John Avlon says what needs to be said to the Republican Party:
What's so important is that so many of his hard-core supporters still buy this BS, while so many elected Republicans still refuse to clearly condemn his legacy of lies and the unprecedented attack on our democracy that they directly inspired.
But Barr's belated comments, which came after he stoked baseless fears about mail-in ballots before the election, are part of a growing trend that's gonna be harder for Republicans to ignore, because the call is increasingly coming from inside their house.
Now, take the GOP-led Michigan Senate report released late last week, determining that there was no evidence of widespread or systemic fraud in the election. They dug into all the greatest hits bleated by Trump's lawyers and cable TV sycophants, debunking claims that dead people voted, that voting machines were compromised or ballots dumped in Detroit or mysteriously switched, stating that they were, quote, "appalled at what could only be deduced a willful ignorance or avoidance of the truth." One of those folks, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani had his New York State law license suspended, because the court found "uncontroverted evidence that Giuliani had communicated demonstrably false statements to courts, lawmakers, and the public at large in connection with Trump's failed effort at reelection in 2020." In the long run, it might only be the law that reigns in the people who are still pushing Trump's lies, whether it's Sydney Powell, Mike Flynn, or the My Pillow guy, who's peddling the crackers conspiracy theory that Trump will be magically reinstated as President. Meanwhile, the grifters are gonna grift while Trump reflexively attacks anyone who doesn't exhibit total fealty.
Every day, we learn more about how close our country came to having our democracy undone.
Whether it's new reporting on Trump aides toying with invoking the Insurrection Act, or the ex-president's supposed demands that the military "crack skulls" during protests, or his alleged suggestion that Covid-infected Americans be taken to Guantanamo Bay. There is reporting that Trump officials knew the January 6th rally could turn ugly and encouraged it anyway. While the president and his chief of staff pressured the DOJ to challenge the election results.
No willful enemy of the Republic could have done more to undermine our democracy. And yet we still see the vast majority of Republican politicians continue to parrot the Big Lie. Because they're afraid that telling the truth could hurt them politically at partisan primaries, which makes them complicit.
What's worse, many of those elected officials and right-wing wannabes know that Trump is nothing but a bullshit artist. They just think his supporters can't handle the truth. So they rationalize, and play what-aboutism games. It's a deal with the devil. Because there can be no compromise with lies, especially when our democracy is at stake. And that's your reality check.