Two items caught my attention on Twitter early this morning, and they’re sort of related. First, this truth bomb from Julia Ioffe:
I repeat: the only people who were fully prepared to cover the Trump presidency properly were people who knew how authoritarian regimes worked. The Washington press corps, which treats politics as something between a baseball game and a Broadway show, was woefully unprepared.
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) May 20, 2022
There’s no excuse for how long most MSM outlets kept to the baseball/Broadway model. And I’ll believe they’re treating the ongoing threat to democracy as seriously as it warrants when the danger penetrates the skulls of more of their viewers.
But this NBC News story is a good start:
Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s top election official, faced an onslaught of threats after the 2020 presidential election for refusing to overturn results that showed Joe Biden had won the state. In those hectic weeks, she says she also received an especially disturbing piece of information: President Donald Trump suggested in a White House meeting that she should be arrested for treason and executed.
Benson, a Democrat, revealed the alleged remark for the first time in an interview with NBC News. She said she learned of it from a source familiar with Trump’s White House meeting.
The article doesn’t say when Benson learned of Trump’s remarks. I wonder if maybe someone saved that tidbit for a book, and Benson found out about it recently when asked to comment? Just speculating, but it doesn’t seem like something you’d keep under your hat.
Anyhoo, Benson is running for secretary of state again this year. Her Republican opponent is a Trump-endorsed delusional liar named Kristina Karamo, who claims the 2020 election was stolen and that Benson should go to jail. Karamo also has the endorsement of the Michigan GOP, so they’re cool with threatening to jail state officials for not stealing elections.
To NBC’s credit, the reporters call Trump’s lies about the 2020 election what they are — lies:
Since leaving office, Trump has continued to spread lies about the 2020 election despite audits in 39 states and more than 60 courts confirming the results. The messaging appears to be having an effect on the American public. NBC News’ most recent polling suggests that about 38 percent of voters across the country still believe the election was stolen.
The article also notes that Big Lie promoters who are running for key election posts “are on the ballot in 14 states, including the key battlegrounds of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Nevada.”
More reporting like this, please.
Also, did y’all know that Madison Cawthorn lost his primary race? Bring on the “Dark MAGA!”
ETA: Breaking from The Post:
Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed Arizona lawmakers after the 2020 election to set aside Joe Biden’s popular-vote victory and choose “a clean slate of Electors,” according to emails obtained by The Washington Post…
The messages show that Thomas, a staunch supporter of Donald Trump, was more deeply involved in the effort to overturn Biden’s win than has been previously reported. In sending the emails, Thomas played a role in the extraordinary scheme to keep Trump in office by substituting the will of legislatures for the will of voters.
Thomas’s actions also underline concerns about potential conflicts of interest that her husband has already faced — and may face in the future — in deciding cases related to attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Those questions intensified in March, when The Post and CBS News obtained text messages that Thomas sent in late 2020 to Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, pressing him to help reverse the election.
The coup-plotter’s husband should resign or be impeached.