Larison has some good insight into GOP fidelity:

What is instructive about all this is what it tells us about loyalty.  For the denouncers, loyalism ultimately seems to mean keeping your mouth shut, ignoring reality and not breaking ranks.  In another era, these would be the legitimists who would have defended the rights of an imbecile heir rather than a competent claimant on the throne.  What we see is that it is not loyalty that is being defended, but rather conformity.  The loyalist is bound by devotion, and the conformist by fear, usually fear of an enemy or opponent.  We see the former when people rally to a monarch or leader they genuinely admire, and we see the latter in support for a dictator as the lesser of two evils.   

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