Opinion: Republicans Dont Just Lie To Voters They Lie To Themselves
Republicans seem to have decided that lying is their best option. Rather than risk the wrath of the disgraced former president, they lie about who won the election and who is responsible for the Jan. 6 insurrection. Rather than confront the donor class and anti-government activists who insists on plutocratic economics, they opposed the American Rescue Plan en masse and then went out to promote its benefits.
Deception soon morphs into self-delusion. The Post reports on a polling briefing that took place at a recent GOP retreat:
When staff from the National Republican Congressional Committee rose to explain the partys latest polling in core battleground districts, they left out a key finding about Trumps weakness, declining to divulge the information even when directly questioned about Trumps support by a member of Congress, according to two people familiar with what transpired.Trumps unfavorable ratings were 15 points higher than his favorable ones in the core districts, according to the full polling results, which were later obtained by The Washington Post. Nearly twice as many voters had a strongly unfavorable view of the former president as had a strongly favorable one.
United on policy? Few Republicans are talking about policy at all. Instead, they are fighting fictitious culture wars and cheering efforts to suppress the vote.
The Republican Lies About Election Fraud Are A Ticking Time Bomb
In what must be the least surprising story of the week, The New York Timesreports that Republicans in California have begun to make accusations of voter fraud ahead of Tuesday’s gubernatorial recall election. The story is unsurprising because all political observers are by now well aware that, thanks to the lies of Donald Trump and the self-serving gullibility of millions of Republican voters, the GOP has actively embraced the position that American elections are systematically and unfairly rigged against them.
This is hands down the most dangerous political development in recent American history a civic time bomb placed smack dab at the center of American democracy.
It’s more dangerous than a reality-show demagogue ascending to the presidency. Or partisan gridlock in Congress making governing and passing legislation extremely difficult. Or constitutional disagreement about the scope of women’s reproductive rights. Or conflicts surrounding masking and vaccine mandates. Or disputes about what Joe Biden can accomplish for public health through executive branch rule-making.
All of those issues are important, and some of them contribute to the degradation of American democracy. But none of them degrade it more than spreading the lie that elections in the United States are systematically untrustworthy and rigged against one of the country’s two parties. That’s the kind of claim that could ultimately make American self-government impossible.
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The Tucker Carlson Fans Who Got Vaxxed
I asked vaccinated fans of the Fox News host what it will take to get more Republicans to get their shots.
Late last month, as the Delta variant of the coronavirus filled hospitals across the under-vaccinated South, Tucker Carlson took to his usual perch as the most-watched host on the most-watched cable-news network, just asking questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. Tonight, congressional Democrats have called for a vaccine mandate in Congress, Carlson said, as if flabbergasted by every word. Members and staffers would be required to get a shot that the CDC told us today doesnt work very well and, by the way, whose long-term effects cannot be known.
Carlsons Facebook followers commented eagerly on the video clip, spreading unfounded fears about vaccination among themselves. Completely disappointed in our government, dont believe a word they speak! Will not get the shot! one person wrote. Together, Carlson and his viewers are a placenta and embryo, gestating dangerous ideas and keeping the pandemic alive.
Its no secret that Carlsons audience, and Foxs, are overwhelmingly Republican and right-wing. And in poll after poll, Republicans are much less likely than Democrats to say they have been vaccinated and much more likely to say they definitely wont be vaccinated. The partisan gap in vaccinations has only grown over time.
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In The 1960s Republicans Claimed That The Passage Of Medicare Would Be The End Of Capitalism
California Governor Ronald Reagan even proclaimed Medicare would lead to the death of freedom in America. Of course, they were laughably wrong. Since the passage of Medicare, capitalism has thrived and millions of elderly Americans have had longer, healthier lives and greater personal freedom. Medicare remains the most popular form of health insurance in the United States.
When Bill Clinton raised taxes on the wealthiest 1.5%, Republicans predicted a recession, increased unemployment, and a growing budget deficit. They were wrong.
In 2008 Republicans Said That If We Elect A Democratic President We Would Be Hit By Al Qaeda Again Perhaps Worse Than The Attack On 9/11
Former Vice-President Dick Cheney stated that electing a Democrat as president would all but guarantee that there would be another major attack on America by Al Qaeda. Cheney and other Republicans were, thankfully, completely wrong. During Obama’s presidency, we had zero deaths on U.S. soil from Al Qaeda attacks and we succeeded in killing Bin Laden along with dozens of other high ranking Al Qaeda leaders.
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Republicans Said That If President Obama Was Reelected The Price Of Gasoline Would Rise To $545 A Gallon By January 2015
In fact, Senator Mike Lee of Utah said if Obama was reelected, the price of gas would reach $6.60 a gallon. Newt Gingrich, who was running for president in 2012, said Obamas energy policies, EPA regulations, and failure to approve the XL pipeline would result in $10.00 a gallon gasoline.
Of course, these predictions were laughably wrong. Instead of $5.45 per gallon or $10.00 per gallon, the price of gas in January 2015, was $1.89, less than half of the all-time high of $4.15 a gallon under President Bush.
Rep Adam Kinzinger On The Moral Failure Of Republicans And The Big Lie
Since the horrifying events at the Capitol on Jan. 6, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois has been a consistent, if lonely, Republican voice speaking out against the big lie that the presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump. After the sidelining of Representative Liz Cheney from leadership, Kinzinger, a 43-year-old Air Force veteran who was first elected to the House in 2010, was further entrenched as one of the most influential sitting Republican politicians willing to regularly and publicly denounce that dangerous fiction. Inhabiting that position is just about the last thing Kinzinger ever imagined his job would entail. I made the decision early in my career that I would be willing to take a potentially career-ending vote, says Kinzinger, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the attempted insurrection. But I thought that vote would be for something like a Social Security reform bill. I never thought it would be for defending democracy.
Why wouldntyou blame them for such cynical behavior? When I say I dont blame, I mean that I can understand. If youre scared to tell the truth to people, I understand, but you need to find a different line of work. On something as existential as this, as threatening to the Constitution my goodness. I understand that fear, but I do fully blame them. Because you signed up and ran for the job, and this job comes with tough times.
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The Republicans Who Backed Trumps Election Lies Are Hatching A Plot To Take Over
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Donald Trump put United States democracy through a grueling stress test in the last election, forcing Americans to consider all sorts of chilling what if questions and underscoring how little a process that relies heavily on the honor system can constrain someone who has none. Its tempting to view the fact that the country passedTrump eventually did leave office and Joe Biden took his placeas a testament to the strength of our institutions. To some extent, it was. But the fate of those institutions depends on the people who comprise them, and its possible they could have fared worse were it not for several key officials who resisted Trumps demands.
Indeed, what would have happened to Bidens victory in Georgia had Brad Raffensperger, a pro-Trump conservative, not stood his ground and declined to find 12,000 votes for the incumbent? What if election officials in places like Pennsylvania and Arizona hadnt won out over the will of Trump and GOP state legislators, who insisted, without basis, that the vote had been marred by fraud? Could Trumps relentless attempt to undo his loss have worked?
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Poll: Support For Trump Big Lie Defines Republican Politics
The latest national CNN poll found that most Republican voters still want Donald Trump to lead their party, which is notable in its own right. But just as important is how this belief shapes what it means to be a Republican in 2021:
Most Republicans also consider support for Trump and his false claim to have won the 2020 election to be an important part of their own partisan identity alongside support for conservative principles.
According to the poll’s internal data, a combined 61 percent of the party’s voters believe supporting the former president is either very or somewhat important in defining what it means to be a Republican. A combined 59 percent said the same thing about believing that Trump won the 2020 election, which he lost in reality.
An even higher percentage of Republican voters 63 percent said Trump should remain the GOP’s principal leader.
At face value, there’s something rather extraordinary about so many voters from a major party standing by a failed former president who was impeached twice, and whose brief political career is defined by scandal, corruption, mismanagement, incompetence, and multiple criminal investigations.
But there’s another dimension to this that’s likely to remain relevant for quite a while. The Washington Post reported yesterday on the three Democratic-led states California, New Jersey, and Virginia holding statewide elections this year:
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Republicans Said We Must Deregulate Businesses So They Can Be More Profitable And We Will All Enjoy The Wealth Created By Deregulation
This theory failed back in the 1980s when the Reagan administration deregulated the Savings and Loan industry. All the S&Ls collapsed, and it cost taxpayers billions of dollars to bail them out.
They were proven wrong again in 2008 when years of deregulation of the financial industry resulted in the worst financial collapse and recession since the Great Depression. Taxpayers had to spend nearly a trillion dollars to bail out these large corporations. Instead of spreading the wealth around, deregulation cost millions of jobs and created economic turmoil that took the country years to recover from.
Senator Mitch McConnell claimed Obamacare would cost the economy two million jobs.
The Big Money Behind The Big Lie
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It was tempting to dismiss the show unfolding inside the Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona, as an unintended comedy. One night in June, a few hundred people gathered for the première of The Deep Rig, a film financed by the multimillionaire founder of Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne, who is a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump. Styled as a documentary, the movie asserts that the 2020 Presidential election was stolen by supporters of Joe Biden, including by Antifa members who chatted about their sinister plot on a conference call. The evenings program featured live appearances by Byrne and a local QAnon conspiracist, BabyQ, who claimed to be receiving messages from his future self. They were joined by the films director, who had previously made an exposé contending that the real perpetrators of 9/11 were space aliens.
In June, I stood in the bleachers at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, where the audit was taking place, and witnessed people examining carton after carton of paper ballots cast by Arizonans last fall. Some inspectors used microscopes to investigate surreal allegations: that some ballots had been filled out by machines or were Asian counterfeits with telltale bamboo fibres. Other inspectors looked for creases in mail-in ballots, to determine whether they had been legitimately sent in envelopes oras Trump has allegeddumped in bulk.
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Why Democrats Lose On Social Media While Republicans Lie And Win Big
If youre baffled that nearly half of the United States could look at the past four years and say, I want more of that, you arent alone. But thats also not quite what happened.
What did happen is that much of the US electorate lives in a social media echo chamber saturated by disinformation, with climate change and the Green New Deal prime examples. Conservatives have turned the term Green New Deal into an emotional weaponpart of their overall narrative of Democrats as extremist, elitist socialists. It isnt fact-based, but as Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel Prize for his work in behavioral economics, explained, No one ever made a decision because of a number. They need a story.
The irony is that there is a compelling, positive story to tell about the Green New Deal that should appeal to a broad base of voters. At a time when the pandemic has thrown millions of people out of work and spawned miles-long food lines, a Green New Deal would create millions of jobs that cant be outsourced overseas. Americans would be put to work installing solar panels, building wind turbines, replacing leaky windows and outmoded appliances with energy-efficient alternatives, restoring farms and forests to store carbon, and undertaking a thousand other climate-friendly activities. With government investment priming the pump, a Green New Deal would boost revenues for business as well, paying for itself through the resulting increased tax revenues.
Why is that?;
How Republicans Came To Embrace The Big Lie Of A Stolen Election
The way Republicans have pushed the myth marks a dangerous turn from generalized allegations of fraud to refusing to accept the legitimacy of elections, experts say
Just a few days after the polls closed in Floridas 2018 general election, Rick Scott, then the states governor, held a press conference outside the governors mansion and made a stunning accusation.
Scott was running for a US Senate seat, and as more votes were counted, his lead was dwindling. Targeting two of the states most Democratic-leaning counties, Scott said there was rampant fraud.
Every person in Florida knows exactly what is happening. Their goal is to mysteriously keep finding more votes until the election turns out the way they want, he said, directing the states law enforcement agency to investigate. I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election from the great people of Florida.
Scott eventually won the election, and his comments eventually faded. But the episode offered an alarming glimpse of the direction the Republican party was turning.
A little over two years later, fanned repeatedly by Donald Trump throughout 2020, the myth of a stolen American election has shifted from a fringe idea to one being embraced by the Republican party. The so-called big lie the idea that the election was stolen from Trump – has transformed from a tactical strategy to a guiding ideology.
Republicans Routinely Accuse Democrats Of Wanting To Cut Defense Spending To The Bone And Leave Us Defenseless Against Our Enemies
History has repeatedly proven them wrong. Under Democratic presidents and Congresses, the United States still spends more on defense than the next ten countries combined. Republicans frequently insist on spending hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons systems that the Pentagon doesn’t even want in order to benefit the multi-billion dollar defense contractors. Democrats who criticize this unnecessary spending are accused of trying to cut defense spending to the bone.
Opinion: Elected Republicans Are Lying With Open Eyes Their Excuses Are Disgraceful
Lord, Lord, how this world is given to lying!
Henry IV, Part 1, Act 5
For the activist base of the Republican Party, affirming that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential contest has become a qualification for membership in good standing. For the partys elected leaders, accepting the clear result of a fair election is to be a rogue Republican like the indomitable Rep. Liz Cheney a target for Trumps anger, public censure and primary threats.
Nothing about this is normal. The GOP is increasingly defined not by its shared beliefs, but by its shared delusions. To be a loyal Republican, one must be either a sucker or a liar. And because this defining falsehood is so obviously and laughably false, we can safely assume that most Republican leaders who embrace it fall into the second category. Knowingly repeating a lie an act of immorality is now the evidence of Republican fidelity.
This kind of determined mendacity requires rolling out the big guns. Said the prophet Isaiah: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil.
To preserve the meaning of words, said Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan , is the first responsibility of liberalism. Precisely because principled disagreement is essential in a democracy, we cant attribute every difference to deception. This form of false witness is a tool of polarization and a method of dehumanization.
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