The key is the information environment on the right, which elected leaders have shown no interest in addressing. You could have predicted on 1/6 itself the exact combination -- false flag conspiracy, whatabout XYZ, procedural technicality -- that would soon bring voters back.
The below tweet turned out to be inaccurate in two ways. One, he lost his Twitter feed, negating the premise. Two, according to Rep. Herrera Beutler, he was already spreading false flag conspiracies mid-attack, not the next morning.
Republicans telling voters not to get caught in MAGA conspiracies, not to lean on whataboutism, and not to get hung up on new distractions would mean telling them to not follow most conservative media. They're not going to do that, especially if they're running for president.

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More from @BenjySarlin

12 Feb
Were Haley to rise to the top of the polls, Trump would be watching it 24/7 on cable, getting jealous of the attention, and inevitably he would say and do outrageous things to get the spotlight and then demand she affirm it all as a loyalty test. This is Trump 101.
Think of the chyrons. “CAN HALEY MOVE THE GOP PAST TRUMP?” “WILL HALEY REPAIR TRUMP’S DAMAGE WITH THE SUBURBS?” He wouldn’t just sit around for it.
This is all granting the assumption he doesn’t run himself, in which case you can guess from the @TimAlberta story what he’ll be bringing up about Haley.
Read 4 tweets
11 Feb
Cruz warned of a "consistent pattern of inciting violence" in April 2016. Why? Trump warned there would be "riots" if GOP delegates didn't hand him the nomination. Supporters were threatening to confront delegates in their hotel rooms to back him up.…
Cruz was clear-eyed in 2016 that Trump could use the threat of violence by supporters to try and overturn an election, in this case a party one. He also criticized him for inciting rally violence earlier.

He wasn't alone among senators! Then they forgot.…
Read 6 tweets
9 Feb
For about 24 hours, Graham was in full ditch Trump mode, leaving behind a long trail of quotes. Then he snapped back almost instantly along with others who got in front of their skis criticizing him, most notably Nikki Haley.
Nikki Haley really went under the radar with this:

Jan 6 on Fox: “He was badly wrong with his words yesterday. And it wasn’t just his words. His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history."

Jan 26 on Fox: "At some point, I mean, give the man a break!"
"Judged harshly by history" got downgraded to, quote, "not his finest" in the second appearance.
Read 4 tweets
5 Feb
I wrote a little about how Mitt Romney's child allowance is part of a broader trend. With both the Trump-era right and D's of all stripes pitching voters on direct cash benefits, the GOP doesn't have much of a working vocabulary to oppose them…
Ironically, Romney's own famous "47%" remarks were about how conservatives don't like "lucky duckies" with no income tax bill because they get too many refundable credits. Trump proposed sending them a tax return that said "I WIN" instead. That was the end of that.
Similarly, Trump has popularized the idea that just about everyone should get $2,000 checks. But that also makes it harder to attack monthly checks without work requirements as anti-work "welfare," which Rubio and Lee have argued.
Read 7 tweets
1 Feb
Is "Biden quietly pursues enormous policy moves, but country moves on to other stories and Trump continues to drive political coverage" the best case scenario for Democrats in terms of politics/policy outcomes?
At some point some Biden policy is going to drive a big backlash, but it's also possible almost his entire ACA plan could get folded into a COVID bill and barely anyone will notice at this rate, let alone R's.
Another way to frame this thread about Biden's effectiveness is whether 15% of the country going "Oh, BIDEN is president now, riiiiight" is useful to Dems and how long it can last
Read 4 tweets
29 Jan
The country is acutely aware this month how messageboard culture and conspiracies drive people to hurt themselves. Now there's a board culture premised on overnight riches while also pushing true believers to lose money to stop a shadowy enemy. Your alarm bells should be blaring.
The whole point of cons is convincing the marks they're in on it. Imagine Qanon, but you can profit off the rubes' stock positions instead of just selling them YouTube ads while telling them they're part of a revolutionary movement exploiting other rubes.
"But what about [name Wall Street practice?]"

Sure, make whatever point you want about it! I'm not arguing with any of it.

But the default response to the conspiracies right now tearing up the country is: "So you think POLITICIANS and the MEDIA are honest?" It's an easy trick.
Read 5 tweets

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