"The Republicans will absolutely turn on Donald Trump."
Donald Trump's nightmare of a presidency managed to get even more terrifying this week, but the prospect of a huge Democratic sweep in 2018 offers hope that an end is in sight hope that even some Republicans are clinging to.
On Thursday morning's "Morning Joe," host Joe Scarborough asked longtime GOP strategist Rick Tyler how long Republicans would allow Trump to weaken the United States on the world stage "for generations," in addition to destroying the party.
Tyler predicted that if Republicans "get wiped out in 2018, the Republicans will absolutely turn on Donald Trump," adding that "they will impeach him, and they will get 67 percent of the vote in the Senate to impeach him."
"But it will require a wipeout," Tyler said.
"Along with Sen. Mitt Romney probably voting with those 67," Scarborough agreed. "And they are going to get wiped out."
Tyler's prediction is solid, and it underscores the depths of current elected Republican cowardice in the face of Trump's manifest unfitness for the presidency, let alone his obviously impeachable and possibly criminal behavior.
Without a GOP majority in the House of Representatives, Trump is vulnerable to impeachment, but as long as there is one, Republicans in the Senate have only moral and ethical incentives to oppose Trump incentives that have proven unpersuasive so far.
But a Democratic sweep in the House will leave Senate Republicans vulnerable to public opinion in statewide races where gerrymandering doesn't insulate them from the broader electorate that disapproves of Trump in record numbers, and with their tax scam now a reality, little other reason to protect Trump.
Time, however, may not be on the Republicans' side. Trump is on a collision course with special counsel Robert Mueller. If Mueller returns something resembling an indictment or a finding of criminality on Trump's part before the midterms, Republicans will be trapped.
They will be faced with a choice between a base that's ready to die on any hill that says "TRUMP" in gold paint, and a deep blue sea of general election voters who long to end the Trump nightmare. Either way, Republicans lose.