'Epidemic of delusion' plagues Republicans desperate to win Georgia Senate races

'Epidemic of delusion' plagues Republicans desperate to win Georgia Senate races
Image via Screegnrab.

The official position of the entire Georgia congressional delegation—including its newly elected members—is that the state's election was riddled with widespread voter fraud that only affected three races, the two U.S. Senate contests and the presidential race.

The Georgia delegation sent a letter Tuesday to GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger urging him to grant the recount request of the Georgia Republican Party and Trump campaign after they supposedly received "hundreds of reports" of voting irregularities. Of course, no specific instances of those irregularities were detailed by Rep. Doug Collins, who's leading the Trump campaign effort, and David Shafer, chair of the Georgia Republican Party, in their letter to Raffensperger—just some generalities followed by lot of specific demands.

Nonetheless, Raffensperger simply waved the white flag Wednesday, saying he would oversee a full hand recount of the presidential race to be completed by the certification date of Nov. 20.

Raffensperger was left with little choice after nearly every Georgia GOP official rushed to throw him under the bus to appease the presidential contest's biggest loser, Donald Trump. Joe Biden, who leads in Georgia by some 14,000 votes, doesn't even need the state since he has already exceeded the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the election.

But Republicans in both Washington and Georgia are now pretending GOP state election officials presided over an unfair process because Trump and the two GOP incumbent senators didn't prevail. "There is an epidemic of delusion that is spreading out from the White House and infecting the entire Republican Party in the wake of this election," Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut told the Washington Post. "President Trump didn't win the election. Every single one of my colleagues knows this."

Exactly, everyone knows Trump lost the state fair and square—14,000 votes is an unprecedented deficit to make up in a recount. But Senate Republicans are desperate to keep Trump and his most rabid supporters invested in the process in hopes that they will turn out in big numbers for the runoff on January 5.

It's an open question whether Democrats or Republicans will manage to stoke bigger turnout for those two races between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Raphael Warnock and Sen. Kelly Loeffler. The outcome will decide control of the upper chamber and, crucially, whether Mitch McConnell has veto power over the agenda of President-elect Joe Biden, who resoundingly won the popular vote by north of 5 million votes.

But Republicans are now undertaking "a hell of a gamble" running on Trumpism and Trumpism alone, as Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel told Markos and me on The Brief Tuesday (second half of the show). On Nov. 20, barring some outrageous development, Donald Trump will be officially certified the loser of Georgia's presidential contest. Republicans will then be begging his base voters—many of whom outright despise and distrust institutions—to show up in January to send two mostly milquetoasty GOP candidates back to the U.S. Senate, one of America's most storied institutions. Is that really a winning formula?

And even as state Republicans double down on baseless conspiracy theories to enrage Trump's cultists, they will need to inspire heavy support from suburban voters after Democrats won suburban Cobb and Gwinnett counties this cycle for the first time since Jimmy Carter claimed them in 1976, according to the Post.

That's one tricky needle to thread. But one thing we can always count on is that Republicans will continue to look out for Republicans at any cost—even if it means putting democracy itself on the line.

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