There is no doubt what the former president and certain other boot-lickers in his camp want from this recently concluded but not yet published audit. But genuine, long term Republican power brokers might have a better gambit in mind.
The Cyber Ninja company would be ideal for this because they are so legitimately pro Trump and pro conspiracy theory. If they publish a report saying the count was accurate, the machines did NOT flip votes, all ballots were legitimate, and that statistical analysis shows the results were what was expected . . .
That would give Republicans the opportunity to side-step the claims of the orange menace without offending his base of supporters. “Hey, we looked! We sought the evidence to overturn the election outcome, but alas, turns out old sleepy Joe won after all.”
That leads to the perfect opportunity to start talking about the future- the past has past. Now let’s focus on moving forward and yadda, yadda, yadda. Midterms are coming soon so let us retake both houses - - and in 2024 we need to continue the work on all those things YOU, our voters care about . . . Border security, taxes, white privilege, values judges and justices, etc., etc., etc.
The results of the audit can only come out in one of two distinctly different ways:
They can find something which all the other audits missed (which will benefit them none at all and be disputed even by fellow Republicans). Or
They can publish something similar to what Michigan did recently and start to earn back a few of those defectors the party has been hemorrhaging since 45 lost last November.
Option two is easily the best tactical decision for all levels of the Republican Party plus it is a way to cut the anchor loose and start new strategies for 2022 and 2024 without sacrificing the hard-core base. (And yes, some will develop new and more complex theories but his base keeps halving- at some point Zeno’s Paradox will make them statistically insignificant.)
Personally, I hope the shit flinging orange gibbon stays in relative power for one more year so he can sabotage the midterms for Republicans in 2022 as his capping political achievement right before starting his lengthy prison terms. But the party might be smart enough to cause this audit to be a Judo move, using his own force (his base and his claims) against him. If enough Republicans say he lost, the loss can be pinned on him as it should be. Right now for far too many gullible people the loss is being pinned on Dominion voting machines.
Nah. The audit is being pushed by die hard Trumpers along side punishing GOP election officials who didn’t toe the “stop the steal”-line. It’s going to fizzle out, but the Trumpers are only going to remember that “it was necessary” and the lack of results will only convince them the fraud was “just that good” or that there are still too many traitor never Trumpers hiding in the party.
The likely outcome is that Cyber Ninjas is just going to make the results up and claim the election was stolen; that’s what they’re being paid to do. Trumpists will lose their minds over it. It’s likely going to be extremely bad.
The Republicans who have stated the obvious truth that Biden won have been ostracized and removed from positions of power. It’s pretty clear that “Republican power brokers” see a lot more upside in provoking the crazy than in shutting it down.
Even if GOP leadership wanted to do as you say, the base no longer has any interest in objective reality. All they want is confirmation that their grievance is legitimate. Tell them otherwise and you’re toast.
Serious Republicans have had that opportunity in many places and ways, and nearly all of them that have been honorable and admitted that the election was legitimate are cast as “deep state traitors” and had numerous threats made against them and their families. Not sure why you think it would end up any differently this time.
Thank you for the replies.
I think you may have overlooked the fact that: “Fraud! It was stolen!” is not a sustainable strategy and the Republican Party is losing members like crazy. Whatever the intent of the audit originally might have been – they have a perfect opportunity to clear out the clown car if they [as a block] support a fraud free result. If they do, at least five thousand registered voters in Arizona will change back to the Republican Party within a week with another few thousand over the next year.
The audit is being visited by die hard supporters, but many of those involved in working on it (not the actual volunteers- officials who are overseeing it) are embarrassed and ashamed to be involved with the whole mess. They do this ants in their pants dance for the local news (and even occasionally on nationally broadcast stories) where they say they are giving every conspiracy theory possibility its full measure of scrutiny. It is almost like they want to yell: “Just wait- we won’t look so stupid when the results come in! We are doing this theater to get the kooks off our backs so we can dismiss all the nonsense and move forward.”
When reporters ask about the bamboo and photographic images they kind of roll their eyes and say: “They [Cyber Ninjas] wanted that, not us.” Some of the legislature might be a bit sincere but not many any more. Opposing Democrats was so established as a party move that they seemed to do it automatically if they want to or not - - - if it makes sense or not. No matter what the results are, I am sure the Republicans will use it as an excuse to push voter suppression legislation. But like the Michigan report that stated there was zero fraud and let’s please move on, I suspect the Republican legislature here in AZ will do likewise.
The audit itself might find ten or twenty disputed ballots, but I think most Republicans want the crazies to re-holster their weapons and go back toward obscurity as much as the Democrats do. An hyper detailed audit that finds no fraud would be a perfect gift to those who want to change the narrative from- crazies fixate on previous election cycle to Arizona Republicans put past behind them and march toward the midterms more united and focused than they have been for years!
These people are crazy but they are not stupid (the elected officials that is- the mob that believes the conspiracies, not so much). They know this tact is neither smart nor sustainable- they have to change the narrative somehow and a clean bill of health for the last election cycle gives them the ammo to pivot to a new tact in an opposite direction. They thought Trump was a pain in the ass while in power- they surely want to dump him now that he has no power. They just want to do it in a way that does not leave the votes of his base on the table. If they are smart they will support the report that debunks the fraud claim. If Biggs and Gosar are the only two Arizonans whipping the dead horse of fraud all the better!
Of course the audit could return troubling results with evidence of bamboo and major miscounting errors. That seems unlikely because unless they burn the ballots themselves, the audit could be audited. I am sure Trump is calling Cyber Ninjas every week asking them to “find” just ten-thousand and one votes. But with the scrutiny this is garnering it would be risky business to falsify results. (Of course all of the ballots could be destroyed in a tragic vehicle fire, or by driving them into a river or canal. But as long as the ballots exist there is risk to playing games.)
Lastly, I realize Republicans, even after they have had their lives at risk at the hands of the man, tend to swing back into line with the orange one eventually. I am just afraid they might be smart enough to realize they have an opportunity to cut out the bat shit crazy ex-president without too much pain through this audit. It gives them a chance to be the sane opposition party again with a decent future.
Personally, I would love to see the two factions fight it out and destroy each other further diminishing the party I have belonged to (until recently) my whole adult life. Ideally Trump and McConnell will destroy each other and much less experienced and capable people replace them.
The Republicans will continue on the same self-destructive path they’ve been on. And it’s pointless to speculate about the conclusion of the CyberNinjas audit, because the plan is for it not to have one: As long as they can keep the audit going, they can continue to get paid for it. Why would they want to put a stop to that?
Eventually, of course, it’s going to conclude somehow or another, but even then, they’ll say that they weren’t done yet, and leave open the possibility of it being re-opened.
The guy who owns Cyber Ninjas, the company running the “audit” appears in a video full of crazies who support the stolen election lie. Another person in the video claims that his future self is sending him information to share with the present. The video was directed by a guy who did a video claiming that 9/11 was done by aliens.
My guess is that they will end up implying that there were all kinds of vaguely suspicious things, but it looks like the evil Democrats successfully distroyed the evidence of their wide-ranging evil doing, so stricter laws are needed.
I don’t believe I am expressing the idea very well but I will try again. I believe the Republican Party sees Trump as a spouse they hate and resent – but they can’t leave him or he will take the kids, the house, the car, and everything else of value and leave them with the bills. And then one day he is standing next to a cliff not paying attention when . . . . . . . his old pals at Cyber Ninjas release their report - - - and what a report it turns out to be!
That is why this would be a perfect opportunity for Republicans to change the narrative assuming the audit has some basis in reality. Unless they destroy the ballots they cannot very well claim to have found over ten-thousand Trump votes.
It would be like if Elisabeth Warren introduces a healthcare bill that is VERY progressive – but Bernie Sanders says it goes too far, it is communism in his opinion. Sanders would give less progressive Dems cover to vote against it. (If it is too progressive for Bernie it is just TOO progressive!) If Cyber Ninjas can’t find fraud – there just isn’t any fraud.
If Cyber Ninjas cannot prove fraud after months and millions of dollars – trying even the most bizarre methods it could be a great thing for the Republican Party. Sure Trump will fight against the outcome, but the party wants his nonsense to stop and way, WAY before midterms start in earnest.
Let’s try this from a different angle- the people who believe the big lie get their information from Tucker Carlson. They are sheep, they do not think well or for themselves. They are pinning so much hope on this audit; if Cyber Ninjas publish a report that sure voter ID laws would make things better, but no- we found no fraud and the entire Arizona party [excepting those too dug in like Gosar] support it, that would be the best thing that could happen to the long term health of the Republican Party. As pointed out above the only choice now is for elected Republican officials to go along or be sanctioned.
Michigan made a small beachhead with their report. That very weekend in Pennsylvania, Trump had his first rally since the election and he could not draw top drawer Republicans from that state. I expect Cyber Ninjas were hired to cast as much doubt as possible on the election without getting the party that ordered the audit indicted; but now they can use the audit for a greater purpose- they can change the story.
Cyber Ninjas is home court advantage with store bought officials!! They are the closest thing to a sure thing there is. As long as trusted, sincere, and long term Republicans accept the benign results – they change the narrative!! Greene and Gaetz will stay in the Trump camp as expected; McConnell, Graham, and McCarthy will keep their heads down and say as little as possible. But if others agree to stick together and “regretfully” accept an unexpected result it will change the story and herd the sheep back to other conservative issues. Trump can’t primary them all and even if he gets desperate and tells his followers to stay home and not vote at all the party can scare them into acting by simply saying: “Sure, stay home and let the Socialist Democrat Party take over our whole country.” However much they may want to support Trump they are not about to let the liberals take over!
The very fact that the auditors are openly pro Trump is what makes this such an opportunity for them. It would be very hard to convince even Trump supporters that Cyber Ninjas are in the bag for the election steal.
Like I said above, I would love for Trump to further destroy what was once my party and now is a big pile of stinking shit that does nothing but make this nation worse and worse. I would especially like to see McConnell taken down and replaced with a wilting flower who will blow leadership crisis after leadership crisis. But I fear they might be clever enough to use a report that lacks any hint of fraud to paint Trump as the loser he is and steal his followers away.
I think this was the original plan too. But now they have all this publicity and all this expectation of finding fraud and dragging the party into more insane nonsense. What if they step aside and trip the lie as it sails past? The Republican Party has lost about Twenty-Four Thousand members since January 6th in Arizona, don’t you think they would like to get some of those folks back into the fold? Other states have been losing Republicans also. The party wants to keep Trump’s donors and voters but get rid of stupid policies and lies. This is a way to do it.
I believe it would only take two weeks to change half of the MAGA crowd from “Stop. The. Steal!” to “Trump lost us the White House, The Senate, and a chance for the House!” And half is all you need with this crowd because once their friends believe something - - they have to believe it too. They have to be in a completely secure sound bubble and if they are making the wrong sounds and can’t find others to agree with them, well then they will just change their chant to match the crowd. I have not found one who is capable of being isolated from the herd. Those who can stand alone have already become progressives (or at very least independents who are suspicious of their old party).
A party consists of its members. A lot of GOP members are wholeheartedly embracing The Big Lie. The audit is only a minor part of The Big Lie, and whatever result it has can be spun to maintain the lie.
Of the ones that aren’t embracing this lie a large majority are some combination of self-centered opportunists, and believers in “The Democrats will destroy the country” and “the end justifies the means”. They will keep riding the tiger while it eats everyone who falls off and some of those who stayed off.
The GOP will either implode, or keep going on reality-denying fumes until it takes the country with it.
To the ones left in the party those are RINOs and good riddance. Some of them will keep voting republican. And if they don’t “hopefully” manipulating the next election will suffice. Some districts will go blue, but lots of districts are permanently red, come hell or high water, and the party now belongs to the insane wing.
If that happens the GOP loses the next presidential election. Trump brought out the vote, on both sides. A not insignificant of those votes were for Trump-the-disruptor, and only some of those votes will transfer to someone who isn’t all in on maintaining the lies.
I think we do understand you point, and I think you are partially correct, but I think you are really underestimating the tough place the GOP find themselves in. Yes, I think many in the GOP wish Trump never happened, that they could go back to dog whistles instead of fog horns, and quietly suppressing the vote while further enriching the already obscenely wealthy. But now their base expects no hold barred uncompromising culture war and there is no exit ramp.
If the Cyber Ninjas did what you said, the base of the GOP wouldn’t have scales fall from their eyes with the realization that Trump is bad for their brand. The reazilation would instead be that the Cyber Ninjas were actually liberal posers who were part of the coverup.
Yes the path the GOP is on isn’t sustainable. But how long has it been since the GOP worried about long term sustainability (or global habitability) when short term profits were on the line. Some old school Republicans like McConnell may think in those terms, but the average house member can’t afford to look further than the next election. That road passes through a gerrymandered district primary chock full of Fox news addicts who need their outrage based adrenaline fix. Telling these people that they aren’t the warrior for the true America fighting a desperate battle against dark forces who are trying to destroy everything they hold dear is just going to cause them to lose against the next candidate who will tell them what they want to hear. They are riding the tiger on this and its too late to get off.
As many have noticed, the GOP leadership has a tiger by the tail. A full force hysteria is driving the new fascism I mean republicanism. These are people who are so filled with rage that they are ready to assassinate Mike Pence. We are long past “strategy” and “the long game” here. I would say that the current GOP leadership can be divided into those who are purely into power for the sake of power (these are the bright ones) and those who are batshit crazy and couldn’t find a fact if it bit them in the ass. The bright ones, like dear Mitch, feel confident that lying and manipulating will let them keep hold of their jobs. The crazies appear to be one with their rabid constituents.
There is no “audit.” An “audit” is, by definition, an impartial examination of objective evidence to determine conformance with an expected standard or set of facts. If that’s what was wanted, Cyber Ninjas would not have been hired. What you’re seeing is a performance, and what they say are the “results” will not be based on objective evidence.
Moderate Republicans are not driving the bus. They haven’t been driving the bus for some time. It’s the fascists in charge of the GOP now.
Irrelevant. That sort of thing only matters to those who truck in objective fact.
What matters to the Trumpist isn’t truth, it’s truthiness. That’s what the GOP is selling. The message “OMIGOD ARIZONA WAS STOLEN!!!1!” will hike Fox and OAN and Newsmax ratings, get Trump lots more attention, and rile up the Trumpists. The news that it’s all bullshit won’t affect them at all.