Just six weeks after a deadly uprising against the US government instigated by a president who sent a crowd to his own vice president, the Republicans are past their disgust and eagerly jumping back on the Trump Train. The new ticket price for 2021? They have to accept his big lie.
In the 2020 presidential election – let's just say it again – Joe Biden saw Donald Trump beat in a free and fair election, verified not only by his own government officials at the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, but also by election officials in swing states where audits and recounts confirmed what 60 lawsuits had decided. The consensus was that no fraud or irregularity of any kind could have been big enough to produce a different outcome and keep Trump in office. But his lie, that he won in a “massive landslide” and that the election was “stolen,” is now accepted by tens of millions of Americans who support him. The danger of this massive deception is clear to Republican leaders and office holders who know that it will affect any further election and cause immeasurable damage to our fragile democracy. But, with a few exceptions, they prefer to lean on & # 39; my constituents believe it & # 39; and Trump's perpetuating it to keep their jobs.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Sen. Mitt Romney and a few others in the House and Senate have told the truth about this lie and the damaging consequences it will have. However, there are less than 20 of these votes in the entire GOP ranks of Congress. Earlier this month, a Quinnipiac poll found that 76% of self-proclaimed Republicans said they believe there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election and that Trump won. Telling the truth – telling voters they've been lied to – is simply out of the question for most elected Republicans.
House GOP Whip Steve Scalise made that clear on ABC News Sunday. He didn't just explain why he thought Trump was not in fact responsible for instigating the uprising, he meandered around the issue of the election results, saying that "there were a few states that were not following their state laws." When pressured to admit that the election was not stolen, Scalise went on to say that Biden was the legitimate president "because once the voters are counted, yes, he is the legitimate president. But if you're going to ignore the fact that there were states that didn't follow their own statutory laws, that's the problem that millions of people don't like and don't want to happen again. ”
While Scalise isn't spreading The Big Lie, he won't deny it. He must sow doubt and contribute to a permanent cloud over President Biden to stay in Trump's favor. Scalise knows this, having just visited him in Mar-a-Lago to – you know – talk about each other's families. As some Republicans declare it is time to move away from Trump, as Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and former Representative Will Hurd did this weekend, Scalise is well aware that the 45th president keeps a list and does it at least twice a day will check. . Axios reported on Monday that Trump is using the 2022 midterm elections to tighten his grip on the party and launch a years-long punitive campaign. With Senate Republicans just one seat away from the majority and House Republicans having to win back just five, he knows how to use his threats for maximum benefit. And he doesn't have to run again in 2024 to hold all the cards, he just has to act like that. "Trump confidants think he will pretend to run away, but in the end he will succeed. He knows the opportunity – or threat – gives him influence and attention," wrote Mike Allen.
The lie is laughable – that a deep state of all Democrats, every member of the media, every judge weighing up his election challenges in court (including the one he's appointed), former AG Bill Barr, makers of voting machines and Republicans across the country who declared the results in their states for Biden collaborated in the largest conspiracy ever. Romney described The Big Lie as “a massive conspiracy, more secret and widespread than any other in human history, so brilliantly executed that no evidence can be found and no observer among the tens of thousands in our intelligence services will speak of it. And Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson asked in November why Trump team attorney Sidney Powell had not presented any evidence that machines switched voices with helpful planning of deceased Venezuelans for a plot that – if proven – would " amount to the greatest crime in American history. ”(Powell never presented the evidence, by the way.)
Trump couldn't get his lawyers to touch The Big Lie at the impeachment trial; there were limits to how much they wanted to soil their reputation. Indeed, the last team to represent him at trial took the case after several other lawyers told Trump they refused to claim widespread voter fraud that stole an election.
One of Trump's top Big Lie proliferators, the CEO of the MyPillow company, is now the target of a $ 1.3 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems for lying about their voting machines. The complaint against Mike Lindell reads: “He is well aware of the independent audits and paper ballots that conclusively refute the Big Lie. But Lindell … sells the lie to this day because the lie sells pillows. "
In addition to selling pillows, The Big Lie calms Trump's ego and has helped him raise hundreds of millions of dollars. Trump even used the occasion of Rush Limbaugh's death last week to sell the lie again. "The election has been stolen," he said on OANN. & # 39; We have been robbed. They were fake elections. "At Newsmax he said," We won the election, as far as I'm concerned. It was a shame what happened. And on the Fox News Channel, he said, “There would have been riots all over the place if that happened to a Democrat.” The Trump-friendly anchors on all three networks refused to back down, just letting him lie.
This will be a central theme later this week when Trump takes center stage on the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), where 2020 election observers will voice doubt in no fewer than seven panel discussions.
So what will become painfully clear by the end of the week is that Trump plans to control the GOP, dominate the 2022 mid-term campaign, and keep telling millions of Americans he won reelection in 2020. He will work hard to defeat anyone who defies him and contradicts his claims. .
Romney said the Big Lie took the land to a & # 39; dark and dangerous place & # 39; brought. Invented and spread by the president, it poisoned our politics and public discourse. In his statement presented to the Senate after the impeachment trial, he said, "Clearly calling for unity and calming the big lie of a stolen election is a fraud," and that it is "up to each of us is to confirm what we all know: President Biden won the election through the legitimate vote of the American people. The divisions in America will only begin to heal in the light of this truth. "
Republicans appeasing The Big Lie are committing a fraud that will accelerate our newer, deeper divide. Romney, Cheney, and their few allies for the truth will not find new converts. They will instead be overruled by their accomplice colleagues who started their campaign to win next year with the help of President Trump and his lies.
. (tagsToTranslate) Mitt Romney (t) Liz Cheney (t) Steve Scalise (t) Joe Biden (t) Donald Trump (t) voter fraud (t) election 2020 (t) Politics