Merlot's cracked when Republican is evicted from lodgings (6)
I believe the answer is:
'lodgings' is the definition.
The answer and definition can be both man-made objects as well as being plural nouns.
Perhaps there's an association between them I don't understand?
I don't understand how the rest of the clue works.
Can you help me to learn more?
(Other definitions for motels that I've seen before include "accommodation" , "Roadside places to stay" , "Molest (anag.)" .)