This is a party that has spent years subverting norms of conduct, whether about filibustering everything or shutting down the government or weaponizing the national debt. And they just went through an election led by a man who took a flamethrower to accepted norms, who refused to release his tax returns, encouraged violence at his rallies, and led chants demanding that his opponent be jailed. You think Republicans who spent the last few months defending Donald Trump are going to feel bound to traditions of courtesy and reasonable behavior?
And even if the more genteel Republicans won’t dwell on the conduct of the 2016 election, all Trump’s talk about how everything was “rigged” against him is going to persist in the minds of his supporters, to the point where it could become almost an obsession. Talk radio will fill with conspiracy theories about how Democrats stole the vote from its rightful victor. Every ridiculous story from anywhere in the country (A lady in Waukesha says she saw an election official throw her ballot in the trash!) will get its own 12-part series on Fox.
Watch carefully what happens in the next few days. Battles on the ground between Republicans trying to intimidate, challenge, and discourage people from voting and Democrats trying to beat back those efforts are going to become increasingly intense. They’ll be going on in courtrooms and election offices but also on the streets, and don’t be surprised if tempers flare and a few punches get thrown.