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Small Russian flags bearing the word "Trump" are thrown by a protester toward President Trump on Tuesday. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

So much media coverage centers on four Republican Trump critics — one retired, two retiring and one facing a deadly, possibly career- or life-ending cancer: George W. Bush, Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (Tenn.) and Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (Ariz.).

Lost in this: President Trump enjoys public support (despite private gripes) from most of the 49 other Senate Republicans and 239 House Republicans, including every person in elected leadership.

  • Trump got standing ovations from Senate Republicans, with Corker in the room.
  • This flows from his strong, sustained support of GOP voters.
  • Corker is right: Republicans in private cringe at the thought of President Trump. But it's meaningless if they publicly bow to him, routinely vote for him and never condemn him.
  • This — not the criticism by the few — is the story of the moment and the first nine months: With few accomplishments, countless petty GOP fights and slights, Trump is strong as ever.
  • Flake is the proof. While cable lapped up his anti-Trump retirement speech ("I will not be complicit"), the truth is he was forced out because he wrote a book critical of the president and saw his base turn on him. If Flake ran, he was toast. Arizona Republicans prefer Trump to Flake.
  • Corker is proof, too. He sucked up to Trump before turning on him. Once Corker turned, he was probably toast, too. Tennessee Republicans prefer Trump to Corker, too.

Sound smart: For all the warnings of how harshly history will judge the Trump enablers, that history will need to be told in an exceptionally long book — because the vast majority of Republicans are forever marked as Trump Republicans.

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Go deeper

Biden to sign 15 executive actions on Day One

President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to sign 15 executive actions upon taking office Wednesday, immediately reversing key Trump administration policies.

Why it matters: The 15 actions — aimed at issues like climate change and immigration — mark more drastic immediate steps compared with the two day-one actions from Biden's four predecessors combined, according to incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Big Tech's post-riot reckoning

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Capitol insurrection means the anti-tech talk in Washington is more likely to lead to action, since it's ever clearer that the attack was planned, at least in part, on social media.

Why it matters: The big platforms may have hoped they'd move to D.C.'s back burner, with the Hill focused on the Biden agenda and the pandemic out of control. But now, there'll be no escaping harsh scrutiny.