Biden came out swinging against Trump on January 6th, which enraged the former president, but something notable happened. Few Republicans stood up for Trump. Many Republicans tried the delicate balance of condemning the insurrection attempt on January 6th but not the guy responsible for it by propagating the Big Lie. It seems some have finally had enough.
GOP Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) was fed up with Trump’s ego when he appeared on This Week. He said what every non-cultish person already knew: "the  election was fair, as fair as we have seen."
This was followed by Mitt Romney, who will always stand up for what’s right--after someone else does it first:
Mike Rounds speaks truth knowing that our Republic depends upon it. Republicans like Govs Hutchinson, Baker & Hogan; Sens McConnell, Thune & Johnson; Bush & Cheney; plus 60+ courts and even the right-leaning Wall Street Journal editorial page agree: Joe Biden won the election.— Mitt Romney (@Mitt Romney) 1641841593
Then Senator Kevin Cramer, Senator John Thune, and Senator Shelley Capito backed him. Even Trumpy Senator Ron Johnson said Trump lost---although he said it in private and was caught on tape.
I'm not giving much props to Mitch McConnell, who immediately condemned the Big Lie last year, but is happy to capitalize on the conspiracy to support state-level voting restrictions that he believes will help Republicans. Anything to hold on to power, I suppose.
Then I watched a Fox person pile on:
BOOM! Fox host Briane Kilmeade said Donald Trump needs to "learn how to lose," because he saw no evidence of fraud.\n\nHow does that make you feel?— Jon Cooper \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@Jon Cooper \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1641915471
Everyone with the slightest degree of common sense knows Trump can’t handle losing. He said the Emmy’s were rigged; he said the popular vote in 2016 was rigged; and he even said Ted Cruz’s Iowa caucus victory was rigged. How you rig a caucus when the people are publicly counted in front of everyone remains unclear, but this was never supposed to make sense. No one ever explained who was doing the rigging, or how millions of ballots were fraudulent for Biden yet picked Republicans in all the down-ballot races.
Yet instead of believing that the guy who claims to get tweets from Korean War parents is lying, Republicans expect us to believe that all the poll workers, Republican state legislators, the media, Republican governors, Bill Barr, election officials, and all of the judges who threw out more than 60 fake cases--including the ones who were appointed by Trump--were all in a giant conspiracy to help Joe Biden beat Trump. The GOP leaders were so terrified of Trump they actually tried to make this plausible, at great cost to their reputations. Shame, however, is something you need to dispense with if you want to be a Republican official or pundit these days.
The GOP is turning on Trump’s Big Lie, but not because they suddenly got patriotic. These guys aren’t doing it because they want to save Democracy, but because, in Kilmeade’s own words, if “we simply look back and tell our people don’t vote because there’s cheating going on, then we’re going to put ourselves in a huge disadvantage.”
He’s right. The Big Lie may soothe Trump’s ego, but if the people he picks in the mid-terms lose and are told it was rigged, his cult-like followers will wonder what’s the point of voting. The only turnout depressed by the Big Lie is Trump’s own people. It’s a lose-lose proposition for Trump, but he’s too arrogant and dumb to change course. He all but said at an unofficial campaign stop that he’s going to run on his 2020 Election loss because that gets the “biggest applause” at his (increasingly sparsely-attended) rallies.
As Trump begins to lose steam, Republican leaders are finally beginning to break ranks. Trump’s cult seems to be open to following other authoritarian leaders, who Republican politicians hope next time won’t be as selfish and self-destructive.
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