2022 Midterms, poisoned by lies and delusions exposed in Meadow’s lyrics
Just this weekend, the lie of widespread voter fraud — which led to the horrific attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters — dominated Republican forecourts in Michigan and Georgia. It’s also at work in other races across the country, fueled by Trump’s determination to turn the halftime into a theater of revenge and a platform to regain power in 2024.
And the messages underscore that the most important divide in modern politics is not the age-old struggle between liberalism and conservatism — a legitimate ideological duel over America’s meaning and direction. Instead, the great struggle of the early 21st century is between those in the Republican Party willing to reject democracy and everyone else.
The text messages sent or received by Meadows between Election Day 2020 and Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021 were received and reported by CNN’s Jamie Gangel, Jeremy Herb and Elizabeth Stuart.
They show how Trump’s most fervent and craziest supporters desperately tried to overturn a free and fair election, indulged in absurd fantasies about voter fraud that didn’t happen, and plotted to deny Biden his presidency.
Meadows turned the texts over to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 riot, before ceasing to work with the panel. Apart from anything else, they depict a White House Chief of Staff facilitating an assault on democracy rather than acting within a conventional and accepted definition of this critical government post.
She was among many House Republicans who have denied the truth about the insurgency and attempted to thwart efforts to find out the truth. But on Jan. 6, the texts show, Greene was among Republicans asking Meadows to get Trump to calm his marauding supporters who were making their way into the Capitol.
New questions for the committee on January 6th
The texts also suggest that the committee’s final report, following public hearings expected to take place within weeks, will paint a devastating picture of Trump’s efforts to undermine the election and cling to power.
But while they’re breathtaking to read, they’re unlikely to resolve the key emerging issues about the work of the House Committee. However damning the results, which are likely to leave a valuable legacy, will anyone really be held responsible for the worst assault on American democracy in modern history?
For many Americans battling high inflation that has led to skyrocketing prices for basic commodities and gasoline, the question of accountability for the January 6 insurgency could be retrospective more than a year later. And despite the lie about a stolen election dominating the Republican primary, many November elections could rest largely on the inability of Biden and the Democrats to project a winning narrative even as the economy improves in many ways.
But it is becoming increasingly clear that the lack of consequences for those who helped Trump in his damaging attempt to steal a legitimate election is having a dangerous effect by emboldening new attacks on democracy. The central national principle that the people have the right to elect their leaders – not a ragtag band of conspirators and power-hungry strongman supporters – seems threatened more than ever.
Several GOP primary campaigns are rooted in the lie that Trump won the 2020 election. The former president uses his considerable power in the party to promote truth-denying candidates. And he’s also trying to enlist supporters in key posts in the states that administer elections in spreading the falsehood that there has been massive fraud in 2020.
“The 2020 election was rigged and stolen,” Perdue said in his opening address on Sunday, proposing a topic he returned to frequently.
It’s too early to tell if such campaigns will electrify the conservative base at the expense of more moderate voters and potentially backfire on the GOP. But it is already apparent that the mendacious struggle over power grabs echoing through the Meadows lyrics still threaten the right of American voters to choose their own leaders.