Donald Trump, the parasite devouring the Republican party from within, has a warning about the 2022 midterms.

"If we don't solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in '22 or '24," he whined last week on his mommyblog. "It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do."

And Mitch McConnell popped another antacid. Because for Ol' Yertle, the most important thing is not relitigating 2020 for all eternity. He wants to win back both houses of Congress, and he can't do it if the Madman of Mar-a-Lago keeps telling the base to boycott the polls.

Yesterday the New York Times reported on an internal GOP survey of voters in Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's Georgia House district, which The Cook Political Report rates as R+28.

The internal survey found that 5 percent of Republican voters said they would sit out the 2022 election if the state of Georgia did not conduct a forensic audit of the 2020 election — a demand that some of Mr. Trump's hard-core supporters have made. Another 4 percent said they would consider sitting out the election absent an audit.

The possibility that nearly 10 percent of Republicans could sit out any election — even one in a solidly red district like the one held by Ms. Taylor Greene — was something Republican strategists said they found alarming.

Which jibes with the results of January's Senate runoffs when Republicans got pissed off and stayed home, handing the Senate to Joe Manchin. Which sucks mightily, but is certainly better than the alternative. (Shut up, yes it is. We're getting two more excellent judges confirmed this afternoon.)


And in case Trump was too subtle, Steve Bannon is making it perfectly clear.

"President Trump is saying: 'Hey, I'm putting you guys on notice. My people aren't coming out,'" he told the Times. "There could not be a bigger shot across the establishment bow."

As Robyn said last week, don't threaten us with a good time!

And that idiot's still at it. On Friday, Trump blasted out a "statistical analysis" "proving" he'd won Arizona, where Democrats are hoping to flip the secretary of state and governor's seats, as well as give Sen. Mark Kelly a full term in 2022. It was the same warmed-over bullshit about the impossibility of mail-in ballots going so heavily for Biden, salted with some nonsense about fraudulent ballots that are theoretically rampant and undetectable.

The precincts above 92% mail-in return rate represented 264,000 votes. If just 2% are fraudulent, meaning Trump votes went to Biden, that would be enough to change the so-called margin in Arizona of 10,457 votes.

It's pure fantasy, but if Trump is going to keep howling about the futility of voting in Arizona, it's unlikely to boost Republican turnout.

More immediately, Trump's antics threaten Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, who has tried to run as far away from the former president as possible without pissing off the base. A big wet kiss of a shoutout from the big man himself on Wednesday served only to gift Terry McAuliffe several news cycles of Glenn "Trumpkin" coverage.

As former GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock, who got routed from her northern Virginia seat in 2018, told the Times, "[Trump] doesn't want other people to win without groveling to him. That's the threat ... It's not about winning. It's all about him. And that's what's so stupid about Republicans even trying to deal with him, because you never know when he'll drive the car off the cliff."

Over at the Post, Philip Bump has a contrarian take. In his telling, Trump knows his base isn't going to show up next year, and he's trying to preemptively take credit for it as proof that the party is now a one-man band.

A natural conclusion, then, is that we're getting Trump's threat backward. Perhaps it's not that Trump is threatening to withhold the enthusiasm of his base unless the party does the impossible thing he demands. Instead, he's using the failure to do the impossible thing as the rationalization for why he won't be able to turn out his base.

Which seems a little 2017, TBQH. You know, back when people said with a straight face, "You just don't get it, man, Trump is playing 27-dimensional chess!" It was bullshit then, and it's bullshit now. He's a delusional iconoclast, and the question isn't when he'll drive the car off the cliff. The only question is whether he'll do it to all of America, the way did in 2016, or just to the GOP, like he did in 2018.

[NYT / WaPo]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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