It is becoming increasingly clear that American political institutions will not protect our democracy if the GOP comes to power.
Trump’s impeachmentthe (ultimate) transfer of power between governments and the current hearings of the selected House committee are often cited as examples that our respective institutions can stand and act as bulwarks against right fascism† However, such institutions are only as ethical, productive and robust as the administrators entrusted with their maintenance.
In our two-party system, the Republican Party counts as an institution (even if the party itself is a private entity) whose members are elected to public office to represent their constituents, defend the country and uphold the constitution. But how can a democracy survive when the GOP has been devoured by a right-wing extremist movement whose members promote Christian nationalism, promote anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ conspiracy theories, and are willing to purge and dismantle these same institutions to achieve their goal of minority government? ?
It’s not possible.
The January 6 hearings revealed that the US was truly on the brink of an unprecedented constitutional crisis, and it would have gone over that cliff had it not been for the intervention of a handful of Republicans who decided their country over a rabid cult of personality. Unfortunately, in the wake of January 6, the GOP has radicalized further and has not held Trump accountable.
As an example, in response to these serious proceedings and damning evidence, the House Judiciary GOP posted a clip of Trump say, “Bo-ring!” It’s an infantile response to some of the most crucial. As my Daily Beast editor Anthony Fisher said so: “If the GOP is a ‘American institution’, the institutions did not last after January 6th.”
The revelations from this week’s hearings prove his point.
According to the testimonies of countless lifelong Republicans — including Trump’s inner circle — Trump was deeply involved in the illegal plan to install fake voters in battlefield states. The nation heard the tape on which Trump pressured Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger to find enough votes for him to turn the state around: “Guys, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break.”
We heard that attorney John Eastman, the author of the… “coup d’état in search of a legal theory”, realized his “constitutional calamity” wouldn’t succeed, but he and his band of conspirators persisted anyway. Eastman was reportedly accompanied by Senator Ron Johnson, whose aide tried to deliver a list of fake voters to Vice President Mike Pencea man 40 feet away from a violent crowd chanting “Hang Mike Pence” on Jan. 6. decertify voters and nullify the results.
Like Raffensperger, Bowers is a lifelong Republican and he testified that he declined to participate and did not want to cheat on Trump’s behalf. For following the law, these men and their families are… threatened and harassed months by Trump supporters.
And yet, despite being subjected to violence, both men are still say they will vote for trump if he were to run for president again in 2024. This is in line with a majority of Republican elected officials who voted not to certify the 2020 election, hours after surviving a violent mob willing to kill for their coup.
(Just before this column was published, federal agents raided the home of former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark-a loud and proud supporter of Big Lie.)
Alexa, show me you’re in a cult without telling me you’re in a cult.
These Republicans are just looking after their own skin – literally. If you’re not willing to promote the Big Lie, MAGA will intimidate and punish you until you kneel. If not, you will be purified. Rep. Mo Brooks, who wore a kevlar vest on the day of the uprising, learns this the hard way. Even though right-wing activist Ali Alexander claims that Rep. Brooks helped him plan the January 6 Stop the Steal Rally, that vile act still isn’t enough to satisfy the MAGA crowd. It seems Brooks’ unforgivable crime was accepting the 2020 election results. Brooks just announced he is retiring after losing his… First Senate for Katie Brittwhich is backed by Trump.
The Texas GOP understands the assignment. They just released one batshit platform in which they stand firmly behind the Big Lie, see President Biden as an illegitimate president, retain the right to secede from the United States in 2023, refer to gay people as “abnormal””, and reject trans-identities. This is not fringe, but rather comes from the Republicans who represent the second most populous state in the country.
The detainees have taken over the facility. For example, at least 108 Republicans who won their primaries since May all believe in the Big Lie. Not to be outdone, the Republican National Committee referred to the attempted insurgency as: “legitimate political discourse” of “ordinary citizens”.†
Even the Justice Department, which should be an impartial institution, cannot be trusted as an impartial legal instrument if Republicans regain political power. Trump pressure on the Ministry of Justice and his Attorney General, Bill Barr, to help carry out his attempted coup. Fortunately, Barr thought Trump’s claims were “bullshit” bullshit and objected.
What happens when Trump or Florida Governor Ron DeSantis wins the White House and installs a loyalist willing to use the Justice Department as the GOP’s personal Luca Brasi against all enemies and critics?
We can no longer rely on the Supreme Court as a trusted institution to protect our democracy and rights. A right-wing activist majority, which appears to be following their marching orders from the Federalist Society, is increasingly committed to advancing their religious fanaticism rather than the will of the majority or established precedent.
Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is a noted right-wing activist who once… Trump consulted on how to ‘cleanse’ his administration† The evidence continues to pile up revealing how Ginni Thomas aggressively emailed and texted Republicans to help Trump in his illegal plan to overthrow free and fair elections. Judge Thomas has yet to withdraw from a January 6 case, and was… the only one to disagree in an 8-1 decision who ordered Trump to submit documents to the Jan. 6 committee. If a Republican wins the presidency in 2024, one can only imagine the damage an extremist judge and their extremist spouse will do to our democracy.
State lawmakers, a majority of which belong to Republicans, are now the means for the GOP to reject election results they don’t like. In Wisconsin, Trump-approved GOP nominee for governor, Tim Michaels, refuses to say whether he will certify the next presidential election† In Pennsylvania, the GOP nominee for governor, Doug Mastriano, also promotes the big lie and was present at the uprising. Kari Lake, Republican running for governor of Arizona, tweeted she won’t recognize it “unconstitutional gun laws” if she wins. “What are the FBI going to do?” she asked. “Fly here and arrest a sitting governor? Call my bluff.” What other federal laws will she not recognize if elected?
Finally, at the local level, the RNC unleashes a “district strategy” that is assembling a nationwide army of GOP activists that will disrupt the election results if necessary. They employ pollsters, GOP lawyers, party-friendly prosecutors, and party loyal Boards of Canvassers, who are responsible for certifying the elections.
What will these extremist forces do to our democracy and our hard-earned rights when they come to power?
‘The bad guys won’ Mo Brooks grumbled after losing his race.
If the GOP is one of our main political institutions that acts as a bulwark to protect our democracy, then the “bad guys” have taken over and are one step closer to dismantling the few remaining guardrails protecting us from fascism.
The question is: where are the good guys and what are they doing to stop them?