It’s a Fox News Universe and We All Just Live In It

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Over the weekend we learned that President Trump had begged and cajoled and threatened the Georgia secretary of state to manufacture a few extra votes so that Trump would be the winner of the state. Was that illegal? IANAL, but it sure seems illegal to me! And if it’s not, it should be.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz was acting as the leader of an even dozen Republicans who said they would vote to delay Senate approval of the Electoral College results on Wednesday. But that’s not all! Asked about this, he had the gall to say that everyone was getting too bent out of shape about it and we should all calm down.

Mean-meanwhile, several senators, including four Republicans, wrote a letter saying they would vote to approve the Electoral College results. In one sense this is a relief: four Republicans plus all the Democrats is a majority in the Senate, which means the results are certain to be approved and we can all move on.

But! Four Republicans. That’s it. Apparently the letter writers couldn’t dig up any more than that. So what’s going to happen on Wednesday? Are a bunch of Republican senators going to join up and give the Electoral College results a firm approval? Or are the four letter signers going to be it, providing us with the banana republic spectacle of a 51-49 approval?

All of this reminds me of two things that I’ve mentioned before:

  • All of the buffoonery and conspiracy theorizing surrounding the election has been led by Republican politicians who have no actual authority over election results. It’s just hot air. Conversely, every official who’s actually in charge of vote counting has acted honorably.
  • Whenever I look below the surface at something like this, I end up concluding the same thing. It’s not the Republican Party per se that’s gone nuts, it’s the right-wing media empire. It’s Fox News and OAN and Mark Levin and all the rest of the insane talkers whose only objective is to keep their ratings high by competing to see who can keep their listeners the most outraged. Republican politicians are in thrall to these voices and don’t dare to cross them.

As long as Fox News exists in its current form, American politics is going to be broken. But what’s the answer to that?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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