Conservative breaks down 6 'strands' of the GOP’s 2020 coup attempt — and warns that a sequel is 'on the way'
During the 2020 presidential election, many of the Never Trump conservatives who supported now-President Joe Biden over then-President Donald Trump were hoping that if Trump lost, the Republican Party would abandon Trumpism and return to a more traditional Goldwater or Reagan brand of conservatism. But a year into Biden’s presidency, authoritarian Trumpism is stronger than ever in the GOP — and Never Trumper Amanda Carpenter, in a listicle published by The Bulwark on the one-year anniversary of Biden’s inauguration, warns that Democrats had better prepare for the worst in 2024 because another coup attempt may very well be “on the way.”
Although Biden’s victory in 2020 wasn’t the type of mega-landslide enjoyed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932 or President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 — FDR won 472 electoral votes, LBJ 486 — it was decisive nonetheless. Biden won 306 electoral votes, and he defeated Trump by over 7 million in the popular vote. But Trump, the sorest of sore losers, continues to falsely claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him because of widespread voter fraud — that’s the Big Lie — and the ex-president and his corrupt allies did everything they could to overturn what were perfectly legitimate election results.
The six main strands of the Trump coup attempt, very helpfully laid out by @amandacarpenter:\n1. Conspiracy Theories\n2. Lawsuits\n3. Fake Federal Investigations\n4. Whipping Up the Base\n5. Fake Electors and Objectors\n6. Pressure on State and Local Officialshttps://www.thebulwark.com/the-six-main-strands-of-the-trump-coup-attempt/\u00a0\u2026— Bill Kristol (@Bill Kristol) 1642684262
“Donald Trump’s actions to overturn the 2020 election were dedicated, intentional and sustained over time,” Carpenter explains. “The insistent notion that Trump and his allies are ‘too stupid to coup’ should not be reassuring…. By the end of the 2020 story, Trump had learned just how loose are the dusty old frameworks like the Electoral Count Act.”
The conservative CNN pundit adds, “From the Summer of 2020 through January 6, 2021, Trump’s buffoonish plans evolved — ultimately taking shape as a multipronged plot to rob Joe Biden of the presidency, one that descended into bloody violence at the United States Capitol…. In several states that Biden won, Republicans went so far as to submit fake Electoral College paperwork to ‘certify’ Trump as the 2020 winner.”
Carpenter’s listicle breaks down that attempted coup d’état into “six strands”: (1) “conspiracy theories,” (2) Republican lawsuits, (3) “fake federal investigations,” (4) the “Stop the Steal” campaign, (5) “fake electors and objectors,” and (6) “pressure on state and local officials.”
Because Carpenter is conservative — she once served as Sen. Ted Cruz’s communications director and was a speechwriter for former Sen. Jim DeMint — some liberals and progressives will be dismissive of anything she has to say. But Carpenter is a constitutionalist and is vehemently anti-Trump, and her Bulwark listicle breaks down, in detail, the sinister elements of the MAGA coup attempt of 2020. It’s a listicle that Democratic strategists and attorneys should definitely read in order to prepare for the anti-democracy assault that the MAGA far right is likely to bring in the 2024 presidential election.
“Although Trump wasn’t successful in overturning the election,” Carpenter warns, “his schemes captured the hearts and minds of the Republican base, many members of the Republican elite, conservative media, and fringe militia groups alike. Those groups worked in concert toward an end goal of rejecting Electoral College votes on January 6th.”
Carpenter continues, “Hardly anyone could have predicted that after the election was called for Biden, such a sweeping GOP machine would insist that Trump won and work to make the fantasy come true — especially after each state met to certify their elections on December 14, 2020. What should have been a moment to make a firm break from Trump, to repudiate the defeated president, instead became a reason to unite behind his losing cause. Don’t think they won’t try again.”
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