Donald Trump warned Republicans that his voters would stay home for the 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential election unless they found a way to overturn his election loss nearly a year ago.
Even Republican candidates who acknowledge President Joe Biden's win was legitimate vow to restore "election integrity" and push partisan "audits" of the 2020 election, because they know that's how to keep Trump's loyal base at their side, reported the Washington Post.
"This is at bottom an extraordinary display of naked cynicism," writes Post columnist Greg Sargent. "They are plainly doing this to keep Trump voters engaged for next year's midterm elections. No doubt they would bow down and kiss Trump's feet if he did run, but the immediate motive is crassly instrumental, and confirms [Sen. Lindsey] Graham's core insight as an operative one."
Graham has suggested that Republican quiet any criticism of Trump's attack on democracy because the party "can't grow" without him, but Trump's threats reveal that he has learned something about the GOP base's willingness to accept his election lies.
"The idea that Democratic and liberal election victories are inherently illegitimate — that when Trump and GOP voters find themselves in the minority coalition, it constitutes a profound injustice that must be subject to nullification — is clearly seen as playing an increasing role in keeping them politically engaged," Sargent writes.
"Trump's latest eruption shows, in reverse, that he understands this perfectly well," the columnist adds. "But what does the enthusiastic willingness of GOP leaders to exploit this derangement to their advantage say about the contempt they have for their own voters?"
Also Thursday: Top lawyers won't touch Donald Trump with a '1,000-foot pole' as legal crises escalate. WATCH:
Top lawyers won’t touch Donald Trump with a ‘1,000-foot pole’ as legal crises escalate youtu.be