Tuesday, January 12, 2021

As a friend of mine put it, "if your base is sending you pipe bombs, they're no longer really YOUR base"

 One of the points we've been making for years is that is that the central driver in the relationship between Trump and the GOP is his ability and apparent willingness if pushed to take the base (which now consists largely of a cult of personality) and go home. Particularly for a small-tent party built on squeezing wins out of tight margins, the loss of a previously loyal base would be devastating, even fatal and the fear of such a disaster cowed good soldiers like Graham into complete and humiliating submission. 

While there was a certain craven logic to appeasement, "we need to hold the base" arguments may now have a subtle flaw.

From an op-ed by Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer (an Iraq veteran) [emphasis added]

 Before the assault, Trump had addressed the crowd and urged his loyalists to march on the Capitol, “to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones … give them the pride and boldness they need to take back our country.”

They took something alright. Hours later, after the Capitol was cleared of insurrectionists, with windows shattered and the smell of tear gas lingering, the consequences of his dangerous lies became clear. As we moved to accept Arizona’s electors, a fellow freshman lingered near a voting terminal, voting card in hand.

My colleague told me that efforts to overturn the election were wrong, and that voting to certify was a constitutional duty. But my colleague feared for family members, and the danger the vote would put them in. Profoundly shaken, my colleague voted to overturn.

An angry mob succeeded in threatening at least one member of Congress from performing what that member understood was a constitutional responsibility.


Those of us who refused to cower, who have told the truth, have suffered the consequences. Republican colleagues who have spoken out have been accosted on the street, received death threats, and even assigned armed security.

I have been called a traitor more times than I can count. I regret not bringing my gun to D.C.

Interestingly, much of the fury seems focused on those who had been the most obsequious to Trump.

  From Talking Points Memo:

  She amplified many adoring tweets about Wood, including one theorizing that Wood was using his Twitter account to leak coded intelligence via tweets about Vice President Mike Pence deserving to be executed. Many of her recent retweets concern Pence being a traitor, including one that suggests Jeffrey Epstein was murdered because he had dirt on the Vice President. That theme follows Trump’s own behavior, as he has become increasingly infuriated with the Vice President for not exercising his power — power Pence does not actually have — to name him President for another term.


Many of her tweets actually express discontent with the Republican Party. In response to a tweet about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocking the $2,000 stimulus checks, she asserted that “D or R..y’all all have your dirty ass fingers in the same cookie jar,” ending her message with shorthand for the QAnon mantra “where we go one, we go all.”  

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