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Prowling a rally stage in Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon, and decked out in a Make America Great Again hat, lawyer and conspiracy enthusiast Lin Wood beseeched the crowd of Trump supporters to not vote in the Georgia's two upcoming run-off elections, which will determine control of the Senate. Pushing washed-up claims about how the Georgia presidential contest was "rigged" and "stolen," Wood told the crowd that the two Republican candidates running for the Senate hadn't secured their trust because they wouldn't sign off on blatantly untrue claims of voter fraud in the state. "They have not earned your vote," he announced.
Republicans should stay home on Election Day in January — that was the stunning message from the far-right rally in Atlanta.
A funny thing has happened as Trump wages war on free and fair elections in America. The lusting GOP mob that he has groomed for years with ceaseless lies and disinformation has suddenly turned its vengeance on the GOP, and at times on Fox News, and Republicans find themselves powerless to stop it. Trump's whirlwind of hate has spun out of control as he marks his vengeful, final days in office.
"A growing number of Republicans who won’t do what Trump wants are being caught in a menacing post-election undertow stirred by Trump’s grievances about the election he lost," the Associated Press reports.
Spineless Republican members of Congress have spent four years refusing to stand up to Trump, and to defend common decency. Many wilted into the background because they were afraid calling out Trump would spark a political backlash among conservative supporters. Others enabled Trump because they thought his attacks were good politics for the GOP, as he unleashed vicious, falsified assaults on Democrats.
Now those broadsides are aimed at Republicans, as Trump gleefully targets members of his own party who have stood in the way of his crusade to overturn the 2020 election results. Facing Republican judges ("the Campaign cannot win this lawsuit"), Republican governors, Republican election officials, and parts of Fox News, which have refused to bow down to unhinged conspiracies about millions of voters being thrown out and rampant corruption producing a victory for Joe Biden, Trump continues to lash out.
He’s even targeting the Republican-run Department of Justice, and his Attorney General Bill Barr, claiming they're playing a central role in the never-ending web of players who are supposedly acting in concert to "steal" the election from him. The whole time, Trump enjoys rabid, vocal support among his loyalists who are also training their eyes on Republican officials, and calling them traitors who should be imprisoned or shot for the crime of accurately counting votes this year.
After Barr told the Associated Press, "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election," he became a target of the Trump mob. "He is either a liar or a fool or both," Lou Dobbs protested on Fox Business. (Note: Fox Business has been much more willing to amplify baseless, made-up claims of "stolen" election, than has Fox News.) "Some of us are wondering if [Barr] is a warrior with the Constitution or if he's just a bureaucrat," said Newsmax host Greg Kelly, a fringe network that has gone all in on the voter fraud lies.
Republicans suddenly find themselves shocked by the mindless mob that drives today's GOP, and Trump's willingness to unleash its worst instincts.
“Stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence. Someone is going to get hurt, someone is going to get shot, someone is going to get killed. And it’s not right," pleaded Gabriel Sterling, a Republican and Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, during an emotional press conference this week in Atlanta. “Every American, every Georgian, Republican and Democrat alike, should have that same level of anger. All of you who have not said a damn word are complicit in this."
Trump responded to Sterling on Twitter by basically calling his boss, Georgia's Republican governor, a crook and urging him to throw out the statewide election results, which have now been counted three times. Meanwhile, intruders have been found on the property of Georgia's GOP Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, after Trump called him an "enemy of the people."
Fox News is also being attacked for not being sufficiently loyal to Trump's deranged and delusional crusade. The networks sins apparently date back to Election Night. "Fox News intentionally tried to change the momentum away from Trump by lying to the American people," lamented a talker on the right-wing niche cable channel OAN, still mad that Fox News accurately called Arizona from Trump.
"One America News Network host and unofficial Trump legal adviser Christina Bobb went so far as to call Fox a “Democrat Party hack” that “was trying to breathe life into the Biden campaign” by calling Arizona," Media Matters noted. Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield recently tweeted that Fox News was “sinking” and welcomed its viewers to watch his network.
For years, the GOP embraced Trump’s mindless mob, completely unconcerned with how it was ransacking public debate and undercutting democracy, as it waged war in the name of partisan politics. Now the monster has turned.
📺 GOOD STUFF:
Why are the network news Sunday talk shows so bad? In part, because they allow a revolving door of Republican guests to lie at will, rarely hold them accountable, and then regularly invite them back to lie some more. Writing in the Washington Post, Matt Negrin offers up a simple, common sense rule for the Sunday shows in coming weeks:
Whenever Republicans appear on a news show, the first question to them must be: “Do you acknowledge that Biden won the election and that he is president-elect?” If the Republican politician doesn’t say yes, they’ve failed the test and are at risk of spreading disinformation. The host of the show has an obligation to viewers to stop the interview there and say goodbye.
🎄 FUN STUFF — BECAUSE WE ALL NEED A BREAK:
Mariah Carey, “All I Want for Christmas”
It’s the first week of December, which means I’m already indulging in my holiday playlists at home, and I thought I’d share a few favorites this month.
I continue to be fascinated at how Carey’s true Christmas classic has, over the years, morphed into a pop culture “juggernaut.” (The clip below has been viewed nearly 80 million times.) Last holiday season the song actually reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, an amazing feat considering it was first released 16 years ago.
My theory: Not only does it stand as one of the great Christmas songs ever, it’s one of the great pop songs, ever. Meaning, even it weren’t a holiday offering, I would have been a monster smash for the ages. It’s one of those songs that transport you from the first four notes to a place of pure bliss. That voice, those bells, that beat. It’s confectionery magic.
And everyone is singing
I hear those sleigh bells ringing
Santa won't you bring me
The one I really need
Won't you please bring my baby to me quickly