Enabler-in-Chief Lindsey Graham And The Echoes Of Fascism

INSIDE: Ron DeSantis ... Blake Masters ... Elon Musk
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 4: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting to vote on Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Capitol Hill, April 4, 2022 in Washingt... WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 4: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting to vote on Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Capitol Hill, April 4, 2022 in Washington, DC. A confirmation vote from the full Senate will come later this week. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images). MORE LESS

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Shorter Graham: Don’t Make Us Hurt You

The GOP’s turn away from democracy and toward a low-key fascism (or not so low key, depending on your point of view), hasn’t come in one sudden lurch or entirely at the behest of Donald Trump himself. It’s been a steady transition enabled by countless so-called establishment Republicans. No one quite embodies the elected-Republican-as-enabler quite like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Graham’s comments over the weekend that there will be riots in the streets if Trump is criminally charged walked a fine between predicting violence and threatening it, Philip Bump notes.

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) took it a step further: “We see people like Lindsey Graham who are essentially saying, ‘Either allow [Trump] to get away with what he’s doing, or there will be more violence.’ That’s a fascist statement. It’s the use of violence for political means.”

But there’s another element to MAGA’s use of violence, its threats of violence and the incipient violence it celebrates: MAGA loves to blame the victim. We’ll have no choice but to unleash violence if you keep doing what you’re doing. If we get violent, you made us do it. Our violence is your fault.

Or as Ali Alexander (more below) put it over the weekend, as he rejected being called an insurrectionist: “I’d say be careful what you wish for, because you could accidentally gaslight the right into actually becoming insurrectionists.”

Tails I win, heads you lose.

Keep An Eye On This One

Judge delays Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s grand jury testimony in Georgia election probe until after the November election.

Mar-A-Lago Raid Tidbits

WaPo: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago documents already examined by FBI, Justice Dept. tells judge

CNN: Intel agencies began reviewing some Mar-a-Lago documents in May to assess classification level and risk to sources

NYT: Trump Request for Special Master Could Open Door for Delays to Investigation

Because The French Won’t Tolerate Sex Scandals?

Rolling Stone: Trump Bragged He Had ‘Intelligence’ on Macron’s Sex Life

Juxtapose that with what the FBI uncovered at Mar-a-Lago and it’s enough to make you go hmmm:

Secret Service Official Who Was Key Witness On Jan. 6 Retires

The retirement of Anthony Ornato comes just two days before a planned interview with DHS inspector general investigators, The Intercept reports:

[T]he inspector general had been attempting to interview Ornato since June 29 and spent all of July and much of August following up. … Ornato has indicated that he still intends to attend the interview, according to an email obtained by The Intercept, but since Ornato will be a private citizen, investigators won’t have testimonial subpoena authority to compel his cooperation.

The Insurrection Isn’t Close To Being Over

An unrepentant Ali Alexander made his first public speech since Jan. 6 and sat down for a Q&A. A couple of choice morsels (emphasis mine):

The significance of taking an issue (election integrity) after Election Day from a zero-percent issue to the top issue that Republican voters are concerned with can’t be understated. That’s not a me thing. That’s not even a Donald Trump thing. That’s a voter thing. But certainly Donald Trump and I poured gasoline on the proverbial fire

I usually think of it in terms of, ‘Do I regret organizing on Jan. 6th or not?’ and I don’t. In fact, I plan to be at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2025, … for whatever the Congress certifies. There’s going to be a winner. There’s going to be a loser. And I intend to hold a peaceful event. …

I’d say be careful what you wish for, because you could accidentally gaslight the right into actually becoming insurrectionists.

Is It Sinking In Yet?

The Atlantic: Trump’s Second Term Would Look Like This

What’s At Stake

President Biden is set to deliver a primetime address Thursday from near Independence Hall in Philadelphia on the fate of democracy ahead of the midterm elections.

Are You A Jan. 6 Obsessive?

LawFare has an extensive new report out summarizing and evaluating the Jan. 6 Committee’s evidence against Donald John Trump.

Must Read

Slate: Ron DeSantis’ First Voter Fraud Bust Is Quickly Imploding

Blake Masters Is Scrubbing That Campaign Website Hard!

First, the GOP nominee for Senate in Arizona scrubbed the extreme anti-abortion statements from his campaign website. But he apparently toned down his Big Lie rhetoric, too, CNN reports:

Arizona Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters removed language from his website following his primary win that included the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, along with a section arguing the country would be better off if Trump was still the president.

A review of Masters’ website by CNN’s KFile showed he also removed controversial language saying Democrats were trying to “import” a new electorate — language that has drawn fire for mirroring far-right conspiracies that Democrats are trying to weaken the power of native-born Americans of European descent through mass immigration of non-White immigrants.

GOP Can’t Run Away From Abortion Fast Enough

Paul Waldman: The great Republican abortion backtrack has begun

CNN: Some Republicans try to shift positions on abortion as general election approaches

Elsewhere In The Abortion Wars

New Yorker: Justice Alito’s Crusade Against a Secular America Isn’t Over

The 19th: How three women dealt with pregnancy in the year since Texas’ six-week abortion ban

AP: Women race political clock, cross state lines for abortions

NBC: FTC sues Idaho data company it says tracks people at abortion clinics

How He Died

Donald Ray Surrett, Jr., 66, served for 20 years as a combat engineer in the Army, stationed in Germany three times. He died while working at a Safeway in Bend, Oregon, trying to stop a 20-year-old gunman who entered the store and ultimately killed two people.

Of Course He Did

Elon Musk subpoenas Twitter’s whistleblowing former head of security to bolster his bid to back out of his $44 billion deal for the social media giant. Twitter’s lawsuit to force Musk to close the deal goes to trial in October.

The Last Of His Tribe

The last member of an uncontacted tribe in Brazil has died.

Tucker Doing Putin’s Work For Him

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