Thursday, July 05, 2018

Top Republican Historian Is All In For A Democratic Win In November-- And Some Very Specific Advise For Max Boot


Max Boot is a 48 year old Republican historian who was born in Moscow. His parents emigrated to L.A. when he was young and he now lives in Westchester County. He writes books and essays for establishment publications, generally of the right-wing persuasion. He described his own politics like this last year:
am socially liberal: I am pro-LGBTQ rights, pro-abortion rights, pro-immigration. I am fiscally conservative: I think we need to reduce the deficit and get entitlement spending under control. I am pro-environment: I think that climate change is a major threat that we need to address. I am pro-free trade: I think we should be concluding new trade treaties rather than pulling out of old ones. I am strong on defense: I think we need to beef up our military to cope with multiple enemies. And I am very much in favor of America acting as a world leader: I believe it is in our own self-interest to promote and defend freedom and free markets as we have been doing in one form or another since at least 1898.
He hasn't been too pleased about Trumpanzee and on July 4th, he penned an OpEd for the Washington Post: I left the Republican Party. Now I want Democrats to take over. It's a snapshot of the never-Trumpers that are coming out of the woodwork as Trump locks down the GOP base and remakes the party in his own image. Although some grumble,vver the last few month, virtually every Republican office-holder, interested in a career in politics, has reinvented himself as a Trump enabler and rubber stamp. That might not be a great gamble.
“Should I stay or should I go now?” That question, posed by the eminent political philosophers known as The Clash, is one that confronts any Republican with a glimmer of conscience. You used to belong to a conservative party with a white-nationalist fringe. Now it’s a white-nationalist party with a conservative fringe. If you’re part of that fringe, what should you do?

Veteran strategist Steve Schmidt, who ran John McCain’s 2008 campaign, is the latest Republican to say “no more.” Recently he issued an anguished Twitter post: “29 years and nine months ago I registered to vote and became a member of the Republican Party which was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery and stand for the dignity of human life,” he wrote. “Today I renounce my membership in the Republican Party. It is fully the party of Trump.”

Schmidt follows in the illustrious footsteps of Post columnist George F. Will, former senator Gordon Humphrey, former representative (and Post columnist) Joe Scarborough, Reagan and Bush (both) aide Peter Wehner, and other Republicans who have left the party. I’m with them. After a lifetime as a Republican, I re-registered as an independent on the day after Donald Trump’s election.

A Trumpkin, just one

Explaining my decision, I noted that Trumpkins “want to transform the GOP into a European-style nationalist party that opposes cuts in entitlement programs, believes in deportation of undocumented immigrants, white identity politics, protectionism and isolationism backed by hyper-macho threats to bomb the living daylights out of anyone who messes with us.” I still hoped then that traditional conservatives might eventually prevail but, I wrote, “I can no longer support a party that doesn’t know what it stands for-- and that in fact may stand for positions that I find repugnant.”

I am more convinced than ever that I made the right decision. The transformation I feared has taken place. Just look at the reaction to President Trump’s barbarous policy of taking children away from their parents as punishment for the misdemeanor offense of illegally entering the country. While two-thirds of Americans disapproved of this state-sanctioned child abuse, forcing the president to back down, a majority of Republicans approved. If Trump announced he were going to spit-roast immigrant kids and eat them on national TV (apologies to Jonathan Swift), most Republicans probably would approve of that too. The entire Republican platform can now be reduced to three words: Whatever Trump says.

And yet there are still principled #NeverTrump conservatives such as Tom Nichols and Bill Kristol who are staying in the party. And they have a good case to make. Kristol, for one, balks “at giving up the Republican party to the forces of nativism, vulgar populism, and authoritarianism.” As he notes, “It would be bad for the country if one of our two major parties went in this direction.”

No one anticipated Trump’s takeover. It’s just possible, these Republicans argue, that we might be equally surprised by his downfall. Imagine what would happen if special counsel Robert S. Mueller III finds clear evidence of criminality or if Trump’s trade wars tank the economy. I’m not saying that’s likely to happen, but if it does, it might-- just might-- shake the 88 percent GOP support that Trump currently enjoys. That, in turn, could open the way for a credible primary challenge that wouldn’t deny him the nomination but that-- like Gene McCarthy in 1968, Ronald Reagan in 1976 and Pat Buchanan in 1992-- could help to defeat him in the general election and wrest the party from his grasp.

Personally, I’ve thrown up my hands in despair at the debased state of the GOP. I don’t want to be identified with the party of the child-snatchers. But I respect principled conservatives who are willing to stay and fight to reclaim a once-great party that freed the slaves and helped to win the Cold War. What I can’t respect are head-in-the-sand conservatives who continue to support the GOP by pretending that nothing has changed.

They act, these political ostriches, as if this were still the party of Ronald Reagan and John McCain rather than of Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller-- and therefore they cling to the illusion that supporting Republican candidates will advance their avowed views. Wrong. The current GOP still has a few resemblances to the party of old-- it still cuts taxes and supports conservative judges. But a vote for the GOP in November is also a vote for egregious obstruction of justice, rampant conflicts of interest, the demonization of minorities, the debasement of political discourse, the alienation of America’s allies, the end of free trade and the appeasement of dictators.

That is why I join Will and other principled conservatives, both current and former Republicans, in rooting for a Democratic takeover of both houses in November. Like postwar Germany and Japan, the Republican Party must first be destroyed before it can be rebuilt.
Goal ThermometerBoot, I just noticed, doesn't contribute to political campaigns. His last two-- his only two-- were $2,300 checks to John McCain in 2008. Max, if you want to see Democrats win the House in November, please (and no offense meant here) put your money where your mouth is, or pen is. The ActBlue 2018 congressional thermometer on the right will allow you to contribute, whether large amounts, or small, to some excellent Democrats running for the House. I know what you want is to rid Congress of the Republican rubber stamps and Trump enablers, so let me suggest a few candidates that I think would work especially well for you. Katie Porter in running in Orange County against a TOTAL Trump enabler, Mimi Walters. Across the country, Jess King in the Lancaster area is in the same situation, campaigning for a seat held by rubber stamp Lloyd Smucker. Jared Golden, a former front line marine, is up against Maine rubber stamp Bruce Poliquin. Lisa Brown is another good bet for you. The former majority leader of the Washington state Senate, she's running against the 4th highest ranking Republican in the House, Cathy McMorris Rodgers. How's that for a start? All good Democrats against all especially bad Republicans. 

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At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is thick with irony.

“It would be bad for the country if one of our two major parties went in this (Nazi) direction.”

But it's ok to shill for the other party that has gone in the fascism direction? Just because Hitler was worse than Mussolini?

"Like postwar Germany and Japan, the Republican Party must first be destroyed before it can be rebuilt." You're implying that you yearn for another civil war.

Where 62 million white racists (and the 5% or so of others who are just evil shitheads) live, there will always be a Nazi party. The only sure-fire way to eliminate that party is to kill them all. You thinking of doing that?

Also, since the democrap party is of no use to repairing this erstwhile republic, they, too, must be destroyed before they are rebuilt.

Where 65 million leftys live, there will always be room for a left party. But the democraps are NOT NOW and never will be again a left party. All they are is an angstrom less right than the Nazis.

Again, Mussolini is not the remedy for naziism. It's still naziism but more inept.

At 7:27 PM, Blogger edmondo said...

Jesus H. Christ....

You are celebrating the support for the Democrats from a guy who wants to destroy Social Security, Medicare and shred the social safety net.

You people are completely insane.

What's next, the support of the Bush family?

At 9:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

edmondo, you have correctly ID'd the insanity of the lesser evilism meme.

My Mussolini vs. hitler is an analogy that does not seem to register. Perhaps your observation will hit home.

Insane is correct. they want leftys to support gutting all social sustenance and kill old and poor people. death by a thousand cuts instead of a quick guillotining. just fucking insane.

At 4:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What this proves is that the "democratic" Party has moved so far to the Right that Republicans with a semblance of a conscience can now feel comfortable being a member. The remainder of the GOP is about to step off the edge of their Flat Earth and they don't want to go with.


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