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The Trump disease

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Remember how lots of people were surprised earlier in the week, when most losing MAGA candidates didn’t seem to be making any of their by now routinized claims of election fraud? About that:

On a Republican conference call Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), went so far as to suggest fraud in Nevada if Laxalt isn’t declared the winner. The midday call was hosted by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

There is no mathematical way Laxalt loses,” Graham said on the call. “If he does, then it’s a lie.”

What’s happening here is that there were about 48 hours when some Republican elites fantasized for a bit about a world without Donald Trump. Then they woke up, and immediately started getting on their knees again.

Former President Donald Trump plans to go ahead with announcing another White House run during primetime next Tuesday, despite pleas from top party officials and informal aides to hold off.

Though he is prone to change his mind, Trump, officials say, has been unpersuaded by arguments that he should hold off on making an announcement until after the mid-December runoff election in Georgia. Rather than being chastened by GOP criticism of the role he played in the Republican Party’s lackluster midterm elections, he has cast blame elsewhere and taken swipes at a potential rival.

He is confident he will emerge intact from this moment. One adviser said Trump views the current situation as reminiscent of 2015 and 2016, when the doubts about his political potency were pervasive, including within his party.

“It’s at their own peril,” the adviser said of the critics piling on Trump. “Bring it on.”

Trump’s team announced he will hold a “special announcement” at 9 p.m. next Tuesday at Mar-a-lago.

Trump absolutely cost Republicans control of the Senate with his endorsement of joke candidates in Pennsylvania and Georgia. That fact by itself would end the political career of any other man, but there’s something out there, and it ain’t no man.

Former President Donald Trump made unfounded claims of “voter fraud” in Maricopa County after Republican Blake Masters, his endorsed senatorial candidate in Arizona, lost to Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly. The race was called late Friday evening.

In a lengthy post on Truth Social, Trump claimed the result was “a scam” that could be attributed to “voter fraud” and that acting forces “stole the election,” which he said should be held again.

“People were forced to wait for hours, then got exhausted or had other things to do and left the voting lines by the thousands” in Maricopa County, he claimed.

Note this is a Fox News story, which indicates that Rupert Murdoch is trying to pull the plug on SkyNet. It’s way too late for that however.

And while it’s true that Trump is on one level merely a symptom of what’s being going wrong with the GOP for a long time now, the past few days have served as a nauseating reminder of the extent to which he also very much functions as an independent cause of that massive degeneration into frank authoritarianism and potential fascism.

His party — and it totally remains his party, despite those all-too brief fantasies of the rise of Ron DeSantis, Reasonable Republican ™ — is now entering the Find Out phase of the proceedings. Unfortunately the rest of us are forced to come along for the ride.

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