If you doubt Republicans are facing immense pressure these days, consider Sen. Martha McSally’s behavior. Asked by respected, mild-mannered CNN reporter Manu Raju if she would consider new evidence during the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump, the vulnerable senator from Arizona snapped back: “You’re a liberal hack—I’m not talking to you. You’re a liberal hack.”
Regardless of whether new post-House impeachment revelations are introduced in the Senate trial, the drip-drip-drip has created a lose-lose proposition for Republicans who face tough electoral crosswinds in 2020. They can defend the indefensible, or they can risk invoking the wrath of their president. (Clearly, McSally has decided her best bet is to avoid the latter.)
But as evidence mounts, McSally also risks alienating Arizonans who elected a maverick named John McCain and aren’t looking to send a Trump toady to Washington.