“Acting Like a Winner”

Will Wilkinson:

I think Trump understood perfectly well that his lock-stock-and-barrel ownership of the GOP base would lead to this kind of deafening symphonic repetition and amplification of his completely spurious claims of election fraud and Democratic corruption, and that this would function to shore up his credibility and extinguish any serious doubts among Republican voters. I mean, why would they all lie about it?

However, I suspect that most Congressional Republicans who signed on to the Big Lie were just craven, myopic, opportunistic dipshits either too dumb or too corrupt to give a second thought to the risk that their repetition of Trump’s lies would add volume to a massive chorus of voices singing the same tune. If you’re the kind of “conservative” oaf who thinks that insufferable “sanctity of democracy” stuff is just moralizing bullshit Democrats use to rig elections against Republicans by making it easy to vote — if you’re the kind of debased right-wing partisan fully reconciled to the reality that the secret to electoral GOP success is owning smug libs and trolling self-serious Dems — well, then you probably thought you were just acting like a winner.

It’s simply what one does! You go on TV and say whatever Trump said. If you’ve got a bit of panache, you’ll make it your own. You’ll find an original way to insinuate that Black people in Philadelphia either don’t or can’t count. You’ll shuttle back and forth between operatic fake umbrage and a shit-eating Polident grin as you declare that real Americans are being silenced and disenfranchised. But you probably weren’t considering that the collective strength and credibility of the Republican choir’s one voice would add up, in the minds of Republican voters, to decisive confirmation that the election really had been stolen and that the certification of Biden’s fraudulent victory really would amount to a coup.

And then Trump incites a seditious mob animated by lies you actively promoted and they trash the Capitol while you’re in it pretending to contest electoral votes for lulz, because you’re a winner. Whoops.

Will Wilkinson, “Weasel vs. Manaic”, https://modelcitizen.substack.com/p/weasel-vs-maniac

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