EASYDonald Trump’s January 2021 coup attempt failed to overturn the election; but Trump has succeeded in transforming the GOP in an ever more radical party that rewards extremism and punish, or even expel, members who do not support ever bolder attacks on democracy and the nation’s electoral process.
The Republican Party is now institutionally oriented to work toward anti-democratic purposes its charismatic leader, Trump.
As the one year anniversary of the Capitol uprising approaches, we only have begin to get a picture of the full extent of what can now be fairly described as a coup d’etat plan, plan nullify the results of a presidential election. The plan was encouraged, if not planned, by the White House, with Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows served as the field general for the workforce, and encouraged the pursuit of various extremist proposals and bizarre conspiracy theories from a range of accomplices, including members of Congress as well. like state legislators and liberal neo-fascists like Steve Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, and John Eastman.
It is essential that the January 6 committee of Congress, as well as the Department of Justice and other law enforcement agencies, continue to seek any relevant evidence of this attempt to bring down the nation’s democracy. and define the role of each planner. The evidence can clearly establish that individuals, potentially including Trump himself, committed federal crimes arising from the putch scheme, such as obstructing the congressional electoral college vote counting process.
However, whatever additional facts congressional and law enforcement investigations turn up, we know that Trump has succeeded in the broader goal of turning the Republican Party into a increasingly radical and radical attacks on the democratic foundation of the country. His success is in the fact that Trump doesn’t need to tell followers inside and outside the government to play their part in undermining democracy — now they actively anticipate Trump’s wishes for his actions. extremes and act upon them.
Historian Ian Kershaw famously described the Third Reich’s operating principle as “working in the direction of the Führer.” The Party’s members anticipated the steps its leader wanted, especially attacks on political opponents and “unpopular” people such as Jews, and frequently took them. show them without being asked. Over time, it became clear that those who pursued the most radical, and often violent, moves in the service of the party would gain approval, while those who hesitated would be opposed or worse.
Of course, while Trump is no Hitler, he and his associates have used the same reward-and-punishment dynamic to relentlessly steer the GOP toward a dynamic of growing extremism, in which compliance with ethical codes and laws is considered unacceptable weakness. .
In 2016, Trump’s most devoted man, his son of the same name, reacted to news that the Russian government was illegally supporting his father’s presidential campaign by exclaiming “I love it” in an email and arranged a meeting in hopes of “dirtying” Hillary Clinton from Russia. In early 2021, after Trump lost the election, Meadows also responded to a plan by fellow extremists to sabotage the electoral vote count by “replacing” the designated electors. valid by Trump shills, similarly, the statement “I like it.”
We don’t know if Trump offered his pre-blessing for both plans, but it’s clear that both Don Jr and Meadows understood that they would risk Trump if they didn’t pursue extremist attacks. focus on American law and democratic norms available in Trump’s name.
The drive to reward extremism and punish GOP restraint has only intensified since Trump lost the election. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy rejected his initial support for the January 6 investigation and ultimately advocated punishing Liz Cheney for her part in the congressional investigation into the matter. coup plot. Cheney and January 6 committee member Adam Kinzinger are now facing calls to expel them from the GOP caucus from prominent party activists and organizations currently particularly dependent on Trump, such as Matt Schlapp and the Club for Development, almost all of their colleagues huddled in silence. Meanwhile, McCarthy, acknowledging that hopes of being elected Speaker depends on maintaining the support of Trump’s most radical allies, grants free licenses to members like Paul Gosar, who is close to This has revealed established evidence as an active participant in the coup attempt and who recently “joked” about killing a House colleague.
At the state level, the momentum within the GOP to work on Trump is even stronger than in the weeks following the election. Trump’s now-famous call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, asking him to “find” more votes for Trump, failed to get Raffensperger to spoil the election, and Trump’s denial of the election results may have contributed. damaging the outflow of both incumbent GOP senators — losing Republican control of the senate.
In the months that followed, however, Trump’s relentless attacks on Raffensperger and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp led other Republicans to join in attacking the two for failing to change the outcome of the battle. 2020 election and get opponents who share Trump’s radical agenda to plan key challenges against them, making radicalism the norm within the party.
The story is similar in many other states, including Wisconsin, where a GOP legislative leader reacted to Trump’s loss there by attacking the state’s bipartisan election commission (including one of the state’s bipartisan election commissions). member he appointed), while several Wisconsin Republican leaders, including Senator Ron Johnson, are calling for the GOP to take over the management of state elections. In Arizona, an “audit” that confirmed Trump’s loss was nonetheless a rallying call for efforts to undermine voting rights in that state and elsewhere. Across the country, those who believe the 2020 election was “stolen” by Biden are running to take control of the local election machine to ensure that the next election can be stolen by Trump. .
While they rarely direct these actions, Trump and his associates have praised these extremists while often threatening to retaliate against party members who question such a radical approach. .
A case in point is Michigan, where Trump supporters demanded an Arizona-style audit of the election, despite the fact that the GOP-sponsored investigation found no evidence of fraud. election fraud. A group of Trump supporters, some of them members of the state legislature, have begun a campaign to intimidate state party leaders who support the audit, as a sign of pro-Trump, claiming their effort is the first step in a “revolution” against the electoral system.
Which brings us back to January 6. Trump’s speech to a crowd of supporters that day came after his presidency, in which he publicly praised neo-Nazi rioters , encouraged gun-wielding protesters to travel to state capitals to “liberate” them from COVID restrictions, and use a bible in front of the church after a crowd of protesters was cleared for him by a violent attack by the police and National Guard. After weeks in which Trump himself waged a relentless campaign to authorize the outcome of the election, which began even before it was held and used every legal and political lever he could wield. possible to reinstall itself against the will of the people.
The former president claimed that he did not tell the crowds that gathered for his January 6 speech to attack the Capitol, but that almost everyone believed they were acting in his interest. and have every reason to believe that their attack will respond to his approval.
Indeed, the evidence that has come to light in recent months has only further supported their beliefs. Trump has confirmed that he was completely unconcerned with Pence’s safety during the uprising, and didn’t even call him as the siege progressed. Now we also know that Trump has ignored calls from lawmakers inside the Capitol, and even from Don Jr., and Sean Hannity, to stop a siege by his supporters, as only he can do.
It also became increasingly clear that, as the siege progressed, members of Trump, including Rudy Giuliani, and (such as report of The Daily Beast) could have been Peter Navarro, who may also have used the disruption in the proceedings as an opportunity to try to encourage more lawmakers to vote against the certification — or at least delay it until they can name the “alternative” Electoral College.
We now know that in the weeks leading up to January 6, a group of lawmakers worked hand-in-hand with Meadows and other Trump allies to implement the coup plan. Most of the GOP members of Congress did not participate in the program. But the uprising has contributed to making many of them more pliable Trump allies. Freshman GOP delegate Peter Meijer recounted that, shortly before the outbreak of the uprising, some of his colleagues had planned to vote in favor of Biden’s election endorsement, reversing course. , some out of fear for their own lives.
Since that time, most GOP politicians have regularly endorsed, or at least chose not to oppose, radical attacks on democracy and the electoral system that have become core tenets. of the GOP. As I discussed before, calls for an extremist “base” are now so central to the party’s political strategy that GOP “leaders” fear losing support if they don’t support conspiracies and anti-democracy. For example, during a recent Minnesota GOP senate debate, all five candidates resisted admitting that Biden won the 2020 election.
Even Trump himself finds that his power as the “leader” of an extremist movement depends on his own credulous repeated calls to extremism. This was made clear last week when Trump himself faced criticism from some of his most ardent followers for acknowledging that a COVID vaccine had saved lives and acknowledging that he had received the vaccine. get a booster dose.
In short, extremism is Trump’s calling card, and the driving force behind his movement. Accordingly, whether or not Trump ordered the uprising, he clearly chose to allow it to continue with his silence, possibly because Trump believes the attack on the Capitol was his own goal. he. And throughout the months that followed, Trump-encouraged GOP activists normalized the goals and even tactics of the insurgents, who are now often portrayed by Trump’s Republican Party. are harmless tourists or patriots.
The party is working on Trump’s side.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/jan-6-was-just-the-start-of-radicalizing-donald-trumps-republican-party?source=articles&via=rss January 6th is just the beginning of Donald Trump’s Republican Party radicalization