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Thomas Zimmer on the “Clear and Present Danger” of the Trumpified, Anti-Democracy GOP: “most Republicans are united in their quest to install authoritarian rule by a reactionary minority”

The 1/6 committee needs to focus attention on the "continuing assault on the democratic system that the Republican Party has fully embraced."


See below for another superb Twitter thread by Georgetown  University Visiting Professor Thomas Zimmer. The key points include:

  • The January 6 Hearings Need to Acknowledge the Elephant in the Room: The attack on democracy wasn’t the isolated doing of Trump and a few loyalists. Nearly the entire Republican Party is now united behind it the insurrection is ongoing.”
  • “The January 6 hearings have been more impressive than anyone could have reasonably expected. Yet so far the hearings have been narrowly focused on Donald Trump and the past – rather than the continuing assault on the democratic system that the Republican Party has fully embraced.”
  • “The committee’s strategy of building its case almost entirely on testimony from Trump people, Republicans, and conservatives – not Democrats – is certainly effective if the goal is to prove the nonpartisan nature of the proceedings. But it runs the risk of letting too many people besides Trump off the hook. The narrative is that there was a ‘Team Normal’ in and around the White House that moved away from Trump as he went increasingly off the rails, isolating him, leaving him with only ‘Team Crazy.'”
  • “Trump was always more effect, rather than cause of the Republican radicalization against democracy, there’s never only been one snakeThe immediate danger to American democracy stems from the fact that the Republican party is justifying all this, remains united behind the man responsible, and, worst of all, actually wants to put him back in power. This is about Trump, but not just about Trump.”
  • “This is what the current Republican party is: the very few voices siding against Trumpism are being shunned and ostracized, and most Republicans are united in their quest to install authoritarian rule by a reactionary minority.
  • “White conservatives consider themselves the sole proponents of ‘real America’ and therefore entitled to rule, as is the party that focuses almost solely on their interests and sensibilities. This is the basis on which 147 Congressional Republicans voted to overturn the election results even after the assault on the Capitol. This is why the Republican Party officially defended the violent attack of January 6 as ‘legitimate political discourse.’ This is why Republicans are either explicitly running on the Big Lie or, at the very least, are lending legitimacy to the idea that there was something wrong with the 2020 election…They are working hard at the state level to get themselves in a position to execute that blueprint more effectively. They have escalated their election subversion efforts into an all-out assault on state election systems. Republican-led state legislatures are re-writing the rules so that they can influence future elections. Local officials who defended the democratic process are being harassed, purged from election commissions, and replaced with loyal Trumpists. There are so many snakes.”
  • “If someone is still on Team Trump in June 2022, we should assume they have found an effective way of giving themselves permission to stay on Team Trump no matter what, Bill Barr style, and to side with the radicalizing Republican party against democracy. That’s where most Republicans are: They either subscribe to the Big Lie outright; or they feel queasy about the specifics of the Big Lie, but consider Democratic governance illegitimate nonetheless; or, at the very least, they think anything is justified to defeat ‘the Left.’ The committee needs to communicate this unsettling reality to the American people, because that, in Judge Luttig’s words, is the ‘clear and present danger to American democracy.’ Even if it initially failed, that’s how Trump’s coup attempt might still succeed.”




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