Jane Mayer, The Secret Papers of Lee Atwater, Who Invented the Scurrilous Tactics That Trump Normalized: An infamous Republican political operative’s unpublished memoir shows how the Party came to embrace lies, racial fearmongering, and winning at any cost.
James Downey, The big myth about Cheney, Trump and the GOP
Yes, indeedy. Republican leaders been lyin’ for a long, long time. That is the gist of both pieces. And every single solitary sentence in them is true.
But but but … not until late 2020 did they start lying about whether they actually won or lost the last election.
Republican leaders want to hold onto Donald Trump’s base. But, it appears—contrary to their fondest wishes—the only way they can do that will be to embrace the Big Lie. And to make the 2022 election a referendum on the Big Lie.
And so: the 2022 election will be another horrendously unethical experiment in social psychology.
Will the 30 percent of Republicans who don’t actually believe the Big Lie hold their noses and vote for the Trumpy Republican candidates anyway?
Will the nice elderly lady down the hall at Happy Acres, who voted for Trump reluctantly, vote for the Trumpies again?
And will the majority Democrats say, “Oh, well, it’s an off-year election. Doesn’t matter very much. And the state legislature has made it a little more trouble to vote this year. And I do need to wash my hair”?
All this at a time when the anti-Big Lie side is going to be banging the drums and clanging the symbols about what is at stake in 2022?
Maybe all of that will happen. And maybe Americans will just vote away their constitutional republic. Maybe it will turn out in 2022 that the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity. Certainly, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Nevertheless, putting all your eggs in the anti-democratic basket poses one hell of a risk for the bad guys.