January 6, 2021 insurrection on U.S. Capitol

Republicans Still United: Trump Good, Democracy Bad

Over the weekend, the bizarre drama surrounding the Republican nomination for Governor of Virginia continued; Lynn Mitchell has the details. Also over the weekend, it became clear that this was the equivalent of arguing about deck chairs on the Titanic – except that the passengers are demanding to hit the iceberg again.

USA Today and Suffolk University released a poll that was stunning in its revelation of the unreality in which so many Republicans live (emphasis added).

Most Trump voters embrace a version of events on Jan. 6 that has been debunked by independent fact checkers and law enforcement agencies.

Asked to describe what happened during the assault on the Capitol, 58% of Trump voters call it “mostly an antifa-inspired attack that only involved a few Trump supporters.” That’s more than double the 28% who call it “a rally of Trump supporters, some of whom attacked the Capitol.”  Four percent call it “an attempted coup inspired by President Trump.”

Law enforcement investigations found no evidence of  a role by antifa, a loose alliance of leftist, anti-fascist groups that have staged demonstrations in some cities, particularly on the West Coast. Most of those arrested in the assault Jan. 6 identified themselves as Trump supporters.

There is no way to sugar coat this: a majority of Republican voters simply refuse to live in this universe; they prefer the fantasy Trump and his acolytes have created.

Therefore, this should surprise no one:

By 2-1, 59%-29%, Trump voters say they want him to run for president again in 2024. If he ran, three of four, 76%, would support him for the nomination; 85% would vote for him in a general election.

Of course, that last piece of information should alarm the GOP: if 15% of Trump’s 2020 voters are already considering jumping ship, Trump would be roughly 11 million votes below his total from last year. Even if half of them “come home,” the resulting five-million-plus deficit could make 2024 a Democratic landslide.

So what’s a good Republican to do in the face of a hostile electorate? Pull the old Communist trick – dissolve the people and elect another. From repeating the “stolen election” lie to efforts at voter suppression, the Republicans are hard at work validating David Frum’s axiom:

If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.

This brings us back to the RPV. Leave aside the chaos behind settling their method of nomination (and dark rumors of State Central planning to just pick the nominees themselves). If you are still considering voting for any Republican running for office these days, follow this rule from John V. Last.

Every interview should begin with two questions.

Sir/Ma’am, I need one-word answers from you:

  1. Who won the 2020 U.S. presidential election?
  2. Was this the legitimate result of a free and fair election?

This shouldn’t take long. The questions can be asked in less than 5 seconds. The answers are one word each: “Biden” and “yes.”

Any Republican candidate or officeholder who refuses to answer, or who tries to elide the question by saying something like, “Joe Biden is the president,” should be asked again. And again. And again.

“Who won the 2020 election?” is pretty good political shorthand for “Is the earth round?”

Of course, some very large percentage of the Republicans know that the earth is round, but will do everything in their power to not say this fact out loud.

And that would be useful information for us to have, too.

In other words, no Republican who can’t admit the truth should be allowed anywhere near power – or office.

I would also add to that any Republican in Virginia who accepts a “nomination” by proclamation.

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