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Strongman Envy

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December 14, 2022 3:03 p.m.

One of the most bracing, bizarre aspects of Mark Meadows texts with members of Congress is the fact that many truly seemed to believe the most absurd claims and conspiracy theories. This wasn’t just red meat they were tossing out on Fox and Newsmax. They were saying this stuff, in earnest, in the privacy of text messages with longtime colleagues. But even this, I would say, isn’t the heart of the matter. There’s something else we see in the very first texts, before the TV networks called the race but when the writing was clearly on the wall. It can most easily be summarized as: Trump can’t be allowed to lose. On Nov. 6, 2020, Rep. Brian Babin tells Meadows that they “refuse to live under a corrupt Marxist dictatorship.”

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