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Is the Electoral Fix Already In? (Matt Taibbi)


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The 2024 presidential race increasingly looks like it will be decided by lawyers, not voters, as Democrats unveil plans for America's first lawfare election.
Matt Taibbi
Jan 26, 2024

The fix is in. To “protect democracy,” democracy is already being canceled. We just haven’t admitted the implications of this to ourselves yet.

On Sunday, January 14th, NBC News ran an eye-catching story: “Fears grow that Trump will use the military in ‘dictatorial ways’ if he returns to the White House.” It described “a loose-knit network of public interest groups and lawmakers” that is “quietly” making plans to “foil any efforts to expand presidential power” on the part of Donald Trump.

The piece quoted an array of former high-ranking officials, all insisting Trump will misuse the Department of Defense to execute civilian political aims. Since Joe Biden’s team “leaked” a strategy memo in late December listing “Trump is an existential threat to democracy” as Campaign 2024’s central talking point, surrogates have worked overtime to insert existential or democracy in quotes. This was no different:

(Snip)

NBC’s quotes from former high-ranking defense and intelligence officials about possible preemptive mutiny were interesting on their own. However, the really striking twist was that we’d read the story before.

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Summer, 2020. The TIP media blitz.

For over a year, the Biden administration and its surrogates have dropped hint after hint that the plan for winning in 2024 — against Donald Trump or anyone else — might involve something other than voting. Lawsuits in multiple states have been filed to remove Trump from the ballot; primaries have been canceled or invalidated; an ominous Washington Post editorial by Robert Kagan, husband to senior State official Victoria Nuland, read like an APB to assassins to head off an “inevitable” Trump dictatorship; and on January 11th of this year, leaders of a third party group called “No Labels” sent an amazing letter to the Department of Justice, complaining of a “conspiracy” to stop alternative votes.

(Snip)

This messaging would likely have worked after January 6th, when Trump’s post-electoral conduct rankled voters, as evidenced by an exit approval rating of 34%. It can’t now, since the word “democracy” has been appropriated to refer exclusively to the party that declared its New Hampshire primary “non-binding” and “meaningless,” canceled its Florida primary, is preparing mass technical challenges against third-party challengers like No Labels or Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (and has a rich history in that area; see accompanying Nader piece), is seeking to kick the GOP front-runner off the ballot, has mass-filed bar complaints against attorneys who represented that candidate, and has piled criminal counts atop its main electoral opposition.

Many who couldn’t stand Trump, would never vote for him, and have been willing consumers of the awesome amount of propaganda published on the Trump subject, now need to face the fact that they’ve been had. Transformed into the avatar of all bad things — a crude domestic combo platter of Saddam, Milosevic, Assad, and Putin — this vision of the über-villain, Trump, has been used to distract mass audiences from the erosion of “norms” at home. “Protecting democracy” in the Trump context will be remembered as having served the same purpose as Saddam’s mythical WMDs, the shots fired in the Gulf of Tonkin, or Gaddafi’s fictional Viagra-enhanced army. Those were carefully crafted political lies, used to rally the public behind illegal campaigns of preemption.

Voters, by voting, “protect democracy.” A politician who claims to be doing the job for us is up to something. The group in the current White House is trying to steal for themselves a word that belongs to you. Don’t let them.

 

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