Republicans against democracy

The sine qua non of democracy?  I think it’s fair to say that its free and fair elections.  So, what else can you call it when–clearly thanks to Trump– it is now standard operating procedure for Republicans to try and undermine elections.  Important column from Greg Sargent:

So is this really how it’s going to be? Are more and more Republican candidates across our great land going to treat it as a requirement that they cast any and all election losses as dubious or illegitimate by definition?

We’re now seeing numerous examples of GOP candidates running for office who are doing something very close to this. Which suggests the legacy of Donald Trump could prove worse for the health of democracy than it first appeared.

It isn’t just that Republicans will be expected to pledge fealty to the lost cause of the stolen 2020 election. It’s also that untold numbers of GOP candidates will see it as essential to the practice of Trumpist politics that they vow to actively subvert legitimate election losses by any means necessary.

One high-profile GOP candidate now playing this ugly Trumpist game is Larry Elder, who is running in a recall election against California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom. This week, Elder told reporters that “there might very well be shenanigans” in the vote counting, just like “in the 2020 election,” and vowed that his “voter integrity board” of lawyers will “file lawsuits.”…

A worse example comes from the leading GOP candidate for Senate in Nevada, Adam Laxalt. The former state attorney general’s effort to unseat Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto has Trump’s endorsement in what will be a hard-fought contest.

Laxalt, then, will begin contesting any eventual loss right now, because otherwise Democrats will succeed in stealing another election. This, too, is a declaration in advance not to accept a loss as a legitimate outcome.

And then, when the press covered his despicable threat, Laxalt rejoiced that he was “triggering the media,” smarmily insisting the press is attacking anyone who wants “secure” and “fair” elections.

In fact, Laxalt is the one threatening to undermine secure and fair elections. Indeed, as this demonstrates, for Trumpist politicians, the refusal to commit to respecting legitimate election losses is now a badge of honor…

An important feature of all this is that the lies about the majorities who win fair elections, and even the undermining of faith that our electoral system is fundamentally capable of rendering legitimate outcomes, are essential first steps toward overturning such outcomes later. The lies are the foundation, the starting point for potential future efforts to subvert our democratic order…

It’s unclear what this will mean for the GOP as a whole over time. But it’s ominous that you rarely hear condemnation of any of this from the most senior figures in the party.

The willingness to abide by election losses as legitimate, on the understanding that our system is worth preserving and you can live to fight another day, is a hallmark of democratic stability. But it’s becoming a hallmark of GOP primary politics to publicly renounce that ethic, and to do so defiantly and proudly.

Trump may be gone from office and no longer consuming our national attention, but, damn if he didn’t set the Republican Party on a dangerously anti-democratic course that still persists.  

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