Trump’s GOP has become the Party of Liars

Sometimes politics can be very simple to comprehend. Sometimes things can get quite complicated. Sometimes, truth in politics can be hard to discern. Sometimes it’s surprisingly easy.

The current situation — namely Trump’s attempts to undermine the 2020 election results and the GOP’s complicity in doing so — is both incredibly simple to understand and easy to know what is true. In a nutshell:

• Biden won the election. Trump lost. Despite the difficulties of campaigning in a pandemic and contending with a dishonest incumbent, Biden will be inaugurated as POTUS on January 20.

• Trump and the GOP are claiming that there are serious voting irregularities and/or instances of fraud that could lead to overturning the election results — and a Trump victory. The claims are completely without merit. Regardless, Trump is refusing to concede the election.

• Trump and the GOP know the claims are false — but don’t care. They have engaged in a deliberate campaign of lies for the sake of a political advantage. Trump, of course, is a serial liar. But the situation has become so extreme that the entire GOP has become the Party of Liars.

Here’s the fuller version of what’s going on:

• The other day, Mitch McConnell said: “Let’s have no lectures about how the President should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election.”

This “what-aboutism” is a complete fabrication. The 2020 election was called for Biden via major organizations (such as the AP) that have long been trusted to be definitive. In 2016, for example, Hillary Clinton conceded the election within 24 hours of the race being similarly called. Then-President Obama followed by inviting Trump to the White House to begin the transition. There was no effort by the Democratic Party to undo the election results or delay the transition. There was no claim that the results were only “preliminary.” What is happening now is the complete opposite of what happened four years ago. What is going on now has never occurred in any previous national election.

Trump’s refusal to allow Biden to have the office space, funds, and security access he is entitled to as President-elect represents a reprehensible pettiness that is without precedent and dangerous to the health and security of our country. The GOP’s response to these concerns is a collective shrug.

I would add that, back in 2016, it was Trump (not the Democrats) who promulgated falsehoods about the election results — notably his baseless claim that 3 to 5 million people had voted illegally.

• Trump continues to file fruitless lawsuits challenging the election results — and the vast majority of the GOP shockingly continues to back him up. Their justification? “Trump has the right to pursue all legal challenges to the election.”

Let’s be clear. While Trump has the legal right to pursue his fantasy version of events, that doesn’t make it the right thing to do. No investigation into vote counting this year has found any significant irregularities. And even if all the most serious of Trump’s lawsuits were found to have merit, the number of votes that would shift would not be sufficient to reverse the outcome. Biden would remain the winner. So there is no legitimate point to pursuing this. Every norm in our politics says, for the good of the country, it’s long past time to put an end to this. Unfortunately, Trump doesn’t care about the country’s welfare. It is his self-interest that remains his only interest.

• Most egregious of all, Trump continues to make false claims of substantial deliberate voter fraud (not simply voting “irregularities”). Yet there is zero evidence of any fraud. Despite years of claiming “rigged” elections, Trump has yet to provide even one substantiated example. And once again, the GOP is largely supporting Trump’s dive into the swamp. The vast majority of the Republicans in Congress still refuse to even acknowledge that Biden is the President-Elect.

It is all such an obvious untruth that virtually no one in the Trump administration or in Congress actually believes this bullshit about voter fraud. Indeed, privately, most of the GOP has already acknowledged as much. However, in a show of profound cowardice and willful deception, they just won’t do so in public.

In other words, the GOP has become the “Party of Liars.” Their survival has come to depend on spinning falsehoods — with the hope of convincing Trump’s base that the lies are true. They are playing their own voters for suckers. We are living in true-life version of 1984.

What’s the goal?

To what end are Trump and the GOP doing this? Theories abound. More than one may be true.

One says it is Trump’s delusional aversion to ever admitting he is a “loser.” As a result, he will probably never publicly concede the election, even though he will eventually agree to leave the White House. Once gone, he will continue to assert the election was “stolen” — and use this as a basis for maintaining support for himself. Already, in what is basically a scam, fund-raising appeals to supposedly pay for Trump’s court fights are actually going to pay off his campaign debt.

As for the GOP’s acquiescence, one theory sees it as due to their fear of appearing disloyal to Trump — possibly causing him to use his influence over the more than 70 million people who voted for him to harm the GOP. This is particularly worrisome in regard to the upcoming Senate run-off elections in Georgia.

Still others suggest the lies, lawsuits and obstruction are all part of a broader effort to undermine the success of the incoming Biden administration before it even takes power. It’s a “If I can’t be the winner, I will burn down the house” tantrum by Trump — with the GOP as the nervous parents who enable him. More frightening (but less likely), the firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper — and the subsequent post-election turnover of top officials at the the DOD — suggests a possible move to lay the groundwork for a coup.

Thankfully, almost everyone agrees that, whatever the motivations behind Trump’s and the GOP’s actions, they won’t succeed in reversing the results of the election. But that doesn’t mean they are harmless. By falsely sowing mistrust in our core institutions, Trump and the Party of Liars have undermined democracy at home and emboldened our enemies abroad. What Trump and the GOP are doing is shameful, despicable and {fill in your own critical adjective}. I don’t know if a “day of reckoning” will ever come. But if “the arc of the moral universe” truly “bends towards justice”…the reckoning will come eventually. It can’t come soon enough for me.

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One Response to Trump’s GOP has become the Party of Liars

  1. Marian Shapiro says:

    Another excellent explanation/analysis of what’s happening. So maddening, so dangerous. Sad and frustrating that the Trump followers probably don’t know that the promise or slogan to Make America Great Again was copied from Hitler who promised to Make Germany Great Again. Those of us who lost many relatives in the Holocaust are probably a lot more frightened than those with no connection to that German history. The thought you mentioned about a coup is another reminder that what happened under Hitler COULD happen here. Germans also didn’t think it could happen in their country and many died from that disbelief.

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