“A dangerous trend among GOP candidates shows the Trump threat is here to stay”

Greg Sargent WaPo column:

A worse example comes from the leading GOP candidate for Senate in Nevada, Adam Laxalt. The former state attorney general’s effort to unseat Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto has Trump’s endorsement in what will be a hard-fought contest.

This week, Laxalt flatly declared his campaign will “file lawsuits early” to “secure this election,” as if it’s a foregone conclusion that a loss would be dubious by definition. Worse, Laxalt vowed to avoid the supposed mistakes of 2020, in which the election was “rigged” and the only failure was that Trump campaign lawsuits “came too late.”

Laxalt, then, will begin contesting any eventual loss right now, because otherwise Democrats will succeed in stealing another election. This, too, is a declaration in advance not to accept a loss as a legitimate outcome.

And then, when the press covered his despicable threat, Laxalt rejoiced that he was “triggering the media,” smarmily insisting the press is attacking anyone who wants “secure” and “fair” elections.

In fact, Laxalt is the one threatening to undermine secure and fair elections. Indeed, as this demonstrates, for Trumpist politicians, the refusal to commit to respecting legitimate election losses is now a badge of honor….

What this all adds up to is this. As it is, Trump’s “big lie” about 2020 has been widely echoed among GOP senate candidates, as Cameron Joseph documented in July.

But it’s gotten worse. In the nationally watched recall election in the most populous state — and in high-profile statewide campaigns in many key swing states — we’re all but certain to see future legitimate election losses treated as illegitimate by definition.

An important feature of all this is that the lies about the majorities who win fair elections, and even the undermining of faith that our electoral system is fundamentally capable of rendering legitimate outcomes, are essential first steps toward overturning such outcomes later. The lies are the foundation, the starting point for potential future efforts to subvert our democratic order.

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