Barbara Comstock is an old-school Republican. In yesterday's New York Times, she wrote that it's time for her party to abandon Donald Trump, whom she called a "dangerous and diminished man:"
When Donald Trump, the patron saint of sore losers, appeared at a Republican event on Saturday night and compared the 2020 election to a “third-world-country election like we’ve never seen before,” it wasn’t just another false rant from the former president. His words also described his attempted subversion of democracy in the run-up to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
Trump keeps repeating the trope that the election was stolen from him -- something that has repeatedly been proven false. Nonetheless, huge swaths of Americans keep believing the lie:
Mr. Trump’s lies are red meat to those in the conspiracy world who have already demonstrated what they are prepared to do. The danger also extends to states, as Mr. Trump tells people that election outcomes in Georgia and Arizona will be overturned, and he could be reinstated as president in August. How will QAnon followers or Oath Keepers respond when that does not happen?
Many Republicans rationalize ignoring his rhetoric: His speech on Saturday wasn’t even aired live on Fox or CNN, and he may end up being indicted in New York and occupied with legal and financial problems. So, this thinking goes, what’s the harm in humoring the guy a little longer?
The harm is that the lies have metastasized and could threaten public safety again. The U.S. Capitol Police report that threats against members of Congress have increased 107 percent this year. Representative Adam Kinzinger, a Republican, has noted, “There’s no reason to believe that anybody organically is going to come to the truth.” Representative Liz Cheney, another Republican, said, “It’s an ongoing threat, so silence is not an option.”
Unfortunately, Kinzinger and Cheney are crying in the wilderness. And the lie goes marching on.