Longtime political observer Doyle McManus pointed out in a column for the Los Angeles Times, that the Republican leadership is finding itself trapped in a corner by the more extreme elements in the party — from far-right GOP lawmakers who excuse and /or deny violence and conservative voters who see no problem with it.
With Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) excusing and supporting the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6th and Rep. Andrew S. Clyde claiming the insurrectionists were merely “tourists,” Republicans are now confronted with the optics and reality of being the party that condones violence. Republicans refusing to take a firm stance against political violence is not a good sign for a party that just lost the Senate and the White House, insist McManus.
The problem is that a substantial number of the GOP’s most fervent supporters have said they are fine with the use of force to hold political power.
McManus points out that a significant chunk of the party’s most fervent supporters doesn’t think the insurrection was damaging or wrong, and they illustrate the GOP’s malfunction. At a time when the party needs every vote it can muster, it can’t risk alienating loyal supporters, even if they embrace violence. A survey by the conservative American Enterprise Institute after the riot in January, shows that 56% of Republicans agreed that the traditional (white) American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it. It’s these voters that are holding the party hostage as they try to woo voters back after four years of Trumpism.
The same poll reveals, 79% of Republicans said they still had a favorable view of Trump — and 36% said ‘very favorable.’ That consensus has made GOP politicians fearful of crossing Trump or questioning the actions of his most zealous supporters, including the Jan. 6 criminal insurrectionists. Republican officials in both Georgia and Arizona, where Trump is still agitating to reverse the election results, say their families have been physically threatened by Trump’s supporters.
Republicans are trying to tiptoe around a fundamental problem: Their candidate lost a presidential election, but he not only refuses to accept the voters’ verdict; he wants his party to ‘fight’ to restore him to power. They want to move past the embarrassment of Jan. 6, but that’s not going to happen, because face it, they are the party that condones extraconstitutional violence!
Dumbass SenatorTommy Tuberville gave a revealing comment about his opposition to legislation that would establish a commission to study the Jan. 6 insurrection, which has already passed the House of Representatives. The Alabama Republican said that he can’t support the commission “until they make it bipartisan.” WTF?
When the comment was shared on Twitter, Tuberville rightly became the subject of mockery. In the short time since he won his first election in 2020, he’s become known for making dumbass obtuse comments — including the revelation that he didn’t know the three branches of American government. His new comment is similarly ridiculous, because the commission he’s discussing is absolutely bipartisan in every meaningful sense. It will be split evenly between Republican and Democratic appointees, who jointly share subpoena power. It was the result of bipartisan negotiations. And it won bipartisan support in the House, with 35 Republicans along with all the Democrats voting in its favor.
Tuberville’s comment is patently ridiculous — the commission is already bipartisan, so if his answer were honest, he should already support it.
It was a revealing answer nevertheless. It clarified just how disingenuous the opposition to the commission has become among Republicans. Because while other Republicans gave excuses for opposing the commission that were less ham fisted than Tuberville’s, they were, in truth, just as much contrived BS.
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, for example, cooked up the bizarre concern that precisely because the commission requires bipartisan support to issue a subpoena, it will allow Democrats to leak when any subpoena fails to get approval, thus casting aspersion on the target. This explanation for opposing the commission is just as phony as Tuberville’s because surely Rubio wouldn’t want a commission where Democrats could unilaterally issue subpoenas. The only conclusion can be that he won’t support a commission at all, even though he won’t admit it that straightforwardly.
Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins has raised concerns that the commission will extend its work into 2022 — even though the legislation specifically calls for it to be done by the end of 2021 (a condition some argue makes the investigation too truncated.) There’s no good reason for limiting the timeline so dramatically, but Republicans fear that the commission’s work could impact their party negatively in the 2022 election. Of course, they had no qualms when Attorney General Bill Barr suggested he might release a report on the investigation into the origins of the Russia probe in the run-up to the 2020 election.
Rubio and others, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have suggested that the existing investigations into Jan. 6 are sufficient and that the commission is unnecessary. But this explanation doesn’t track, either. The Justice Department investigations are about the crimes that were committed, but they aren’t designed to examine non-criminal behavior that might have contributed to the attack or to share broader lessons about the events as a political matter for Congress and the country. Specific investigations about security failures at the Capitol are important, but they won’t have subpoena power or address the threat to democratic stability. And existing investigations within congressional committees are, in fact, controlled by sitting elected Democrats, so they won’t have the independence, bipartisanship, and authority that the commission would have.
The fact is this: Republicans can’t say what they really think, which is that they don’t want a commission because they’re not concerned with finding bipartisan solutions to the violence, authoritarianism, and anti-democratic sentiment that their party has cultivated and now stands for.
The media is aiding and abetting the MAGA coup d’état
After Republican House members forced Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) to surrender her leadership role for the sin of denouncing Trump lies about his election loss, Republicans at a House Oversight Committee hearing addressing the Capitol Hill insurrection spent the same day spreading misinformation about Trump’s attempted coup.
Claiming that what transpired that day really wasn’t a riot but instead a collection of misguided enthusiasts voicing their concerns, Republicans made clear not only would they not assign blame to Trump for stoking the deadly assault, but they were going to defend the rioters and rewrite history about that ugly day on Capitol Hill.
From Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA): “There was no insurrection. To call it an insurrection is a bold-faced lie.”
In normal times, if the public sacking of Cheney for lack of fealty and the public support for insurrection had happened in the same calendar year it would be been considered a shocking turn of events for a mainstream political party in this country. The fact that both events happened within hours of each other this week only highlighted how radical, dangerous, and anti-democratic the GOP has become, as it hurtles far beyond the mainstream and into the abyss.
Unfortunately, the Beltway press has no idea how to cover this story. It still refuses to use the proper tools and language to put the troubling actions of the GOP in context via its straight news coverage. Hiding behind Both Sides journalism, timid language, and purposeful naïveté, news outlets still aren’t being honest about the dire threat Trump Republicans now pose to the country.
Watching the party maneuver itself to be able to invalidate future elections — by passing voter suppression laws, installing local election boards that refuse to certify wins, empowering state legislatures to refuse to certify their state tallies, and electing a Republican majority in the House of Representatives that deny the Electoral College count — means the United States faces the most entrenched, internal political threat since the Civil War. That’s no exaggeration, considering the defining loyalty test for the GOP today is backing Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was stolen, which in turns positions the party to question all future election results.
The GOP and its followers have become consumed in deliberate lies, yet the press still views the party as a serious entity whose views deserve to be treated respectfully.
“It’s time the media stop covering the GOP as a political party – it’s not,” tweeted SiriusXM radio show host Dean Obeidallah. “Today’s Republican party is a white nationalist, fascist movement and those exact words need to be used by the media so everyone gets the threat the GOP poses to our nation.”
It’s clearly a conservative movement that’s flown off the rails, and resembles nothing we’ve seen before in modern American politics.
Just in recent days:
• Republicans in Arizona running the clown ‘audit’ of the 2020 election are searching for traces of bamboo in paper ballots to prove they are counterfeits smuggled in from Southeast Asia.
• A Colorado State representative referred to a colleague as “Buckwheat” while addressing the House.
• QAnon loyalist and Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene aggressively confronted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in the halls of Congress, and falsely accused her of supporting “terrorists.”
• 124 GOP-friendly retired generals and admirals released an open letter spreading the lie that President Joe Biden stole the election, while labeling him a “Marxist” and “tyrannical” threat to America.
• A Republican lawmaker in Michigan wants to force non-partisan “fact checkers” to register with the state and face $1 million fines if public officials prove “wrongful conduct” in their work.
Nervous about claims of “liberal media bias” though, the press holds back.
After witnessing Taylor accost Ocasio-Cortez this week, Washington Post reporter Marianna Sotomayor told CNN that the ugly encounter “really does speak to the polarization that exists and the tensions between both parties, Republicans, and Democrats.” [Emphasis added.] Wrong. What Taylor’s deranged behavior speaks to is a Republican Party that has torn down the guardrails of common decency.
The New York Times recently published a long piece about the deepening “era of endemic misinformation — and outright disinformation.” The article highlighted obvious partisan lies pushed by right-wing media and conservatives, such as Biden’s going to force Americans to eat less meat. Instead of framing the epidemic as a Republican-created one, the Times pretended the avalanche of right-wing conspiracies represent a larger, cultural issue.
The press for years has consistently misreported on the increasingly extreme nature of the Republican Party. Specifically, journalists have pressed the faulty notion that GOP members are supposedly worried about Trump. Last summer, the Times announced Republicans were “despairing” over Trump’s erratic and authoritarian behavior.
Today, the Times’ coverage looks deeply naïve in retrospect. Just like when, in the wake of the January 6 insurrection, the Beltway media insisted a “reckoning” was looming for the GOP over Trump. Instead, Republicans just purged Liz Cheney for criticizing his anti-democratic behavior.
All last winter, the D.C. press told us not to worry about Trump’s refusal to acknowledge Biden’s lopsided victory — Politico insisted it was just “bad sportsmanship.”
Today, there are some glimmers of media hope. CNN on Sunday night is airing a special report, “Radical Rebellion: The Transformation of the GOP,” which hopefully won’t downplay the rebellion, or what’s now at stake. And more news outlets are now using “lies” to describe Trump claims about the 2020 election. That language change is welcome, although long overdue.
The Beltway press has never had to cover a political party that openly embraces anti-democratic policies, such as undermining free and fair elections in America. It’s a defining media challenge.
So called “Democratic” U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has just announced he will not support HR1, the critical voting rights protection and expansion bill already passed by the House of Representatives. “I believe Democrats and Republicans feel very strongly about protecting the ballot boxes allowing people to protect the right to vote making it accessible making it fair and making it secure,” Manchin told ABC News’ Rachel Scott. Republicans in at least 11 states have passed into law voter suppression bills, some of which literally reduce the number of ballot boxes, and access to those boxes, dramatically. Manchin, who is more conservative than Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski, voiced support for the far less comprehensive John Lewis Voting Rights Act, saying, “if we apply that to all 50 states and territories, it’s something that can be done — it should be done.” “It could be done bipartisan to start getting confidence back in our system,” he added, ignoring that the ones who destroyed confidence in the voting system are the Republicans. On Tuesday Republicans on the Senate Rules Committee deadlocked the vote for the For the People Act, legislation that not only would secure voter protections but address rampant Republican gerrymandering as well as regulate dangerous dark money in politics. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer now will need at least one Republican to support the For the People Act if it is to even get to the floor for a vote. Most political analysts say that given there is legislation in 48 states to suppress the vote, if Democrats don’t pass HR1, they will lose both the House and the Senate next year.
Christopher Steele compiled a second dossier about Trump during his presidency. This second document reportedly contains further claims of Russian meddling and sex tapes. The former British spy who published a dossier that made explosive claims about Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia produced a second dossier while Trump was president.
The former MI6 officer Christopher Steele’s second dossier was produced when Trump was in the White House, namely between January 2017 to January 2021. This document, has not independently corroborated, it reportedly “contains raw intelligence that makes further claims of Russian meddling in the US election and also references claims regarding the existence of further sex tapes,” The second dossier relied on different sources from the first one but did not say who those sources were. Steele’s first dossier was leaked to and published by BuzzFeed in January 2017. The report detailed numerous claims of ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, and it came to the attention of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the FBI as they investigated Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The document also contained claims that Russia had incriminating material on Trump, including a tape of him engaging in sexual activities with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room in 2013.
The Steele dossier’s overarching claim: that there was an “extensive conspiracy between [the] Trump campaign team and Kremlin” and a “well developed conspiracy of cooperation between them and Russian leadership.” has never been been disproven. This all needs further and complete investigation
The Mueller’s report said, the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s election interference did find that “the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.” Which it did, and with the Russians help squeeze out a 70000 vote margin in three swing states. All of the Trump Crime Family and its Republican enablers need to be brought to justice.
“The Republican Party has become, in form if not in content, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union of the late 1970s,” the Never Trumper conservative Tom Nichols laments. “I can already hear the howls about invidious comparisons. I do not mean that modern American Republicans are communists. Rather, I mean that the Republicans have entered their own kind of end-stage Bolshevism, as members of a party that is now exhausted by its failures, cynical about its own ideology, authoritarian by reflex, controlled as a personality cult by a failing old man, and looking for new adventures to rejuvenate its fortunes.”
In the late 1970s, Nichols explains, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union — under the leadership of Leonid Brezhnev — was “a spent force” run by “party ideologues” who stubbornly clung to Marxist-Leninist dogma. Brezhnev’s cronies, Nichols recalls, considered him a “heroic genius.”
“Members of the Communist Party who questioned anything, or expressed any sign of unorthodoxy, could be denounced by name, or more likely, simply fired,” Nichols notes. “They would not be executed — this was not Stalinism, after all — but some were left to rot in obscurity in some make-work exile job, eventually retiring as a forgotten ‘comrade pensioner.’ The deal was clear: pump the party’s nonsense and enjoy the good life, or squawk and be sent to manage a library in Kazakhstan. This should all sound familiar.”
Just as the Marxist-Leninist ideologues of the late 1970s rallied around Brezhnev, Nichols argues, the Republican Party of 2021 is rallying around Trump.
“Falling in line, just as in the old Communist Party, is rewarded, and independence is punished,” Nichols observes. “The anger directed at Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger makes the stilted ideological criticisms of last century’s Soviet propagandists seem almost genteel by comparison. At least Soviet families under Brezhnev didn’t add three-page handwritten denouncements to official party reprimands.”
The Soviet Communist Party didn’t collapse in 1978 or 1979, but it did collapse in the early 1990s — even Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost reforms of the 1980s couldn’t save the Soviet Union, which no longer exists. Modern-day Russia is now ruled by a right-wing authoritarian, President Vladimir Putin, and embraces crony capitalism and corporate oligarchs rather than communism. And according to Nichols, the Republican Party of the United States is, like the old Soviet Communist Party, terminally ill.
But the more marginal the GOP becomes in the months ahead, Nichols predicts, the more dangerously authoritarian it will become.
“A dying party can still be a dangerous party,” Nichols warns. “The Communist leaders in those last years of political sclerosis arrayed a new generation of nuclear missiles against NATO, invaded Afghanistan, tightened the screws on Jews and other dissidents, lied about why they shot down a civilian 747 airliner, and, near the end, came close to starting World War III out of sheer paranoia. The Republican Party is, for now, more of a danger to the United States than to the world. But like the last Soviet-era holdouts in the Kremlin, its cadres are growing more aggressive and paranoid.”
In 2021, Nichols laments, the GOP has passed the point of no return and can only sink deeper and deeper into the abyss.
“Another lesson from all this history is that the Republicans have no path to reform,” Nichols writes. “Like their Soviet counterparts, their party is too far gone. Gorbachev tried to reform the Soviet Communist Party, and he remains reviled among the Soviet faithful to this day. Similar efforts by the remaining handful of reasonable Republicans are unlikely to fare any better. The Republican Party, to take a phrase from the early Soviet leader Leon Trotsky, should now be deposited where it belongs: in the ‘dustbin of history.'”
Populist movements have a knack for sticking around long after their leaders leave office.
Since leaving office, Donald Trump was not convicted in his second impeachment trial, and has reportedly considered launching a new political party, investing in a social-media app, and, perhaps more predictably, making another run for the White House in 2024. In a statement following his lack of conviction, Trump declared the trial “yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country,” adding, “Our historic, patriotic, and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun.”
There are plenty of reasons to take Trump at his word. If populist movements have proved anything, it’s their remarkable staying power, even after their leaders have been removed from power, democratically or otherwise. From Berlusconism in Italy to Peronism in Argentina and Fujimorismo in Peru, personality-driven movements rarely fade once their leaders have left office. In the face of victimization, real or imagined, they often thrive.
What, then, of Trumpism? While these movements differ in ideology and context, they can be very instructive in anticipating what happens next.
The Italian Trump – Silvio Berlusconi
Of the world’s most notable populist leaders, perhaps none has garnered more comparisons to Trump than the former Italian prime minister. Berlusconi was Trump before Trump: a billionaire businessman and television personality who rose to power by railing against the political establishment and pledging to represent the interests of ordinary people. Though his career of more than two decades has been dogged by scandals, investigations, and trials—evidence, Berlusconi claimed in 2009, that he is “the most persecuted” person in history—he has nonetheless remained a political force since his (most recent) resignation from the premiership in 2011, both within his center-right Forza Italia party, of which he remains leader, as well as in national politics more broadly.
A notable difference between Trump and Berlusconi is that the latter has lost elections without incident. Still, there are elements of Berlusconi’s long tenure that Trump could seek to emulate, not least his ability to stage multiple political comebacks (his latest, as a lawmaker in the European Parliament).
But perhaps Berlusconi’s greatest success has been in his ability to retain his base of loyal supporters—a personality cult that continues to see him as akin to a god. This is one outcome Trump can likely rely on: Even in the aftermath of last month’s deadly insurrection on Capitol Hill, Republican voters still approve of the former president in overwhelming numbers, as do many of the Republican state parties across the country.
The Argentine Trump – Juan Perón
To understand the importance that a loyal base can play, look no further than Peronism. The populist movement, which dates back to the rise of former Argentine President Juan Perón in the 1940s, continues to be the preeminent political force in the country, more than four decades after its namesake’s death. This has to do largely with how Perón came to power and, crucially, how he lost it.
Like most populist figures, Perón cast himself as an advocate of ordinary citizens, and, in many ways, he was: In addition to advancing workers’ rights, he oversaw the enfranchisement of women in Argentina. But, like other populists, Perón became more and more authoritarian over the course of his rule, jailing his political opponents, vilifying the media, and restricting constitutional rights. By 1955, after nearly a decade in power, Perón was deposed in a coup and sent into exile in Spain; his party was banned.
His supporters continued to be extremely loyal to him, though—so much so that by the time Argentina’s constitutional democracy was restored nearly two decades later, Perón won reelection by a landslide.
Part of Perón’s enduring appeal had to do with the circumstances under which he lost power: His forced exile created a narrative of victimization, which “can really actually help to solidify political identities,” James Loxton, an expert in authoritarian regimes, democratization, and political parties in Latin America, told me. A similar sense of grievance seems to be taking over Trump supporters. An overwhelming majority of Republicans have subscribed to the former president’s unfounded claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him. Early polls show him to be the favorite of the 2024 Republican contenders. “This idea that he didn’t really lose and that everybody is out to get him,” Loxton said, “add[s] up to this actually quite compelling martyrdom story.”
Irrespective of whether Trump runs again, Trumpism as a movement is all but certain to be on the ballot. Indeed, a number of Trump acolytes—among them Republican Senator Josh Hawley, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—are already jockeying to succeed the former president. Should they be recognized as the “Trumpist” candidates, the movement could take on a Perónist quality: one that is highly mobilizing, highly polarizing, and highly durable.
The Peruvian Trump – Alberto Fujimori
Another populist movement that has endured long after its namesake is Fujimorismo. Named after Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, whose decade of authoritarian rule ended in a corruption scandal in 2001, Fujimorismo remains a dominant force in Peruvian politics. Unlike Peronism, however, Fujimorismo has largely remained within the family: Fujimori’s children, Keiko and Kenji, lead rival factions of the movement, though neither has managed to succeed their father in the presidency. (Fujimori himself, who was convicted of human-rights abuses in 2009, remains in prison.)
With at least some of Trump’s children and extended family eyeing political careers of their own, it’s possible that Trumpism could end up resembling Fujimorismo more than Peronism. In some ways, it already does: All three of his eldest children have held roles in the eponymous family business. Should any of Trump’s children seek political office, it’s all but assumed that they will do so not as regular Republicans, but as heirs to the Trumpist throne.
But success isn’t a given. While the Trump name would almost certainly be an asset in any primary or Trump-leaning district, his children would also need to be able to rival their father’s emotional connection with his supporters. “Keiko Fujimori benefited massively from her surname and the fact that there was still a large chunk of the Peruvian population that really identified with Fujimorismo and the accomplishments of Fujimori’s government,” Loxton said. It helps, he added, that she is also “really good at politics.” Yet she still has not yet ascended to the heights of her father.
Whatever model Trumpism ultimately follows—whether it’s Berlusconism, Peronism, Fujimorismo, a combination of the three, or none at all—it’s widely accepted that the movement will continue to exist in some form.
Dan Slater, the director of the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies at the University of Michigan, said that what form it takes will depend on whether American politics chooses to reorient itself not on party lines but, rather, in terms of whether you are pro- or anti-Trump, a shift not too dissimilar to how British politics realigned between those who opposed or supported Brexit.
“In the same way that Peronism versus anti-Peronism has shaped and structured Argentinian politics for decades,” Slater said, “it strikes me as quite likely that a fundamental conflict between Trumpism and anti-Trumpism is going to shape American politics for a long time to come as well.”
Edited from a story by Yasmeen Serhan in The Atlantic.
Donald Trump heavily promoted the January 6 insurrection rally in Washington. Then he fired up the crowd and urged them to march on the Capitol. Theses fact are undisputed. The evidence emerging in the past few days goes much, much further. After Trump was told by Sen. Tommy Tuberville that his own Vice President Pence had been rushed out of the Senate chamber, his security in question, Trump posted to Twitter, raging at Pence’s betrayal. “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify,” Trump posted after his conversation with Tuberville. “USA demands the truth!” The mob, while this was going on, was rampaging the building, chanting “Hang Mike Pence!”
That Trump attacked Pence publicly after learning Pence was under threat strongly suggests Trump was eager to see the mob locate Pence and do what they would with him. As the NY Times has reported, Trump told Pence he’d “go down in history as a pussy” if he didn’t flip the election to Trump. Trump clearly wanted the crowd to punish his disloyalty.
Added to that new piece of evidence is the testimony of Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Washington state Republican who spoke with her party’s House leader, Kevin McCarthy, after McCarthy got into a shouting match with Trump. McCarthy and his staff were barricaded in an office, fearing for their lives, when McCarthy pleaded with Trump to call off the mob. Trump initially denied the mob was made up of his people. McCarthy told him he was wrong, and again demanded that he do something, anything — go on TV, post to Twitter — to call them off. “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Trump said, allowing the violence to rage on.
“I think it speaks to Trump’s mindset,” said Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, another Republican. “He was not sorry to see his unyieldingly loyal vice president or the Congress under attack by the mob he inspired. In fact, it seems he was happy about it or at the least enjoyed the scenes that were horrifying to most Americans across the country.”
“You have to look at what he did during the insurrection to confirm where his mind was at,” Herrera Beutler told CNN. “That line right there demonstrates to me that either he didn’t care, which is impeachable, because you cannot allow an attack on your soil, or he wanted it to happen and was OK with it, which makes me so angry.”
We can’t look away from this simple set of facts: All the evidence points to the conclusion not just that Trump recklessly whipped up a mob that went on to storm the Capitol, but that he wanted that mob to succeed in finding and attacking those who stood in the way of his return to the presidency. Now, of course, nobody can know what exactly went on inside Trump’s mind that day, but his conversation with Tuberville, the subsequent tweet, and his conversation with McCarthy point in a very dark direction.
What those Republican members of Congress have done is stare into Medusa’s face and refuse to blink.
Is there a rational basis to believe that the insurrection could have succeeded? It’s possible to put one together: If Pence and Pelosi were killed or badly injured, and the votes not certified, Trump could declare some sort of state of emergency and — this is the key point — live to fight another day.
Living to fight another day is Trump’s life philosophy. Just ahead of the 2018 midterms, Trump, at a rally, acknowledged he might lose the House. “It could happen. Could happen,” he said. “And you know what you do? My whole life, you know what I say? ‘Don’t worry about it, I’ll just figure it out.’ Does that make sense? I’ll figure it out.”
This was Trump’s MO throughout his business life. Faced with what appeared to be inevitable defeat, his last resort was always to create chaos, not because it would naturally lead to success, but because it would at least reset the situation and give his incredible lucky streak another opportunity to assert itself. Trump didn’t know exactly how things would play out if the mob succeeded in its mission, but he knew how things would go if it didn’t: He would lose. And he was ready to kill to stave that off.
The Senate has now voted to subpoena testimony from Herrera Beutler, who likely knows the names of other Republicans McCarthy also spoke to. Rep. Jamie Raskin, a House impeachment manager, also said he wanted access to notes Herrera Beutler took of her conversation with McCarthy. There seems to be no reason not to also call McCarthy.
According to a report published by the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was the “direct result of a months-long effort rooted in disinformation” that was promoted and fueled by the criminal insurrectionist Donald Trump.
The group has put together a comprehensive timeline that shows how the movement (or cult) was “coordinated by some of his most fervent, conspiratorial supporters; and incorporating a wide range of supporting groups.”
The research article, published at Just Security, uses material posted “in plain sight” on online platforms which were designed to convince people of falsehoods about the 2020 elections. The disinformation campaign centered around Trump’s the “Stop the Steal” movement, which hosted a rally on Jan. 6 that preceded the violence at the Capitol.
“The Stop the Steal movement included groups across a spectrum of radicalization: hyperpartisan pro-Trump activists and media outlets; the neo-fascist Proud Boys, a group with chapters committed to racism and the promotion of street violence; unlawful militias from around the country with a high degree of command and control, including the so-called Three Percenters movement; adherents to the collective delusion of QAnon; individuals identifying with the Boogaloo Bois, a loosely organized anti-government group that has called for a second civil war; and ideological fellow travelers of the far-right, who wanted to witness something they believed would be spectacular,” the report states.
According to the report, the binding ingredients that brought these groups together was conspiracy theories about the 2020 election coupled with cult-like support for Trump.