I think I just realized something pretty basic:
(1) The Republican party is trying to end anything resembling democracy in America on the basis of the claim that the Democratic party is trying to end anything resembling democracy in America.
(2) The latter claim is obviously and egregiously false, and is recognized as such by the mainstream media.
(3) The former fact is just as obviously true, but must be treated as false by the mainstream media.
(4) It must be treated as false, because treating it as false allows a very literal maintenance of the Both Sides frame — “Both Sides are making absurdly hyperbolic accusations about how the other party is trying to end democracy in America!” — and the mainstream media cannot function on a day to day basis without that frame. It would be like asking sports journalists to cover sports without ever discussing the competitive outcome of those contests.
(5) So what we have here is the ultimate expression of the rule that every accusation made by the Republican party is in fact a confession. But it’s not a confession that can ever be accepted, because accepting it would disrupt the fundamental legitimacy of the two-party frame in America today.
That’s all. Like I said, pretty basic, but I haven’t seen this spelled out often, if at all.