Thus, I have pointed out the various ways in which future presidential elections can be hijacked via strategies that tax lawyers would sardonically describe (in a different context) as "perfectly legal" -- that is, gambits that are apparently within the letter of the law but are still terrible outcomes. The Electoral College exists; the Constitution gives state governments the power to choose electors in utterly non-democratic ways; the Supreme Court has made it clear that Republicans can suppress votes and gerrymander at will; the Court might go even further and endorse the so-called Independent State Legislature theory to cut Democratic governors out of the process; and so on.
Earlier this summer, I pointed out that those mechanisms are ultimately put into operation by people, and we need to understand why so many people have become willing to subvert our republican form of government to maintain power at all costs. These non-mechanical considerations are important in understanding the on-the-ground reality in which all of this will play out. After all, even if Republicans could pull off their autocratic coup bloodlessly (based on the "on paper" possibilities that I have described), they are now encouraging a burn-it-all-down attitude. Will they bother to keep it tidy? Even if they wanted to, could they at this point stop it from becoming utter bloody chaos?
These questions are motivated, of course, by the right-wing freakout regarding the search by federal agents of Donald Trump's house to look for documents that he had illegally taken with him from the White House. (Those documents were apparently not difficult to find upon serving the warrant and searching the grounds.) The response from Trump, Republicans, and the wingnut-overse has been stunning to the point that it actually surprised people (like me) who thought that we had seen the worst.
But even short of the most extreme worst-case scenarios -- an outbreak of terrorist acts against Democrats, bombings of government buildings, and so on -- the terribly fascinating aspect of the Republicans' words this week is that they show the ground-level reality of what a country looks like when one major party simply abandons its commitment to the rule of law. Although I can point out that Republicans have identified the mechanical processes that they will surely use to install themselves in power in perpetuity, a big part of the lived reality is that they have stopped accepting anything like legal restraints on anything that they want to do.
Trump's supporters believe the lies about the 2020 election because they cannot and will not believe that they should ever be disappointed. That attack on the notion of objective reality is now trickling down into every aspect of accountability in government. Once people have accepted such a non-reality, everything else follows. "We didn't lose, because we can't lose," is not the attitude of the citizens of a democratic republic. It is, based on recent evidence, the attitude of nearly the entire Republican Party today."
http://www.dorfonlaw.org/2022/08/what-e ... .html#more