Mark Levin, the right-wing radio host, set off a Twitter firestorm on Thursday afternoon with this:

This is an explicit call for a friendly GOP state legislature in a swing state (say, Pennsylvania?) to appoint its own separate pro-Trump slate of electors to the electoral college, in defiance of the popular vote outcome in their state.

As legal experts have noted, such an effort would require a state legislature to do this despite its own state’s existing law directing the appointment of electors in accordance with the statewide popular vote choice. (It’s done this way in every state except for Nebraska and Maine, where electors are appointed based on the vote outcomes in congressional districts.)

It would be indefensible enough if a state legislature were to pass a new law before an election resetting the manner of appointing electors so that legislators alone make the choice, without regard to what the voters want. Here the call is for it to be done after the state’s voters have already made their choice — a direct overriding of their will, simply because Trump is losing, which is an unacceptable outcome.

As it is, GOP state legislatures in places such as Pennsylvania are already helping Trump try to corrupt the election. By refusing to allow the counting of mail ballots before Election Day, in the full knowledge that pandemic conditions would lead to an explosion of vote by mail, they’ve helped create the delays that Trump is now trying (but, mercifully, failing) to exploit to get vote counts halted.

But that’s not enough, we’re told. They should go even further and take an extraordinarily radical step such as this.

Worse, Levin is not just some right-wing troll. As David French says, Levin is “one of the most popular voices in conservative infotainment calling for unprecedented direct defiance of democratic and judicial processes. Unhinged.”

Even worse still, this Levin tweet was retweeted by none other than Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son.

I think this bodes badly for the recriminations that could be unleashed if Trump ends up losing. There will be a strain on the right that will insist that Trump lost primarily because Republicans refused to exercise every single means necessary, no matter how radically undemocratic, to keep Trump in power.

This, even though Republicans have gone out of their way to quietly tolerate many of the hideously anti-democratic and authoritarian moves Trump has made.

Yes, there have been a few Republican voices speaking up. But, overall, how much GOP criticism have you heard directed at Trump’s open demands for a halt to the count of countless lawfully cast ballots, or at his flat-out declaration that he expects the Supreme Court’s help in invalidating the same, or at his encouragement of supporters who surrounded Joe Biden’s campaign bus?

But the Trumpists want still more. They think Republicans should be marching across killing fields alongside Trump in his efforts to use fake claims of voter fraud to delegitimize as many ballots as possible, or ensure that they’re not even counted at all.

Trump Jr. himself just seemed to tweet in anger along these lines:

That appears directed at lawmakers such as Sens. Josh Hawley (Mo.) and Tom Cotton (Ark.) , who are positioning themselves to pick up the mantle of Trumpist populism, each in his own iteration, as a way to jockey in advance of the 2024 GOP presidential primaries.

If those stalwarts are already being cast as contributors to the Great Betrayal, just imagine how furious and bloody the recriminations will be if Trump loses — and we see the development of a kind of Lost Cause of Trumpism in its wake.

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