In his daily newsletter, conservative commentator and Bulwark founder Charlie Sykes stated one need only look at the cast of characters who preceded Donald Trump's Saturday night rally in Pleasure, Arizona to see the path that the Republican Party is on as he gave far-right conspiracists a national platform to build their own followings.
On Sunday conservative columnist Matt Lewis pointed out that the speech by the former president -- who rehashed his usual litany of complaints -- was greeted with a yawn by the national media which instead focused on Trump's opening acts.
As Lewis wrote, "A few years ago, Trump rallies spawned breathless coverage and drove multiple news cycles. But The Times’ story isn’t even about the rally, and their mentioning it is mostly perfunctory," before adding, "To keep readers’ attention, The Times spotlighted a cast of supporting characters, such as Kari Lake, a Trump-endorsed candidate for Arizona governor who used to be a local news anchor. The photo of her in The Times shows her wearing some sort of cape, which I think we can all find mysterious. No wonder they used her."
Using that as a springboard, Sykes warned fellow conservatives that the future of a continually Trump-dominated GOP was on full display and that they should find it even more "deplorable" than what they witnessed while Trump was still in office.
Noting Trump's "continuing attempts to re-write the history of the January 6 Insurrection," Sykes stated, "You could see the GOP future in the whole show: a rally that featured all the misfit toys embraced by the Once and Future God King."
"The My Pillow Guy, Mike Lindell, was there, and treated like a rock star rather than a mental patient off his meds. Indeed, Trump’s rally featured the whole pantheon of deplorability; Rep. Andy Biggs and Rep. Paul Gosar were there, along with the state’s batty party chair, Kelli Ward," he continued with an accompanying clip of Ward bizarrely claiming there was election fraud in 2016 but "we defeated their cheating algorithm" and they would do it again in future elections.
Add to that, Sykes wrote, is the elevation of Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, "who seems to have a fetish for jailing people she doesn’t like," with the former television news anchor telling the Trump faithful, "I want to lock somebody down, and it's that liar Dr. Fauci and anybody who was involved in that corrupt shady, shoddy election of 2020. Lock them up."
Sykes then quoted National Review writer Michael Brendan Dougherty who wrote before the rally that nothing the former president and his new surrounding cast of characters are serving up has anything to do with policies that would help people, and is merely a list of grievances.
According to Dougherty, "All that is left of Trumpism are Trump’s grievances and aspirations. This is not an agenda that will win him high office, help his party, or accomplish anything for his countrymen."
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