As Greg Sargent notes, both of Trump's GOP primary picks in Georgia, former Sen. David Perdue for Governor, and Rep. Jody Hice for Secretary of State, are now openly running on annulling the 2020 Biden election win and doing so again in 2024 if Democrats win.
At first, Perdue kept this subtle, if that’s the word for it. He ran an ad featuring Trump, who intoned that Kemp had “let us down.” That implicitly criticized Kemp’s refusal to steal the election for Trump, but without saying so directly.
But now Perdue is all in, declaring outright this week that the 2020 election was indeed stolen. It was actually ratified by numerous audits and recounts, but as Steve Benen notes, this was plainly necessary to keep Trump happy with Perdue’s candidacy.
For good measure, at a rally this week Perdue visibly encouraged the crowd when it chanted “lock him up” about Kemp.
Perdue subsequently backtracked. But Perdue’s campaign promoted his “lock him up” moment, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, boosting the idea that Kemp should be imprisoned for disloyalty to Trump, in an effort to “gain ground” against Kemp among Trump voters.
On top of all this, Perdue has openly declared that he would not have certified Trump’s 2020 loss, as Kemp did. It’s reasonable to read this as an implicit vow not to certify a future loss on the basis of made-up voter fraud claims. It’s also fair to ask whether as governor Perdue would certify a fake slate of electors for Trump or an imitator in 2024, in defiance of the state’s popular vote, which could be counted by a GOP House.
But it gets even worse. Trump has endorsed Rep. Jody Hice’s (R-Ga.) primary challenge to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. One of Raffensperger’s chief transgressions? He rebuffed Trump’s pressure to literally manufacture votes out of thin air to reverse the outcome.
Hice, then, is not just a loyal devotee of Trump’s lies about 2020. He’s really running on an implicit willingness to do what Raffensperger would not, i.e., use his official powers to overturn a future loss. Indeed, this is partly why Trump endorsed him! Hice may still win, but this is proving much closer than observers expected. Trump’s lies are not proving as potent here, either.
This sort of mania is unfolding in many other states. To take just one other bonkers example: the Associated Press reports that a GOP candidate for secretary of state in Ohio who previously acknowledged Trump’s 2020 loss has now backflipped and declared the election stolen.
Why? Apparently because he’s facing primary challengers who full-throatedly embrace that lie, and he needed to keep pace.
At this point there are plenty of Republicans swearing loyalty not to America or the Constitution or even to their own constituents, they are swearing loyalty to Donald Trump, and vowing to overthrow the Biden administration through whatever means necessary.
The sedition is no longer a conspiracy, it's an open political platform, with candidates openly running on toppling the current government and assisting in a coup. These are true believers, folks.
And this is what the GOP has become. It's not about gaining power, it's not about governing, it's not even about Trump. It's about fascist, permanent, total domination where the opposition is outlawed and the ruling class is the white supremacist theocracy.
They are conducting this right now in the open, and way too many of us accept this as normal, "both sides are bad, why should I bother" politics.
The GOP is coming for everything and everybody, they are openly telling us this. You need to start caring and start voting.