Must Read Piece from NBC News: Republicans Predicted This in 2016, Then Got On Board Anyway

Liberals & progressives & general lefties have been screaming for years that Trump is unfit for office and that he has openly said and done things for years that should have disqualified him from serious consideration in 2016, much less the presidency over the last 4 years. Sometimes we feel like Cassandras, doomed to be disbelieved even as we tell the truth about our country’s inevitable fate.

But Republicans, too, warned the country. Nearly unanimously when Trump first entered the race the people in power in the GOP denounced him. They even compared Trump and his base to the No-Nothings of the 1850s who rioted in the capital and destroyed marble meant to finish the Washington Monument. Lindsey Graham famously declared that the GOP “will be destroyed” if they nominated Trump. “And we will deserve it,” he concluded.

But of course we know that Graham has been completely servile to Trump while the Schmuck a l’Orange held power. NBC News writer Benjy Sarlin documents this phenomenon of Republicans clear awareness of just how bad, authoritarian, malicious and mendacious Trump was and would be, paired with their clear embrace of the man as nominee and president. As Republicans now try to claim that they are distancing themselves from Trump because they have gained information, as they now try to excuse themselves for their support of his lies and hatred by claiming that they simply couldn’t know the threat Trump actually posed, it’s time to look unflinchingly at just how wrong, just how deceitful those defenses are.

The whole piece is worth your time, but here’s a taste anyway:

Cruz, for example, called Trump a “pathological liar” in 2016.

“He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies,” Cruz said at the time. “He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth.”

Cruz had reason to be angry then. Trump had spread outrageous conspiracy theories about the Cruz family, even implying that his father had been involved in the JFK assassination. Trump also refused to concede to Cruz in the 2016 Iowa caucuses, instead claiming his opponent had “illegally” stolen it.

It’s easy to draw a direct line from those complaints by Cruz to the insurrection at the Capitol, just as it is from hundreds of other times Trump made comments undermining elections, demonizing his opponents (and broad groups of Americans) with false claims, and revving his followers up with violent revenge fantasies.

Whatever else you can say about Wednesday’s bloody rampage, it was one of the most overdetermined events in history.




  1. says

    There are some choice examples:

    As his own campaign ended, Rubio likened Trump to “third-world strongmen” and predicted a “reckoning” after the election.

    “You mark my words, there will be prominent people in American politics who will spend years explaining to people how they fell into this,” he said.

    But even Rubio, who decried Trump’s effect on civic life in dire terms, spent the 2020 campaign cheering on the president. He particularly relished telling a fired-up crowd how Trump supporters in cars and trucks had surrounded a Biden-Harris campaign bus in Florida, forcing them to cancel events and prompting a federal investigation.

    “Did you see it?” Rubio said. “All the cars on the road, we love what they did!”

    I wish he’d skip the explaining and just STFU.

  2. says

    “Schmuck a l’Orange.” Smoley hokes, that’s golden.

    Facebook memes and screenshots saying similar things have come one after another in the last two days. The republiclowns knew, and they signed on anyway. In a sane country, they would be tried alongside Cheetolini as co-conspirators. Seize all their financial assets and let them beg for pro bono legal aid in their trials.

  3. says

    He also spoke openly about wanting to be president for more than 2 terms, presumably for life. The guy’s an open book, fortunately he’s incompetent. Meanwhile, the republicans are looking for someone who has the will, but not as stupid. Next time will be bad.

  4. says

    @Marcus Ranum
    I’m imagining someone sitting is a room right now, surrounded by advisors, with multiple television screens on the wall. A pen scribbles across the page.
    “Block signals, so media can’t report quickly. Ensure the national guard stays put. And timing, we need to have better timing…”

    The only real question is 2024 or 2028? I’d bet ’28. It’ll give them time to organize, let the base recover from the disappointment, and get some loyal people in position.

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