Like him or not, Donald Trump is not a fool. A politically tin-eared solipsistic demagogue who ran an excellent administration, yes. A fool, no.
Thus his recent actions to stir disquiet in the Republican Party are not arbitrary gambits to create division, as fun as that would be. They are calculated attempts to split the party in two between his devotees and adult Republicans. Given any political party is made up of people who should, by law in my theoretical constitutional monarchy, have no dealings whatsoever in the political process, Trump naturally still commands the loyalty of a solid majority of Republicans.
Trump knows he has the Republican Party hostage and can keep it as such as long as he desires. But the minority, though active, opposition to Trump in the party cannot be acceptable to his ego. Hence why he has been so over the top loony tunes regarding his unnatural obsessions with Mitch McConnell, Liz Cheney, John Thune, Lisa Murkowski, Bill Cassidy, Ben Sasse, etc.
He is threatening to primary most of them and has recently stabbed at Republican Party campaign finance arms in an attempt to deprive them of cash, as they will support incumbents regardless of loyalty to Trump.
To recap: Going after Republican incumbents in a tight year, hijacking GOP money sources, and basing any and all political decisions on specific loyalty to himself. That sounds like an out of control sidewalk Caesar. But like a man getting ready for another Republican presidential run? Nope.
The God-King can take, right now, about 60-70 percent of the party with him if he walks. He’ll also remove small value donors. The big hitters will stay with the party, as they’ve always correctly seen Trump as a bridge and tunnel parvenu anyway. If he jumps ship before the 2022 elections and inevitably hurts the Republicans, he has two good options in front of him. One, heed the loud calls that will beg him to come back, and get a good price for it, or two, make the split permanent and make the Republicans pay dearly for the 25 percent of them who dare not to bend knee beneath his august throne. A throne, btw, manufactured at “Rico’s Discount Throne Emporium, Bayside, Queens.”
As for the party, they are faced with the classic “can’t live with him, can’t live without him” problem. If he goes 2022 will be a disaster, the Republicans losing dozens in the House and double digits in the Senate. Though it could be a one off, as the GOP would have time to recover somewhat by 2024. However, the numbers and the potential mayhem would be to Trump’s liking and his current moves are all about injuring the party he says he belongs to. It’s still a good bet he walks away from it before 2024, perchance 2022.