But the conservative ecosystem that backed Elder’s run didn’t seem to be simply looking for him to win, even though the uniquely arcane mechanisms of California’s recall politics made it briefly seem as if that might be possible.
How do we know this? Because Elder told us.
Republicans are no longer running against Democrats. They’re running against democracy.
To be sure, our democracy isn’t perfect, but the real problems it faces are not fraud, but phenomena like denial of poll access, racist gerrymandering and the overwhelming shadow influence of dark money. All of which are being eclipsed by these persistent false allegations of manipulation, rigging and hacking, despite the fact that no fraud has credibly been found in any of the audits and recounts that have taken place in our modern era.
The Big Lie didn’t overturn the result of the 2020 election, and it didn’t work to get Newsom out of office. But it does consistently rally the conservative base and raise huge amounts of money, encouraging Republicans to keep spreading it.
We can only hope it won’t work next time either.