Some Republicans in Georgia are angry at their party for apparently “giving up” and acknowledging Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential race in the state.
Some are threatening to boycott the runoff elections on January 5 for control of the Senate.
While in-person protests urged officials to call the election for Trump, a number of Republicans on the “free-speech” social media website Parler have demanded a boycott of the Senate runoff elections, citing a conspiracy theory about “rigged” voting machines. Screenshots shared by reporter Marcus Baram showed that people on the app accused Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger of being “RINOs”–an acronym for “Republican in Name Only”–and trying to lead to victories for Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. Both Warnock and Ossoff are challenging incumbent Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, respectively.
Many of the posts bore a resemblance to language used by people who believe the QAnon conspiracy theory.
“DO NOT VOTE IN THE GEORGIA RUNOFFS, THE DEEP STATE WILL BE COLLECTING EVERYONE’S INFO. THIS IS A CHARADE, MEANT TO IDENTIFY PEOPLE WHO DON’T VOTE DEMOCRAT,” another user wrote. “STAY HOME. OSSOFF AND WARNOCK ARE A SMALL PRICE TO PAY.”
It would be pathetic if it weren’t for the fact that Donald Trump is driving the conspiracy theories and is lashing out at Georgia GOP leaders.
Surely, Trump knows that he’s encouraging people to blow up the Republican Party in Georgia and lose the Senate in the process. But Trump is carrying out his own version of Gotterdammerung — a scorched earth campaign that will cripple any politicians who don’t back him completely in his futile quest to overturn the election.
The problem is that by helping to destroy the party in Georgia, he risks leaving a legacy of total Democratic control of the government. And for what? A loyalty test?
The number of Republicans who really believe this is all going to work out for Trump, with him proudly mounting the rostrum to be sworn into a second term on January 20, is small and dwindling. So for the most part, this has become an entirely symbolic loyalty test for members of the GOP who fear losing the trust of “the base,” even as they privately wish they could move on.
So far, Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue have toed the line that the Georgia presidential race was stolen from Trump because of fraud. That can’t continue much longer. With all of Trump’s legal options seemingly failing, both senators will begin to be seen as ludicrous if they keep pushing fraud claims for which there is no evidence. This is not conducive to electoral victory.
Perdue and Loeffler are indeed trapped between a public-opinion rock and a MAGA hard place. And Republicans everywhere who long for their success may lock themselves into a thousand closets and quietly curse the narcissistic president who put them all there.
With no evidence of a stolen election forthcoming, Trump’s claims of fraud will soon appear to be nothing more than vanity. But that won’t matter in a close election if Perdue and Loeffler totally abandon Trump. They are tied to the president as surely as if Trump has a rope around their necks and is dragging them over the cliff.
And he’s likely to take the GOP with him.