The end of the coronavirus pandemic is in sight, but the last stage is turning out to be the most virulent. The same might be said of the Trump presidency.

All six battleground states that President Trump was contesting have certified their election results. The results of the electoral college vote on Dec. 14 are a foregone conclusion. Even Attorney General William P. Barr says: “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome.” But instead of graciously conceding, Trump and his cultists are becoming more venomous and unhinged as the end draws near.

Trump’s Twitter feed remains devoted to promoting outlandish conspiracy theories about how the election was supposedly stolen; he even retweeted a user named “Catturd” to make his case. His former lawyer Sidney Powell retweeted a demand that the president “use the Insurrection Act, Suspend the December Electoral College Vote, and set up Military Tribunals immediately.” One of his current lawyers, Joe diGenova, says that former cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs, who was fired by Trump for rebutting his claims of fraud, “should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot.”

The Trump revolution is now devouring its own children. The president is attacking supporters such as Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona and Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia because they will not toss out the election results in their states. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, another loyal Republican, needs bodyguards because of all the death threats he and his family are getting. Even Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue — both of whom disgraced themselves by demanding that Raffensperger resign — haven’t gone far enough for some of the faithful. They are being accused of being “liberal DemoRats.”

Republicans are worried that some of their voters will not turn out in the Jan. 5 Georgia runoffs, which will determine control of the U.S. Senate, because they have been fed paranoid fantasies about ballot machines controlled by the ghost of Hugo Chávez. If so, it would serve the Republican Party right. This would be poetic justice for a party that has indulged its leader’s mad whims for so long.

“If Republicans don’t start condemning this stuff, then I think they’re really complicit in it,” Raffensperger told The Post. “It’s time to stand up and be counted. Are you going to stand for righteousness? Are you going to stand for integrity? Or are you going to stand for the wild mob?”

Raffensperger’s naivete is touching. Where has he been the past four years? Most Republicans are too terrified of the mob that Trump has mobilized to challenge anything that he does — even when he is mounting an unprecedented assault on the integrity of our electoral system.

The good news is that Trump will soon leave office. The bad news is that he will never admit that he lost to Biden by more than 6 million votes, and neither will his millions of devoted followers. (A new poll finds that less than a third of Trump voters express confidence in the election results.) He will continue claiming until the day he dies that he is a victim of a vast conspiracy encompassing both Republican and Democratic officials — a plot so fiendishly effective that no evidence of its machinations can be found.

Given that Trump cares nothing about the public weal, why should he ever admit defeat? Keeping the long con going not only offers a salve for his wounded ego but also possible salvation for his debt-riddled balance sheet. (Forbes reports that he owes at least $1 billion.)

Trump’s political operation has raised more than $170 million since Election Day with fraudulent claims of fraud. The campaign wasted $3 million on a recount in Wisconsin that expanded Biden’s lead in that state by 87 votes. It might as well have used donors’ money to light Donald Trump Jr.’s cigars — and it still might. As my colleague Philip Bump notes, contributions to Trump’s political action committee, Save America PAC, can be used “to fund basically anything,” including “memberships at golf clubs,” “travel,” “rallies,” “even payments directly to Trump himself, as long as he declares it as income.”

Trump claims to be an expert on winning. His actual area of expertise is how to profit from losing. He survived the bankruptcy of six of his businesses, and he will survive the moral bankruptcy of his presidency. He has now figured out how to monetize assaults on our democracy. He will keep going at least until 2024, and then either regain the Republican nomination for himself or hand it off to a favored sycophant.

A new McLaughlin/Newsmax poll of the 2024 Republican primary without Trump has Donald Trump Jr. tied for the lead with Vice President Pence at 20 percent. Ivanka Trump is at 4 percent. This isn’t the Republican Party. It’s the Trumplican Party. Support for the supreme leader trumps, so to speak, any devotion to democracy.

Post Senior Producer Kate Woodsome talks to Americans who voted for Trump, or simply don't feel like denouncing him, about why they feel wrongly scorned. (The Washington Post)

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