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'My way or the highway' noisy disruptors on the right impeding MAGA's progress

By Rachel Alexander
web posted March 18, 2024

A strange new phenomenon is sweeping the conservative base on the right, where mostly unknown armchair warriors are declaring that only their plans and solutions are valid, while everyone else is wrong and must be a grifter, controlled opposition, establishment or RINO. It is causing disruption on the right at a time when MAGA is finally uniting and becoming stronger within the Republican Party, impeding conservatives when they have a perfect opportunity to make some major strides. 

These disruptors no longer follow Ronald Reagan's mantra, "The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is an 80 percent friend and not a 20 percent enemy." Instead, their philosophy is, "We may agree on 99% of the issues, but I will spend all my time beating you up over the 1% we disagree on."    

Many of these activists appear to have unlimited amounts of free time, creating videos and posting on social media so much they acquire modest followings. Some of them frequently invoke the Bible, mentioning God and praying, which has the effect of causing other Christians to warm up to them. They spend hours scouring legal pleadings -- and many pleadings can be a couple hundred pages long when attachments are included -- so unless you have time to read all of the pleadings too, it is difficult to argue back and refute all of their arguments. 

Here in Arizona, the disruptors are attacking the attorneys for Kari Lake and Abe Hamadeh over how they are conducting the legal challenges contesting the results of the 2022 elections. Instead of supporting their legal efforts -- which are like David v. Goliath because the judicial system has become so corrupt and biased -- these armchair warriors tear down their attorneys, who are already under intense fire facing bogus bar complaints. These critics aren't election attorneys, are rarely attorneys at all and some don't even live in Arizona. 

However, they are successfully diverting the attention of many conservatives away from more productive things. Every day on X, I encounter posts from people attacking Lake's or Hamadeh's attorneys, demanding to know why they aren't taking the legal route that one of these armchair warriors has come up with. Lake has some very accomplished attorneys, like Kurt Olsen, who represented Donald Trump on his 2020 legal challenges. 

There are plenty of rational reasons why these attorneys aren't pursuing the other approaches, the main one probably being the judges will laugh them out of court. Yes, the judges should abide by the Constitution, and yes, these alternative legal arguments sound wonderful and noble in theory. They sound convincing to a lot of folks who are not election attorneys (I used to be the Maricopa County Elections attorney). 

But practically, with judges terrified of ruling in favor of Republicans on election issues, attorneys are forced to operate within a very narrow framework. Creative legal arguments that call for a judge to make an uncommon ruling are going to fail every time, and will likely get the attorneys disbarred. 

While it sounds great in principle to say that attorneys should be willing to lose their bar licenses over taking a dramatic nouveau approach in court, if they keep being disbarred, there will be none left to represent us. Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, who was wrongly disbarred by the left, often says the left is driving conservative attorneys to extinction. Not every conservative attorney has the resources to try novel legal arguments from armchair warriors in court knowing they will probably end up disbarred; many have huge law school loan debt and families to support.    

The best approach is likely looking at the 92 election lawsuits from 2020 and going with the arguments that worked on judges there. Of those cases, only 32 were decided on the merits, but 24 were decided in favor of Trump and/or the Republican plaintiffs. 

Other ways this damaging approach is playing out is nitpicking stalwart conservative leaders. Lake is the biggest conservative phenomenon in Arizona since Barry Goldwater -- and her credentials are solid, she says things even I wouldn't dare say -- but the armchair warriors endlessly criticize her; the grass is always greener. They'd rather go with a fringier candidate who will be unable to garner the massive support she has, raise as much money or attract key national attention. 

The late, great William F. Buckley Jr., my favorite conservative, coined the Buckley Rule, which is to support the candidate furthest on the right who is electable. Some of these armchair warriors aren't even Republicans, much less MAGA -- in Arizona some of them are from the Patriot Party -- yet because they apparently have all the free time in the world to post on social media, they are creating a demoralizing impression on the right that our very best candidates are full of flaws.    

The reality is fringier candidates almost always flame out once they come under heavy public scrutiny. There's a reason candidates like Lake have risen to where they're at -- they've been vetted by all kinds of political operatives familiar with weeding out bad candidates. 

The armchair warriors have one thing in common: an endless supply of criticism but no viable solutions. Many of their criticisms sound valid on the surface -- until you realize they could be used to nitpick and cancel the best candidates ever like Reagan. They sneakily criticize our best candidates for flaws that our worst candidates have, but the evidence is always tellingly shaky and missing the connecting dots. 

While Arizona is facing some of the worst instances of this, it is erupting all across the country. At this point, it can no longer be ignored, because it is getting in the way of productive work. While MAGA activists spend hours of time on social media following these disruptors down every little rabbit hole, they are not preparing for the 2024 election and figuring out how to thwart the massive election fraud that we all know is coming. ESR

Rachel Alexander and her brother Andrew are co-Editors of Intellectual Conservative. She has been published in the American Spectator, Townhall.com, Fox News, NewsMax, Accuracy in Media, The Americano, ParcBench, Enter Stage Right and other publications.

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