Last updated on September 13, 2020
It’s no longer unusual to find Jennifer Rubin, one of WaPo’s house conservatives, calling for removing many GOP officials. This morning, however, she went further and called for voting out all of them. On top of that, Tom Nichols, a leading conservative member of the Federalist, wrote the same thing in The Atlantic.
Start with Jennifer (I’ve written enough diaries about her I can speak of her on a first-name basis. She’s never heard of me, of course):
There are no innocent Republicans running for reelection to the House or Senate. Their grievous misdeeds, whether of commission or omission, were intentional. Their desire to maintain their good standing in the Trumpified Republican Party and avoid the wrath of President Trump’s deeply dishonest right-wing media allies overrode all considerations of decency, honesty and constitutional probity. Let’s review just a few of their disqualifying actions.
Followed by a list of their crimes, by paragraph, with a summary sentence for each:
Republicans facilitated corruption.
Republicans thereby enabled Trump’s abuses of power.
Republicans subverted U.S. national security.
Republicans have supported a commander in chief unfit to lead men and women in uniform.
Republicans have thereby helped foment racial division and violence.
In short, Republicans have put their own political survival above the lives of Americans.
Republicans have thus helped undermine the central attributes of democracy — free and fair elections, and the peaceful transfer of power.
Lots of us have been saying all this about the GOP all along, since Nixon and certainly since Reagan. When a conservative like Rubin makes our points, it’s like Nixon going to China. She even puts in a good word for Barack Obama:
There is no doubt that if President Barack Obama had committed any of these offenses and Democrats had been as derelict in their constitutional and moral duties as Republicans, the entire right-wing media and political universe would have called for Obama’s impeachment and removal, and for the defeat of every spineless member of his party. Over and over again, Republicans’ hunger to retain power at all costs has triumphed over their obligations to their fellow citizens. They have put Americans’ lives and the nation’s democracy itself at risk. In doing so, they have lost the moral authority to hold power. All of them.
Next, Tom Nichols, who starts off by saying “I was a Republican for most of my adult life” who really believed that ”While the Democrats were the party of recrimination and retreat, the Republicans were the party of the future.” Uh, right. But regardless, he now sees the GOP for what it has been for generations (even if he won’t admit that part):
Today the Republicans are the party of “American carnage” and Russian collusion, of scams, plots, and weapons-grade contempt for the rule of law. The only decent, sensible, and conservative position is to vote against this Republican Party at every level, and bring the sad final days of a once-great political institution to an end. Then build the party back up again—from scratch.
He blasts the GOP for clinging to Trump because of judges and abortion:
But Trump’s few conservative achievements are meaningless when compared with his war on American democracy, a rampage that few Republicans have lifted a finger to stop.
Romney gets faint praise, and it is faint indeed:
Conservatives must also let go of fantasies about saving the “good” Republicans, a list that is virtually nonexistent. (You can’t count Mitt Romney more than once.) The occasional furrowed brow—a specialty of the feckless Susan Collins of Maine—is not enough. The few, like Romney, who have dared grasp at moments of sanity have been pilloried by Trump and other Republicans. In any case, Romney is chained to the GOP caucus, a crew that includes the jabbering Louie Gohmert and calculating Elise Stefanik in the House, and the sniveling Ted Cruz and amoral Mitch McConnell in the Senate.
Nichols argues — and here I agree — that we need two functioning political parties. (Sometimes I think the Democrats take on both roles, given the wide disparities of its officials.) So we need a “reconstructed” conservative party. But first we have to totally demolish and dismantle the party that the GOP has become today.
It’s important to encourage voices like these. It’s kind of like Nixon going to China; he could get away with taking the necessary step of normalizing relations with the most populous country on Earth, when no Democrat could have pulled it off. (That’s one of the few things I give Nixon credit for, so don’t jump on me!) We need voices on the right to tell the right they’ve gone ‘round the bend, because they’ll never listen to anyone else. Maybe not all that many will listen to them, but some will, and it has to start somewhere, sometime.
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