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Trump outlines future of GOPs

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Former President Donald Trump prepares to speak during a rally on the grounds of the Canyon Moon Ranch festival January 15, 2022 in Florence, Arizona. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

On Saturday night, Republicans got a glimpse of the future that Donald Trump has in store for them, and it looks a lot like the past, only more deplorable. And, frankly duller.

It wasn’t just his performance at the rally that was essentially an updated version of Trump’s usual rhetoric, the American premiere, long on personal boasting and lacking in subtlety or election lies, identity politics blanche, or his continuing attempts to rewrite the history of the January 6 Uprising.

You could see the future of the GOP throughout the show: a rally that featured all the misfit toys adopted by the once-and-future God King. My Pillow guy Mike Lindell was there and treated like a rock star rather than a drug-free mental patient. Indeed, Trump’s rally showcased the entire pantheon of deplorable; Rep. Andy Biggs and Rep. Paul Gosar were there, as well as States Batty Party President Kelli Ward.

Even as he lashed out at Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a terrible representative of your state, Trump, kissed State Senator Wendy Rogers, one of the woolliest conspiracy theorists in the world. American politics. And that’s really saying something.

And, of course, there was Trump-backed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who seems to have a fetish for imprisoning people she doesn’t like:

And then there was the group Blacks for Trump.

ICYMI:

The man was Blacks for Trump founder Maurice Symonette, aka Michael the Black Man, a former member of a violent cult who posts anti-Semitic screeds and racist conspiracy theories online, yet is a star member of the public at Trump campaign events since 2016.

**

Despite all that, Trumps rally in Arizona felt musty.

Call it the Andrew Dice Clay conundrum, writes Matt K. Lewis. If your whole shtick is based on shock value, the audience eventually hardens and the lack of substance becomes embarrassing.

An old rock band can get away with playing the same hits over and over again, but provocative clowns like Trump need fresh material to stay relevant.

Instead, Trump offers the GOP his endlessly recycled grievances.

Michael Brendan Dougherty notes that Trump no longer offers his constituents anything resembling a substantive agenda. When he first ran, Trump promised to do what voters wanted, to make the country great, proud and prosperous again.

This time, writes Dougherty, he is essentially asking Republicans to do something for him, restore his tarnished honor and make his belief in his own victory credible.

All that remains of Trumpism are Trump’s grievances and aspirations.

It is not a program that will allow him to win high office, help his party or accomplish anything for his compatriots.

Worse for Trump: At some point, the act becomes less edgy than boring.

No, Ron DeSantis is not who you expected.

Back in November, I wrote about the odd idea that the Never Trumpers should somehow embrace the governor of Florida as the not-so-crazy alternative to Trump.

As I explained at the time:

No. As in no, no and no

There are several obvious problems with the DeSantis Gambit.

The first is that it is impossible. DeSantis (1) won’t challenge Trump if he runs, and (2) has no chance of beating him in a GOP primary.

The second problem is more basic.

Embracing DeSantis accepts and ratifies the GOP’s permanent Trumpification, cultural grievance, gross demagoguery, undemocratic disregard for constitutional norms, and not-so-subtle embrace of identity politics.

And that’s where Friedersdorf misinterprets the tattered rest of Never Trumpers. I obviously can’t speak for all of them, but some of us who remain here in the political wilderness oppose not only Trump himself, but the whole constellation of impulses he unleashed on our policy.

Obviously, the Trumpers never want to beat Trump (again), but the more important (and perhaps far more difficult) project is to oppose Trumpism and his continued assault on the conservative spirit (or what that remains).

The alternative is to normalize political deviance.

Since then, Trump-DeSantis tensions have escalated, and the pseudo-rivalry is worth watching. Axios reports this morning that Trump is privately denouncing Ron DeSantis as an ingrate with a lackluster personality and no realistic chance of beating him in a potential showdown in 2024.

But DeSantis makes his own moves. He openly courts well-known right-wing influencers and takes a stand to Trump’s right on issues like the pandemic.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) said in a podcast episode aired Friday that one of his biggest regrets in office was not speaking “much louder” against the Trump administration’s calls for a lockdown in start of the pandemic, with the comments coming just days after former President Donald Trump appeared to call DeSantis “courageless.”

Allahpundit emphasizes how extremely strange this is:

Words can’t express how depressing it is that Trump being vocally pro-vaccine could become the biggest liability for him in a Republican primary, but DeSantis rightly sees it as a weakness and seeks to fill that political space.

He’s worked hard over the past six months to indulge the anti-vaxxers in subtle and less-than-subtle ways, and now Trump has given him an excuse to draw a distinction between them in which DeSantis is more closely aligned with the populist opinion than Trump. . I’m dying to see where this leads.

Exit take:

On our podcast last week, Tim Alberta remarked that the lines between the fringe and the so-called GOP mainstream had dissolved.

Here is another example of what he was talking about. In mid-December, a group of right-wing luminaries signed this open letter calling for the GOP conference [to] meet immediately to vote on removing Representatives Cheney and Kinzinger from their membership in the GOP conference.

The curators explained:

The actions of Representatives Cheney and Kinzinger on behalf of House Democrats have provided a supposedly bipartisan justification for openly partisan political persecution that brings disrespect to our country’s rule of law, legal harassment of private citizens who have done nothing wrong, and who are degrading the position of the house.

As duly elected representatives, Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger are free to serve in the House, but they should no longer do so with the privileges afforded to members of the House Republican Conference. They should no longer have access to the benefits of a conference which they are actively seeking to undermine.

Here is just a partial overview of the signatories. Those of you not immersed in GOP politics might not recognize many of the names, but they represent a cross section of Conservatism Inc., from former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese to the Club for Growth in passing by the lady of the Tea Party.

Also signing the letter calling for the deportation of Cheney and Kinzinger Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Share morning snaps

1. The Voter Count Act is a zero-day feat waiting to happen

Chris Truax with the first of three ECA articles:

Finally, there is the biggest and most dangerous bug of all: any party that controls both houses of Congress and has the political will can install its candidate for President of the United States, regardless of who wins. the election. The unpleasant fact is that, despite a national vote, surrounded by elaborate legal and technical safeguards, under the terms of the ECA as it currently exists, the President of the United States is elected solely on the honor system by 535 members. of Congress.

2. It’s time to prosecute fake GOP voters

I wrote about this in Morning Shots yesterday. In today’s Bulwark, Philip Rotner takes a much deeper look at the legal plight of Trump’s fake voters.

The signing and transmission of the forged certificates were also self-contained crimes, committed in broad daylight and easily prosecuted.

State and federal law enforcement should have been dealing with all of this for almost a year now. Worse still, even for those inclined to think better late than never, it is still not clear that they are there now.

Start with state law. As you can imagine, every state in the union has criminal laws prohibiting all forms of voter fraud. For present purposes, one example will suffice: in Arizona, a person who knowingly falsifies or forges the results of an election is guilty of a class 3 felony, the minimum sentence of which is two and a half years in prison.

But the real action here is or should beat the federal level. These false certifications were not isolated, one-time events. They were very coordinated. A simple look at the five fake certificates shows that they are nearly identical in format and text, right down to the fonts. The strong implication: Someone somewhere was running this show.

3. To honor MLK, focus on his real work

Jim Swift, in Today’s Rampart:

Today, Martin Luther King III and other members of the King family plan to lead a march across Washington’s beautiful new Frederick Douglass Bridge, urging Congress to pass some version of the election-related bills he is currently seized. Directly called on Congress, he said, to pay no heed to my father’s ideals without doing the very thing that would protect his legacy: pass suffrage legislation. Later this week, another march in Washington, the March for Life, will likely see MLK’s name and image invoked on signs and in speeches; it’s not uncommon at the annual march to see his famous phrase about how injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere on placards.

As unlikely as it is that Martin Luther King Jr. was entirely comfortable with either party in his day and alone in ours, there is nevertheless something oddly encouraging about the fact that so many in both parties now feel comfortable claiming him as an inspiration, even if in doing so they are simply choosing from his words and deeds.

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2/ https://morningshots.thebulwark.com/p/trump-previews-the-gops-future

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