Kari Lake lost her final bid to overturn the AZ 2022 election of Katie Hobbs. The matter is sufficiently analyzed elsewhere that I don’t feel any need to do so here. I’ll just say that her legal team sunk any chance she might have had to meet their evidentiary burden when they decided to pursue the case as a Reyes claim. That’s exactly the context in which the Court analyzed the testimony and found it wanting under ANY evidentiary standard, either Clear and Convincing or Preponderance. Costs remain to be assessed with a responsive filing date for Lake tomorrow, Wednesday, May 24th. I expect some costs might be imposed on Lake, but it won’t be at all commensurate to the damage she’s done to trust in our legal and democratic systems and norms.
Now that #LyingLoserLake’s Arizona lawfare campaign is basically over, what on earth will she do with all her free time as an unemployed (freelance?) liar?
First, we shouldn’t be naive enough to think that Lake’s chosen modus operandi will end here – she will continue to claim fraud and that she won the election until the end of her days. The courts’ close consideration of all of her claims, and wholesale rejection of them as lacking any sufficient evidence, will not stop her ‘successful’ fleecing of her MAGA base using lies and misinformation. She will continue to rattle her saber until she has exhausted any post-trial procedure on this latest case, likely trying to appeal all the way to the AZ Supreme Court. Again. That should keep her in the headlines for a few more weeks during the pendency of those appeals.
But she knows she’s nearing the end of this particular fraudulent schtick. She’ll never concede that she lost, nor that Hobbs was fairly and legally elected, of course, but her claims and rhetoric will likely change as a result of being unable to ‘credibly’ (by which I mean only among her MAGA base) hold out hope that she might become Governor.
I expect she will begin to turn her misinformation on the non-MAGA members of her own party, specifically those in Maricopa County, and on Governor Hobbs. She will spin more lies and delusions about the actions of people like Recorder Stephen Richer, Bill Gates, and others on the MariCo Board in an attempt to sabotage their political futures. She will likely attack the few Judges who presided over her cases and will likely focus more on her lies about Governor Hobbs’ actions as AZ Secretary of State during the election, as excuses for why she failed to prevail.
But the Arizona-specific targets may increasingly become a sideline business for Lake – like a little Etsy propaganda shop she keeps going as a side hustle for beer money. Without active cases, her fundraising will drop off considerably. To keep the cash rolling in, she will need a new crusade.
The two potential cash cows I can imagine are a new campaign for office, and/or a new conspiracy delusion to organize her flying MAGA monkeys around.
As to a potential campaign, the GOP nomination for 2024 U.S. Senate race in Arizona could be very lucrative, indeed. We know that these races can generate $100s of millions in donations because we are a rare swing state during an era of a very closely divided Senate. But that would require a commitment she might not be willing to embrace. She can do some initial ‘exploratory’ fundraising in this direction without a firm commitment to run – and likely will do so to ‘test the waters’ for a declared campaign. Doing so would grab a few additional news cycles, demonstrate her ability to appeal to MAGA-land as a federal-level candidate, and pump up her war chest a bit, so I fully expect her to announce that she’s exploring a bid in the coming weeks or months.
But I don’t think #LyingLoserLake will be satisfied with running for a mere U.S. Senate seat. The big time would be a national campaign where she can further raise her national profile — the Vice Presidency. She has already carbuncled herself to Trump’s posterior, so I don’t think she will actually declare for President and risk angering Trump (and she has ZERO governmental or executive experience), but I can see her becoming a major proxy for Trump during the primary in hopes of snatching the brass ring of a VP nod. Attack dog and factotum is one traditional route onto the ticket as a VP, and it’s the one Lake is well-suited to. Her obdurate lawfare and disinformation campaign over the AZ Governorship was a great audition for that role under Trump. Trump needs someone with the proven skill of selling his bullshit election lies to his base and there are few better-suited than Lake.
Trump will also increasingly need a proxy who can skillfully attack the courts where his many, many, many criminal charges are now, and will in the near future, be pending, as well as the prosecutors who file those charges and prosecute those cases. Lake has also proven herself quite adept and willing to attack our courts and the concepts of the rule of law and equal justice.
So, once all Lake’s appeals are rejected, I expect she will ‘explore’ a Senate bid, but ultimately decide not to run in favor of a role as Trump’s sidekick and button woman, and VP once Trump secures the GOP nomination (which I view as near ontological certainty at this point…). She will eventually settle into assassinating the characters of Trump’s GOP rivals and critics, pedaling and monetizing Trump’s lies about his own 2020 ‘stolen’ election and conspiracy delusions about the criminal charges he will be fighting heading into the 2024 race, and traveling as a major proxy for Trump while raising her national profile, especially in early presidential primary states.
The only silver lining about any of this is that perhaps she will finally burst out of her Arizona cocoon and spread her wings and fly away to poison the political culture of the rest of our nation? I’m not sure that’s a silver lining, really… maybe a tetraethyl lead lining?
That brings us to Lake’s new crusade topics. It might be enough to stay in her wheelhouse of election denial and simply turn to championing Trump’s election lies alongside her own, and to pedal lies to discredit the criminal process unfolding around Trump. But I suspect that isn’t a broad enough basis for a proxy and potential VP. She will likely take up one or more cultural grievances or fascist ideas as her hobby horse on the campaign trail for Trump. There is a broad universe of possible topics, and Trump’s own internal polling (and aberrant and abhorrent internal dialogue…) will play a determinative role in picking the topics.
My guess is that Trump will ultimately sic his attack bitch on one or more discrete and insular minorities who cannot effectively defend themselves. It’s kind of his favorite thing. Immigrants, trans-folk, and some thinly-veiled euphemisms for ‘international Jewery’, and possibly pro-choice women (somehow, blatant misogyny doesn’t read as poorly coming from another woman…), seem to me likely targets for Lake’s poison.
Trump will also surely want to further radicalize and prepare his base for violence, and to accelerate the denigration of our democratic institutions among the MAGA faction. I would expect attacks on Ukraine (which Lake has already done at this year’s CPAC in Hungary, choose Video and find Lake’s speech if you can stomach it…) and the valorization of Russia and Putin, attacks on any judiciary not dominated by oligarchic tools or religious zealots (especially those where his criminal charges are pending), disinformation and lies about democratic-leaning minorities’ cheating in elections, and targeting key GOP leaders who are not showing sufficient loyalty and fealty to Trump as tools of the ‘Uni-Party’ who need to be disciplined and targeted by the base to ensure they will play along with – or at least not openly criticize – Trump’s fascist aims.
As they say, forewarned is fore-armed. This is what I expect from Kari Lake in the coming months and into next year’s elections. She’s not going to go away quietly – just the opposite. Don’t get caught by surprise, and don’t say no one warned you.
Don’t go away mad, Ku Klux Kari, just go away.
Coming to any public venue near you, The KKKari Victory Tour where she’ll tell her (dumb) supporters how “she fought the law and she won!” Entry will be a mere $100 per person (cash only,) souvenir selfies with KKKari ($100,) cheap Chinese t-shirt just $55 and a discount coupon to her next rally. Her guest speakers will be Paul Gross-ar, Nick Fuentes and $$$leazy $$$inema. She may even have a link to her OnlyFans page.
hopefully sitting at home pulling wings of bugs and having the neighborhood pets disappear……