The key to me from Cheney: "None of this would have happened without the president."

That's the part few in GOP grappled with. This was NOT a bottom-up grassroots movement. It only had power because Trump first said it was stolen *and then* looked for any source to validate it.
During a pandemic that's killing well over 3,000+ a day, the president 100% VOLUNTARILY created this insane situation that's now threatening American democracy. It would not exist if he'd conceded. It's not like other civil unrest that's a spontaneous reaction to external events.
Even NOW, R's in Congress and especially Senate backing Trump refuse to name WHAT the election fraud they're alleging even is. They're still trying to backfill Trump's original stolen election claim. It's not an organic reaction to any specific allegation, period, it was all TBD.

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More from @BenjySarlin

13 Jan
The thing is it seems both extremely impractical and symbolically upsetting to have them there. But they need to have a real conversation about the fact members are worried their own colleagues are potential threats to their lives then.
Yeah the metal detectors are pretty far downstream from the fact members are accusing unnamed colleagues of scouting for the insurrectionists…
The repeated theme over and over today is that members are scared of their far right colleagues in a very real and physical sense, not metaphorically. This is going to be the actual unity issue moving forward.
Read 5 tweets
12 Jan
I've mentioned how there's no stated mechanism for R's who want Trump gone by 2024 to make it happen, they just kinda pass the buck.

Cheney's what that might actually look like: A wing of the GOP *explicitly* dedicated to purging his influence who can organize around that goal.
Before the party breakdown was, a large explicitly pro-Trump wing, maybe a half dozen explicitly Trump-skeptical or anti-Trump, and then a large amorphous wing that was also explicitly pro-Trump but people largely assumed they were lying.
That was not a formula for non-Trump R's to confront the fact he's the dominant figure moving forward. Unless they could name their cause and objectives, they would be continuously outflanked and bullied by pro-Trump R's. Indeed that's what happened with the EC votes.
Read 4 tweets
12 Jan
To this scenario @DouthatNYT describes: You don't even need some dramatic crack-up for R's to run aground. If the looming Trump threat keeps the 2020 D coalition together and even small percentages of Trump R's stop turning out, that alone is a huge issue.…
The most recent source of D strength is that they have an intensely engaged suburban base that also is more affluent and this powering record-breaking fundraising. For R's, it's a fired up rural/small city vote. It's close, but as of *right now*, this is a winning formula for D's
Post-2020 Gerrymandering can help R's take back House in 2022 even without making significant gains in popularity. But a Trumpier House could also accelerate the same problems that cost them the 2020 elections in WH and Senate. And no sign he's going anywhere in all of this.
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
There's no reason to believe impeachment gets any R votes until proven otherwise, but everything D's put here closely mirrors what critical R's have said. Compare the language to Rep. Liz Cheney's (no. 3 House GOP leader) version of events below:…
And what do you know, Cheney reportedly considered a potential vote for impeachment.

Again, there's still no real reason to believe there are significant R votes for impeachment -- let alone from leadership! -- until they actually happen.
A House GOP led by two people who voted to overturn the election results after a mob assault on the Capitol AND one person who voted to impeach the president for inciting the mob with false election fraud claims seems untenable. So I'm pretty skeptical Cheney votes "yes."
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
This straightforward list is very much worth your read. Bear in mind this is only the last year and only rhetoric foreshadowing the Capitol assault. There's years more of violent and dehumanizing rhetoric, much of it directed at other targets.
For example, just in 2019, one of Trump's rally lines that doesn't make the cut.…
When a pro-Trump extremist sent 16 bombs to news outlets across the country the year before -- this was his response when he didn't have a prepared text to read off…
Read 4 tweets
10 Jan
Which Corker? The one before and after 2016 who praised his Natsec competence? The one who then was retiring and warned Trump was a dire national security threat who’d start WW III? The one who then reconsidering running and abruptly became an ally again?…
The PR effort by non-Trump R’s to be defined — even praised as prescient! — by their occasional criticism of Trump peppered in between years of supporting, validating, and campaigning for him is predictable and going to be spectacular.
Read 5 tweets

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