George Will WaPo Columnist
CNN  — 

For the better part of the last four decades, George F. Will has been at the intellectual center of American conservatism. Now he is calling for a full-blown rout of the Republican Party at the ballot box in November.

While Will has harsh words for Trump – “this low-rent Lear raging on his Twitter-heath has proven that the phrase malignant buffoon is not an oxymoron” – he saves his true condemnation for the members of Congress who have enabled the President.

Writes Will:

“In life’s unforgiving arithmetic, we are the sum of our choices. Congressional Republicans have made theirs for more than 1,200 days. We cannot know all the measures necessary to restore the nation’s domestic health and international standing, but we know the first step: Senate Republicans must be routed, as condign punishment for their Vichyite collaboration, leaving the Republican remnant to wonder: Was it sensible to sacrifice dignity, such as it ever was, and to shed principles, if convictions so easily jettisoned could be dignified as principles, for … what? Praying people should pray, and all others should hope: May I never crave anything as much as these people crave membership in the world’s most risible deliberative body.”

That is an absolutely stunning paragraph from anyone. That it is from one of the longtime leading minds of the conservative movement is all the more devastating.

Yes, Will has long made clear his distaste for Trump and the ways in which the party has capitulated to him. (Will left the Republican Party officially in the summer of 2016, after it became clear Trump would be the nominee.)

But to call for not just Trump’s defeat but also the loss of Republicans’ Senate majority is a striking move on Will’s part. As a longtime advocate for the conservative overhaul of the judiciary, Will knows better than most what a Democratic president and Democrat-controlled Senate would mean.

It would mean, in short, federal court vacancies being filled by judges far more liberal than Will – and with far more expansive definitions of how the Constitution should be interpreted. And with lifetime appointments to their jobs.

(If you doubt how important controlling the Senate – and, therefore, the judicial nominating process – is, just look back at the last three-plus years, where Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have effectively overhauled the bench in their image.)

What Will is advocating is nothing short of an electoral destruction of the party that he called home for decades.

His thinking is reflective of the view Ra’s al Ghul took of Gotham in “Batman Begins”:

“Gotham’s time has come. Like Constantinople or Rome before it the city has become a breeding ground for suffering and injustice. It is beyond saving and must be allowed to die. This is the most important function of the League of Shadows. It is one we’ve performed for centuries. Gotham… must be destroyed.”

Will’s view is, effectively, that the Trump version of the GOP is so corrupted, so broken, so beyond repair that the only solution is to raze it – and start from the ground up again.

As he writes:

“The measures necessary for restoration of national equilibrium are many and will be protracted far beyond his removal. One such measure must be the removal of those in Congress who, unlike the sycophantic mediocrities who cosset him in the White House, will not disappear “magically,” as Eric Trump said the coronavirus would. Voters must dispatch his congressional enablers, especially the senators who still gambol around his ankles with a canine hunger for petting.”

As if to prove Will’s point, Senate Republicans raced to defend Trump’s “law and order” speech on Monday night and his decision to clear out protesters from in front of the White House so that he could stroll across H Street to hold up a Bible in front of St. John’s Church.

“You can characterize it the way you want, but obviously the President is free to go where he wants and to hold up a Bible if he wants,” Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the chamber, told CNN’s Manu Raju Tuesday morning.

Dismiss Will as a disaffected old-timer if you will. But remember too that he is someone who was a conservative long before the age of Donald Trump.