OpinionA repulsive new breed of Trumpist candidates poses a fresh threat

cigaretteman

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By Greg Sargent
Columnist |
July 26, 2022 at 12:39 p.m. EDT
Donald Trump is delivering a speech Tuesday in which he proclaims to be for law and order. He is doing this half a mile from the Capitol, where he incited numerous crimes on his behalf amid an extraordinarily corrupt and potentially criminal scheme planned and executed by Trump himself.
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If that seems jarring, please note: That incongruence increasingly defines a trend represented by a new breed of Trumpist candidates.
Their common trait? They cast themselves as tough on law and order while embracing the most pernicious aspects of Trump’s effort to persuade millions to give up on the rule of law and democracy, and to remain above accountability for his attempt to destroy our legal and political order at its foundations.
Some of these candidates are feeding the public the same lies Trump used to inspire those criminal acts on Jan. 6, 2021. Others are hand-waving away those same crimes. Still others are scoffing at the need for any accountability at all for Trump’s coup attempt.
The “rule of law” involves certain hallmarks: equality before the law, stable political and legal institutions, a commitment to accountability and no special treatment for the very powerful. These candidates are making an utter mockery of such notions: They combine phony pieties about lawful and civil order with craven fealty to Trump’s lawlessness and his bid for utter impunity, and to the undisguised authoritarian nature of his movement.


Take Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania. Mastriano has made law and order an important part of his campaign, insisting Democrats are anti-police while being driven by a “culture of lawlessness.”
But Mastriano was a leader of Trump’s effort to overturn his 2020 loss and pushed the radical theory that presidential electors can be appointed in defiance of the popular vote, based on lies about fraud. He aggressively fed the stolen-election fiction, which inspired many Jan. 6 defendants and continues to mislead countless Americans about the integrity of our electoral institutions.
Or take Scott Jensen, the leading GOP candidate for governor in Minnesota. He cites crime as a top priority, hyping 2020 “riots” during which cities were “burned and looted.” Meanwhile, he has refused to say Trump lost in 2020 and even called for the jailing of Minnesota’s Democratic secretary of state, sneering that he might “look good in stripes.”
Calls for jailing members of the opposition for presiding over elections that yielded hated outcomes — Jensen baselessly suggested the Democrat had “gotten away” with a 2020 scam — is textbook lawlessness. It’s doubly galling coming from someone who piously invokes law and order.
Then there’s Adam Laxalt, the GOP nominee for Senate in Nevada. He recently hosted an event with Trump himself designed to showcase law-and-order toughness. Yet Laxalt lent support to the stolen-election lie, suggested voting in urban areas is suspect while claiming it’s “legitimate” in GOP areas, and dramatically downplayed Jan. 6, claiming “very few” people broke laws.


 
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cigaretteman

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This is becoming a pattern, as some Democrats pointed out to me, though in some cases it’s not as pronounced. In Wisconsin, the front-runner in the GOP gubernatorial primary, Rebecca Kleefisch, is vowing to be tough on crime while falsely claiming 2020 was “rigged.”
In Colorado, GOP gubernatorial nominee Heidi Ganahl is touting anti-crime toughness. But she tapped a running mate who initially pushed 2020 conspiracy theories, though he later repudiated them.
In Ohio, GOP Senate nominee J.D. Vance recorded a special Jan. 6 anniversary video describing the House committee investigating Trump’s coup as a “show trial.” He claimed it portended a law enforcement crackdown on the real victims related to Jan. 6 — i.e., millions of conservative voters.
Vance even paired this with his own law-and-order invocations of what he described as the Black Lives Matter “summer of riots.” He called for the next GOP administration to turn loose law enforcement on George Soros and Rachel Maddow. Vance has dismissed the idea that former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon should face accountability for defying the Jan. 6 committee’s lawful subpoena.
That’s not to mention scores of GOP candidates running for positions of control over elections while remaining committed to treating future losses as nonbinding and subject to nullification.
In a way, it’s not that surprising that these candidates are adopting a tough-on-crime platform while embracing Trump’s lies about our elections, or dismissing the importance of accountability for Jan. 6, or demanding prosecution of political opponents. Republicans have long campaigned as tough on crime; now they’re hoping to harness voter energy by feeding Trumpism’s pathologies.
Yet the adoption of these positions in tandem represents something particularly despicable and destructive. To one degree or another, they’re winking at — or actively embracing — an underlying ethos that Trump perfected.
The essence of that ethos is to detach the aim of law and order from any rooted conception of the rule of law by unabashedly casting aside ideals of neutrality, equal institutional treatment and freedom from political interference, and flaunting this as a selling point.
When Trump ran for reelection in 2020 on a law-and-order platform after a first term saturated in corruption and lawlessness perhaps unparalleled in U.S. history, I argued that “law and order” without the rule of law is neither law nor order.
What remains unknown is how far these Trumpist candidates will push this ethos and whether they’ll be able to import it into positions of real power.
 

FlickShagwell

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Just idiotic. Like we learned nothing from 2016. Hilary was actually going to have to debate policy against Jeb! but a clown like Trump in it simply to fleece the mouth breathers was supposed to be a cakewalk. Well, we see how that turned out. This is playing with fire from the Dems who can’t help but snatch defeat from the jaws of victory every chance they get.
 

Jerome Silberman

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binsfeldcyhawk2

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Just idiotic. Like we learned nothing from 2016. Hilary was actually going to have to debate policy against Jeb! but a clown like Trump in it simply to fleece the mouth breathers was supposed to be a cakewalk. Well, we see how that turned out. This is playing with fire from the Dems who can’t help but snatch defeat from the jaws of victory every chance they get.
I agree but I have to admit it makes sense from a purely political standpoint....but it's a horrible look and is in fact playing with fire.

If they're going to say these bozo's are a threat to democracy, you simply can't be doing this.
 

LuteHawk

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Anyone running for public office needs to have certain
characteristics which can be observed by voters.

1. The ability to ;put the interests of the public ahead
of any personal gain. A politician needs to be unselfish.

2.A track record of proven integrity and honesty. There
should not be a hint of scandal in their background.

3. A humble attitude which seeks to serve others and do
what is best for the people they represent.
 

lucas80

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binsfeldcyhawk2

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Okay, Fran.
But, nobody is forcing republicans to vote this way, right? Dems aren’t crossing lines to vote in Republican primaries, right?
Not really the point.

If the Dems are going to say these clowns are a threat to democracy…they probably shouldn’t pump out millions of $$$ to help them get nominated.

It’s ok to say it’s F’d up Lucas
 
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lucas80

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Not really the point.

If the Dems are going to say these clowns are a threat to democracy…they probably shouldn’t pump out millions of $$$ to help them get nominated.

It’s ok to say it F’d up Lucas
It’s tactical, and it may backfire. Both parties have done it for years. If you want to deflect from the lurch towards an authoritarian core in the GOP go for it. Again, people are voting for them. That’s a Republican problem.
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

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It’s tactical, and it may backfire. Both parties have done it for years. If you want to deflect from the lurch towards an authoritarian core in the GOP go for it. Again, people are voting for them. That’s a Republican problem.
How is that a “deflection” to say the Democratic Party is spending millions pumping these guys up….then saying they’re a threat to democracy.

A little too Machiavellian and hypocritical for my taste.

They wouldn’t have spent the money unless they thought it’d make a difference….which makes it all the more damning.
 

artradley

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Not really the point.

If the Dems are going to say these clowns are a threat to democracy…they probably shouldn’t pump out millions of $$$ to help them get nominated.

It’s ok to say it’s F’d up Lucas

You can’t blame all Dems for a bad strategy on the part of a few. We can, however, blame the GOP as a whole for nominating these cretins and for supporting, to the tune of about 85%, the lies, anti-democracy, and general BS of Trump.

The vast majority of us do NOT want these terrible human beings to win the GOP nomination.
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

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You can’t blame all Dems for a bad strategy on the part of a few. We can, however, blame the GOP as a whole for nominating these cretins and for supporting, to the tune of about 85%, the lies, anti-democracy, and general BS of Trump.
$44M

It’s not a one off…it’s a strategy.

If “they’re a threat to democracy” maybe they should be boycotted for supporting fascist’s.
 

artradley

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$44M

It’s not a one off…it’s a strategy.

If “they’re a threat to democracy” maybe they should be boycotted for supporting fascist’s.

It’s a strategy amongst a tiny number of people. Tiny. Do you realize how small $44m is in the world of politics? Oz spent something like $15 of his own money in his primary.
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

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It’s a strategy amongst a tiny number of people. Tiny. Do you realize how small $44m is in the world of politics? Oz spent something like $15 of his own money in his primary.
They didn’t spend any money on Oz. They boosted MAGATs with limited funds. Like Mastriano.
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

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You REALLY like this topic because you bring it up repeatedly. It’s like cons who always fall back to Hunter Biden.
Sorry if it’s an inconvenient topic….

You think these MAGA guys are a threat to democracy right? How do you feel about the Democrats spending $44M to get help them get nominated?

When someone says these same guys are a threat to democracy I’ll keep bringing it up…because the 2 things don’t jive.
 

Chishawk1425

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Sorry if it’s an inconvenient topic….

You think these MAGA guys are a threat to democracy right? How do you feel about the Democrats spending $44M to get help them get nominated?

When someone says these same guys are a threat to democracy I’ll keep bringing it up…because the 2 things don’t jive.
If only you did this about MAGA the past numerous years instead of laughing or ho humming a lot of it away. The GOP is rotten to the core and literally nearly ALL of them are not worthy of service in the cults current state so this absolutely was a smart move.
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

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If only you did this about MAGA the past numerous years instead of laughing or ho humming a lot of it away. The GOP is rotten to the core and literally nearly ALL of them are not worthy of service in the cults current state so this absolutely was a smart move.
So you’re pissed the Democratic Party spent $44M to get the worst of them nominated right?

I hate both these garbage parties.
 

artradley

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Sorry if it’s an inconvenient topic….

You think these MAGA guys are a threat to democracy right? How do you feel about the Democrats spending $44M to get help them get nominated?

When someone says these same guys are a threat to democracy I’ll keep bringing it up…because the 2 things don’t jive.

Yes, the few dozen idiots who are strategically backing terrible candidates are stupid, and should not do it. Because there are 70M maga idiots who have taken over the GOP, so someone who you expect to have no chance could easily be elected.
 
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Chishawk1425

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Sorry if it’s an inconvenient topic….

You think these MAGA guys are a threat to democracy right? How do you feel about the Democrats spending $44M to get help them get nominated?

When someone says these same guys are a threat to democracy I’ll keep bringing it up…because the 2 things don’t jive.
Read up

 

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