OPINION: Even after his own defeat, the president is knifing Republican chances of holding onto the Senate.

Watching President TrumpDonald John TrumpDozens of protesters gathered outside home of Michigan elections chiefArizona legislature shuts down after Giuliani tests positive for coronavirusTrump election claims dominate Georgia Senate debateMOREs conspiracy-mongering about his defeat in last months presidential election, I flashed back to something former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerMcCarthy woos Freedom Caucus with eye on SpeakershipFeehery: How GOP takes back the House in two yearsWarren, Brown voice support for controversial Biden budget office pickMORE (R-Ohio) said in 2018.
There is no Republican Party. Theres a Trump Party, BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerMcCarthy woos Freedom Caucus with eye on SpeakershipFeehery: How GOP takes back the House in two yearsWarren, Brown voice support for controversial Biden budget office pickMORE said. The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere.
Or is it a dying political party?
The last rites started a month ago. Trump lost the presidential race to Joe BidenJoe BidenDozens of protesters gathered outside home of Michigan elections chiefBiden picks infectious diseases specialist to lead CDC: reportTrump election claims dominate Georgia Senate debateMORE, including a stunning defeat in Georgia, a state dominated by Republicans for nearly 30 years.
The wheezing death rattle for the GOP continued this past weekend.
Trump arrived in Georgia to campaign for two Senate Republicans facing run-off elections on Jan. 5, Sens. David PerdueDavid PerdueAd spending in Georgia tops 9M since Election DayGeorgia officials don’t expect general assembly to overturn election result after Trump reported call with KempGOP senator says Trump in effect conceded with GSA move MORE and Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerTrump election claims dominate Georgia Senate debateOssoff debates empty podium as Perdue refuses to participateLoeffler sidesteps debate question on Trump’s claims of ‘rigged’ electionMORE.
But his message twisted his knife into the Republicans.
After weeks of saying the presidential election was rigged in Georgia and elsewhere, Trump spent most of his rally ranting his baseless grievances and telling his fans not to accept his loss because Democrats “steal and rig and lie.”
So, why should Republicans vote in those races if they believe Trumps claim that the presidential election was rigged?
That makes no sense unless he is trying to get the party to kill itself.
One Republican voter in Georgia pointedly asked Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDanielRonna Romney McDanielTrump campaign, RNC announce 0 million post-election fundraising haulRonna McDaniel launches bid for third term as GOP chairThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Mastercard – Coast-to-coast fears about post-holiday COVID-19 spreadMORE during a recent visit why the partys supporters should put money and work into the election when its already [been] decided?
That voter is understandably confused by Trump. But Trumps message is echoed by his leading supporters.
Why would you go back and vote in another rigged election,” said Trump-boosting attorney Lin Wood at a Georgia Stop the Steal rally last week.
But what if this backstabbing among Republicans makes sense to Trump?
What if Trumps lie that the election was stolen is fatal to the GOP but gives him new life with an infusion of money from the hard-right conspiracy crowd, the most gullible Republicans?
Then there is a method to the madness.
Heres the proof that Trump may be on to something.
Enough Republicans swallowed Trumps bait to send him more than $170 million in the month after he led them to defeat.
That money went to an entity described on the Trump campaign website as the Official Election Defense Fund. But according to The Washington Post there is no such account.
As one former Biden aide told the New York Times, this is plain and simple grift.
In fact, 75 percent of the money goes to a new Trump political action committee brashly labeled Save America. The paper reports the money will pay for things like Trumps future staff and travel. The remaining 25 percent goes to the Republican National Committee.
Meanwhile, the GOP in Georgia is struggling to stay alive as a party due to Trumps attacks.
He recently demanded Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempTrump floats a Doug Collins run against Kemp for Georgia governorDefiant Trump insists election was ‘rigged’ at rally for Georgia Senate RepublicansTrump offers condolences to family, friends of Loeffler campaign staffer who diedMORE (R) should call off [the] election, and said Kemp allowed his state to be scammed. Trump also phoned Kemp, on the morning of the president’s rally in the state, encouraging the governor to call a special session of the state legislature. Trump apparently hoped that GOP legislators would then appoint electors to the electoral college who would subvert the election result in Georgia.
Trump also told his followers that Georgias secretary of State, lifelong Republican Brad Raffensperger, is an enemy of the people.
Gabriel Sterling, a Republican election official who works for Raffensperger, reported that Trumps threatening language led to a death threat against an election worker.
It has to stop Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this languageI cant begin to explain the level of anger I have right now over this. Every American, every Georgian, Republican and Democrat alike, should have the same level of anger.
But because so many conservative voters are spellbound by Trumps tricks, there is silence among top Republican elected officials, the very people who should be protecting the GOP brand.
It is amazing that Loeffler and Purdue remain silent in the face of killing blows to the party. The two Georgia senators have yet to clearly say that Trump lost a fair election, for fear of antagonizing him.
Their silence fits with the failure to speak out from other GOP senators.
Yes, Donald Trump is an asshole, Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonWatch live: Senate panel holds Russia investigation hearingRepublican frustration builds over Cabinet picksGrassley returns to Capitol after having coronavirus MORE (R-Wis.), told Mark Becker, a former Republican county chairman in Wisconsin, according to a piece Becker wrote for The Bulwark last week.
Yes, Trump lost there, too. But, in Beckers account, Johnson fears it would be political suicide to stand up and point out publicly that Trump is hurting the party.
In Georgia, the Senate candidates are also weak.
Both Loeffler and Perdue are under scrutiny over whether they might have violated federal law when they engaged in large, suspiciously-timed stock deals around the time the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. full force earlier this year.
The GOPs control of the Senate hinges on these subpar candidates hanging on, even while Trump blasts the legitimacy of the election process.
Its a perfect, deadly storm of Republicans own making.
Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.