At a Trumpless G.O.P. Debate, Trumpism Dominates
The Washington Roundtable: In the first debate of the Republican Presidential primary, which took place in Milwaukee on Wednesday night, six of the eight potential nominees onstage raised their hands to indicate that, if Donald Trump is their party’s choice, they will support him—even if he is convicted in a court of law. Trump wasn’t present. The following day, the former President had his mug shot taken in a Fulton County jail. Trump was booked on thirteen charges, among them that he, along with eighteen others, conducted a “criminal enterprise” to overturn his 2020 defeat in Georgia. The two events signal the G.O.P.’s dilemma regarding Trump, and his grip on the contest for the nomination. What motivates the Republican primary contenders to defend a man whom they are ostensibly trying to defeat? The New Yorker staff writers Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos weigh in.