If there’s one trick the mainstream liberal media has down pat, it’s treating entirely-unsurprising defections within the Republican Party as if they are the most shocking development of the year.

One of the left’s favorite headline constructions goes something like this: “Conservative Columnist Says Trump Must Be Impeached.” Or, “Republican Lawmaker Says Trump is Guilty of Quid Pro Quo.” Insert whatever the made-up scandal of the day happens to be. Then you click on the article or watch the segment and, lo and behold, it’s some NeverTrumper who was trying to deny Trump the Republican nomination way back in 2016. Over and over again they use this headline construction to clickbait people into thinking there’s something unusual about Susan Collins or Jeff Flake or Mitt Romney or Ana Navarro or Nicolle Friggin’ Wallace criticizing Donald Trump.

Well, they’re at it again this week.

Newsweek: Lisa Murkowski’s ‘Courage’ in Splitting with McConnell on Impeachment Trial Process ‘Could Be Contagious,’ Senator Says

NY Times: G.O.P. Senator ‘Disturbed’ by McConnell’s ‘Total Coordination’ with White House

The Root: Republican Gets Spine for Christmas

Los Angeles Times: Lisa Murkowski breaks from the GOP pack on Trump’s impeachment trial

Vice: Hey Look, a Crack Just Formed in Trump’s Impeachment Wall

ABC World News Tonight: “We want to turn now to politics and the looming impeachment showdown in the Senate, with the first sign of party-line vote may not be a sure thing for the Trump administration. Moderate Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, quote, ‘disturbed’ by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying he’s in lock-step with President Trump and the White House counsel.”

NBC Nightly News: “President Trump is dealing with a potential Republican defection on impeachment!”

CBS Evening News: “Pelosi and the Democracy may have found an unexpected ally in the President’s own party.”

We love that last one more than all the rest, because Murkowski’s complaints about the impeachment process are anything BUT “unexpected.” Indeed, if there are going to be Republican senators voting to convict Trump in the Senate, we would have already guessed that Murkowski would be among them. She’s the Joe Manchin of the Republican Party – only wearing the “R” colors because she has to.

Wake us up when Lindsey Graham says he’ll vote to convict.