representatives in Congress were threatened, and a police officer was killed, Sen. Murkowksi had a choice,” the narrator of one TV ad says, according to Politico. “She could look the other way and pretend it didn’t happen or she could stand up and say, ‘This can never happen again.’ Thank you, Sen. Murkowski, for upholding your oath to the constitution and for protecting our country.”
The campaign, which also includes placing billboards in some of the Republicans' home districts, is in part a response to the Republican state parties across the country that were quick to censure GOP lawmakers who voted to convict.
But the ad campaign is also a reminder that, far from being a fight that's confined to Beltway sniping, this GOP civil war will continue to bleed into the states throughout the 2022 cycle.