Political Sense
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Political Sense

Former President Trump inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection/AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File

Republicans backing the “Big Lie” have one choice.

Unless they’re lying.

Jeffrey Denny

Advice to GOP leaders:

If you won in 2020, but also sell Trump’s “Big Lie” that he was robbed of reelection by widespread vote irregularities, you must do this:

Resign.

Then go home to spend more time with your family. Or stay in Washington to make millions as an influence peddler.

Or, if you wish to continue in office, then you need to demand a new, not irregular election. If personal and election integrity matter to you.

Face it: If Trump’s 2020 vote count was illegitimate, then yours was too.

You were on the same ballot. Your vote was counted exactly the same way.

It’s physically and logically impossible that the so-called manipulated voting machines, satchels of dumped ballots, shredded ballots, illicit absentee and mail-in ballots and other shenanigans defiled only the top of the ticket, victimizing only Trump.

Maybe the vote was rigged for you and your Democrat opponent won!

Trump’s election fraud claims, of course, have been thoroughly debunked.

No reasonable person actually believes the Big Lie.

Sidney “Kraken” Powell’s lawyers said so in defending her claims of rigged voting machines. Fox lawyers defend Tucker Carlson the same way, essentially calling viewers who believe him fools.

But Trump believes the Big Lie, or so he says. A recent poll says 60 percent of Republican voters — and presumably all of Trump’s hardcore base — believes the Big Lie. Some 80% of Republicans still favor Trump in spite of inciting the violent insurrection with the Big Lie, and 60% want him to run in 2024.

So of course, Republicans have to parrot, tacitly accept or go awkwardly silent about the Big Lie. Nobody wants to incur Trump’s wrath, or certainly that of his base, which will courageously send anonymous death threats and possibly get violent again. (Which never happened. Or if it did, it was peaceful. Or if it was violent, Antifa did it.)

Fear and Neville Chamberlain-style appeasement of Trump explains the political theater of toppling Liz Cheney for speaking the truth … the corrupted Arizona “Cyber Ninja” fake recount … the Orwellian voter suppression laws spreading Republican states in the name of election integrity … and all the Potemkin fronts to secure Trump’s good graces and avoid his disgraces.

But nobody’s fooled except the foolish who want to believe the Big Lie.

The reasonable know Trump’s Big Lie is a big lie, and Republican politicians who repeat the Big Lie are big lying.

Resigning and perhaps running again — in a clean race, not under state vote-rigging suppression laws to keep out minorities — could help Republican politicians who won in 2020 earn back perhaps even a bit of legitimacy, trust, dignity and self-respect.

The GOP Big Lie leaders should set an example and get the ball rolling:

1. The Sedition Caucus in Congress that refused to certify the 2020 results — even after Capitol insurrection that endangered their own colleagues, including their own Vice President.

2. The Treason Caucus in Congress that voted against impeaching Trump for his incitement of insurrection fueled by his Big Lie.

3. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and every GOP caucus member who voted to oust Liz Cheney for telling the truth about the Big Lie.

4. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and every Republican politician that initially denounced Trump’s Big Lie incitement then had a change of “heart.”

5. Ambitious down-ticket Republican politicians who voted to suppress voting by people they knew will vote against them.

“Americans will always do the right thing,” Winston Churchill never actually said, “after exhausting all the alternatives.”

After draping themselves in shame, will the Republican Big Liar Caucus eventually do the right thing?

I’ll hold my breath if you’ll hold yours.

Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.

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