ICYMI: Bombshell Atlantic Article Highlights How Democracy is At Stake Nearly a Year After January 6th Insurrection

December 7, 2021

Washington, DC — The Atlantic published a bombshell article this week, titled “Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun,” detailing how democracy is at stake following the actions around former President Trump’s Big Lie about the 2020 election and the chaos and violence that followed. Reporter Barton Gellman wrote about harrowing details of the January 6th insurrection, the efforts to overturn the election results from Trump and his allies that lead to that day, and what we can expect in 2024 given the current GOP efforts to subvert our democratic systems.


Gellman writes, “For more than a year now, with tacit and explicit support from their party’s national leaders, state Republican operatives have been building an apparatus of election theft. Elected officials in Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and other states have studied Donald Trump’s crusade to overturn the 2020 election. They have noted the points of failure and have taken concrete steps to avoid failure next time. Some of them have rewritten statutes to seize partisan control of decisions about which ballots to count and which to discard, which results to certify and which to reject. They are driving out or stripping power from election officials who refused to go along with the plot last November, aiming to replace them with exponents of the Big Lie. They are fine-tuning a legal argument that purports to allow state legislators to override the choice of the voters.”


These efforts to elect Big Lie supporters into office are happening at the state Attorney General level as well. From Texas to Michigan, Trump has already endorsed 2022 GOP AG candidates that support his lies and have spread dangerous misinformation about the 2020 election. Republican Attorneys General bear the responsibility for spreading the Big Lie and trying to overturn the results of the election. Texas AG Ken Paxton, who has been endorsed by Trump, filed suit with 17 other Republican AGs challenging Biden’s win. The importance of the coming midterm elections can not be understated.


As Gellman writes, “To understand the threat today, you have to see with clear eyes what happened, what is still happening, after the 2020 election. The charlatans and cranks who filed lawsuits and led public spectacles on Trump’s behalf were sideshows. They distracted from the main event: a systematic effort to nullify the election results and then reverse them. As milestones passed—individual certification by states, the meeting of the Electoral College on December 14—Trump’s hand grew weaker. But he played it strategically throughout. The more we learn about January 6, the clearer the conclusion becomes that it was the last gambit in a soundly conceived campaign—one that provides a blueprint for 2024.”


He ends with, “The midterms, marked by gerrymandering, will more than likely tighten the GOP’s grip on the legislatures in swing states. The Supreme Court may be ready to give those legislatures near-absolute control over the choice of presidential electors. And if Republicans take back the House and Senate, as oddsmakers seem to believe they will, the GOP will be firmly in charge of counting the electoral votes.”


Democratic AGs are on the front lines of defending our democracy, from protecting the right to vote, to defending our Constitution and our nation’s peaceful transfer of power. It’s more important than ever that we elect Democratic Attorneys General in 2022 that will uphold democracy and resist these efforts to upend it. And as Gellman’s article shows, we can expect those efforts to continue in years to come.

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