House GOP investigations will be a 2-year test run to see if conspiracies still sell: columnist
Reps. James Comer and Jim Jordan (Comer photo by Tom Williams/AFP, Jordan photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP)

In a column for the Bulwark, political columnist Jill Lawrence suggested the upcoming barrage of televised hearings expected from the GOP-controlled House committees will serve as more than a chance for Donald Trump-aligned lawmakers to get revenge for two impeachments and a House investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The Republican leadership and campaign consultants will also gauge how the public responds to the hearings to see if there will be an appetite for conspiracy-mongering that can be implemented in the 2024 election.

Coming on the heels of a midterm election that saw a wide range of election-deniers hand-selected by the former president lose, Lawrence suggested the hearings on everything from Hunter Biden's laptop to Anthony Fauci's work during the Covid-19 pandemic will do more than provide fodder for conservative cable shows.

According to the analyst, "The defeat of election deniers running for important statewide offices last fall suggested a nation edging away from seven years of Trumpism. But that trend will be tested in the next two years, with supercharged Republicans newly empowered to spout conspiracies, grievances, whataboutism, and lies from official, high-profile platforms."

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That is not to say that far-right Republicans aren't trying to score points and Lawrence suggests the hearings might give the GOP a "dangerous" boost by undermining faith in the government.

'It’s a threat to all of us, especially given the historically close 2022 midterms in a historically divided nation. Jacob Rubashkin of Inside Elections writes that Republicans won their House majority by 6,670 votes in five races. And CNN analyst Harry Enten notes that neither party holds more than 52 percent of Senate seats, House seats, or governorships—which he says hasn’t happened since 1914, the first time all Senate elections were held by popular vote," she wrote. "By 2024, most voters could be so scared or fed up that they’ll hand the GOP a massive defeat at the polls. But it’s also possible that more Americans will buy what Republicans are selling. It wouldn’t take too many more of them to create a genuine red wave, forcing America to stay on a path that leads ever further away from truth, trust, and a healthy democracy."

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