Establishment Republicans are abandoning their posts to throw the midterms to the Democrats to derail President Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is the latest Congressman to announce his retirement.

“While my service to California’s 49th district will be coming to an end, I will continue advocating on behalf of the causes that are most important to me, advancing on behalf of the causes that are most important to me, advancing public policy where I believe I can make a true and lasting difference, and continuing the fight to make our incredible nation an even better place to call home,” he said in a statement Wednesday.

Issa, who served in the House since 2001, is the latest Republican to announce his retirement from Congress.

Others include Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Bob Corker (R-TN), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), and Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Flake even announced his retirement in a scathing anti-Trump speech, and warned of the “potency of the populist appeal” that “threatens to turn us into a fearful, backward-looking people.”

“I have decided that I will be better able to represent the people of Arizona and to better serve my country and my conscience by freeing myself from the political considerations that consume far too much bandwidth and would cause me to compromise far too many principles,” he said.

Corker is also openly anti-Trump, having called the White House an “adult day care center.”

In total, 31 Republican seats will be open in the midterms compared to 16 Democrat seats.

The establishment wing of the GOP fears a populist uprising more than a loss to Democrats because they’re ideologically more similar to them than the nationalist/populist wing.

The cascade of retirements and resignations could be a larger effort to burn down their own party rather than let the nationalist-populist movement take it over.

“Crazy? Would you put it past them? According to some of the fanatic Never Trumpers – who overlap with much of the GOPe/Conservative Inc. crew – we have some sort of moral obligation to lose as penance for not adhering to their measured, sensible guidance,” wrote Townhall’s Kurt Schlichter.

“Make no mistake – some of them see a defeat in 2018 as the first step back to their former glory.”

The fact is, even if they didn’t “retire” and continued to defend their seats in the midterms, they’d likely still lose to populist insurgents vying to lead the party away from neocon policies.