Every member of the US House of Representatives is gearing up for re-election next year, and every member of its Republican caucus is terrified of being blacklisted by Trump. That is a principle reason why Mike Johnson, scarcely known outside Louisiana a week ago, is now House Speaker. Besides being a hardline social conservative who says his world view is formed entirely by the Bible, he’s a devoted Trump acolyte who swallowed and spread Trump’s stolen election myth in the days before 6 January 2021. That meant every House Republican could back him for Speaker without fear of retribution from their prohibitive frontrunner for the presidential nomination. Trump earlier showed his hold over the caucus by ending Steve Scalise’s bid for the Speaker’s chair (a remark about Scalise’s health was enough). He torched Tom Emmer’s bid too, by calling him a globalist. Emmer had voted to certify Biden as winner in 2020. Across the aisle, Minnesota representative Dean Phillips worries that the Democrats may have a similar deer-in-headlights problem with Biden – and so is running against him for president.