The Right Resistance: Irritated Anti-Trump GOP defectors shouldn’t expect sympathy or support
“Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
It’s something you might hear from a friend-turned-adversary who’s unhappy about a difference of opinion that’s cropped up between you. Whereas the two of you might’ve agreed on just about everything in your formative years together, time and changing circumstances intervened to place you on opposite sides of the original cause. The phenomenon appears in sports teams, marriages, business partnerships and political parties. It’s safe to say everyone’s felt the urge to add one last degree of hurt to a final parting. This is human nature.
Needless to say, the emergence of Donald Trump on the political scene six years ago created a crack in the Republican Party that’s since grown into an earthquake fault and threatens to widen further into a grand ideological canyon. The status-quo preserving political establishment can’t get over Trump, and they’re desperately trying to let everyone know how badly they feel about conservatives choosing the bombastic “bad orange man” over their much more civilized, “compassionate” brand of steady capitulation and decline of the GOP old guard.
As if groups such as the Lincoln Project and publications like The Bulwark hadn’t already conveyed a message of counterproductive disunion, there’s another convergence of wishy-washy Republicans whining that they’ve had enough of the GOP’s new pro-Trump orientation. These negative nellies seem dismayed that Trump-disparaging Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney was unceremoniously purged from her leadership position on Wednesday. They’re angry and want someone to pay attention to them.
Should we say, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out”?
“More than 100 Republican former officials, including some who worked in the Trump administration, are preparing to leave the GOP they view as being too firmly in the grip of former President Donald Trump.
“This band of impending defectors are signing a letter, [released yesterday], one day after a vote by House Republicans to boot Rep. Liz Cheney, a vocal Trump critic who voted to impeach him earlier this year, as conference chairwoman. Organizers told Reuters that the group is ready, barring a sudden change in direction by the GOP, to explore the prospect of a breakaway party...
“[S]ignatories of the letter, headlined A Call For American Renewal, include former ambassadors, governors, congressional members, and Cabinet secretaries. Among them are former Bush-era Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, ex-Reps. Charlie Dent, Barbara Comstock, Reid Ribble, and Mickey Edwards, as well as former Govs. Tom Ridge and Christine Todd Whitman.”
Pfft. Whitman, you may recall, spoke at the Democrat National Convention last August, so the fact she’s now signed a letter indicating she remains mad as heck and won’t take it anymore isn’t exactly newsworthy. The disgruntled loser clique also includes “Anonymous” Trump administration member Miles Taylor, who created quite a hubbub by cloaking his identity and leading what he called “internal resistance” to a Republican president from his own party. The media loved Taylor’s act, but now that he’s been outed and shown to be a nobody, who cares?
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Miles.
None of the #NeverTrump names on the letter would come as any huge surprise to someone who’s paid attention to politics in the post-Obama era. Easily recalled is the reaction of numerous Bush, McCain and Romney acolytes who publicly aired their dirty laundry during the 2016 GOP primaries and then led a “friendly” resistance while Trump was president. Only they didn’t do it with good humor or solid policy objections. No, the ticked-off, defeated “I’m taking my ball and going home” crybabies pontificated about presidential decorum and all the damage the New Yorker allegedly was doing to the Republican brand.
This was the party brand, representatives of which celebrated the two terms of George W. Bush even though he left office with approval ratings in the 20’s; and they almost seemed content and pleased when John McCain lost to Barack Obama because the latter’s skin color purported to demonstrate that a post-racial America (almost laughable these days, ain’t it?) would elect a black man. This is the same conglomerate that fought off conservative challengers to elevate the spineless Mitt Romney to the cusp of power in 2012.
Not to belabor the point, but Barbara Comstock, the two-term congresswoman from Northern Virginia, used to represent my former district (she was first elected in the 2014 GOP wave). Though tons better than the Democrat who ultimately defeated her (Jennifer Wexton), Comstock didn’t exactly embody a style of “fight for you and America” conservatism that would’ve given her a better shot at a second reelection. She’s the type of “keep my distance from Trump” politician who thinks believing in everything and nothing at the same time is a positive trait. What’s she doing now? Lobbying! Good riddance, Babs!
Perhaps Whitman or Comstock should become the figurehead and face of the new “breakaway” party that this vocal assembly of Trump-bashers hints they’ll form. Who knows what Evan McMullin is doing these days, right? Jonah Goldberg and David French aren’t writing for National Review anymore either. With Trump still consuming almost all of the media’s oxygen, it would be perilous if not impossible for any of these folks to otherwise mount a serious effort to court a substantial percentage of Republican voters.
And Democrats? Why would they contemplate switching to an undefined centrist party populated with former RINO Republicans? When you can have Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of her “Squad” as well as smilin’ Joe Biden, kooky Kamala and adherents to true socialism like Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren, what would motivate a potential changeover?
Here’s thinking even today’s anti-Trump Republicans would look within the party or try to resurrect the old Bush-ian mantra of neoconservative pro-interventionist foreign policy combined with a big dose of amnesty for illegal aliens and bowing to big business interests. Face it, many of the GOP’s former corporate supporters are now so “woke” that they don’t just sound like Democrats any longer -- they’re full-fledged members of the faction.
With many aspects of America seemingly coming apart at the seams under the decrepit, corrupt “leadership” of so-called “moderate” Biden, there isn’t much hunger for a third party anyway. The 2020 election certainly didn’t supply any hints that there was a groundswell of feeling for a choice other than senile Joe and Trump. The Republican’s nearly 75 million voters (10 million more than he had in 2016) wouldn’t move off the dime for Charlie Dent and/or Tom Ridge, that’s for certain. What do they purport to believe in?
Democrats have already announced their intention to push through -- by elimination of the senate filibuster if necessary -- a massive federal elections takeover (H.R. 1/S.R. 1), Washington DC statehood, an infrastructure proposal that equates social welfare pipedreams to roads and bridges, slavery reparations, a packed Supreme Court and extreme retro payments for student loans, etc.
This isn’t even mentioning the disaster that is the accommodationist Biden foreign and energy policies. Wanna pay more at the pump? Oh, that’s right, it’s already happening! Woooo!!!! America’s cities are more dangerous by the day and folks are plain fed up to the hilt with Democrat grandstanding on COVID and ridiculous mask mandates.
The media clamor over Liz Cheney’s unfortunate fate will die within a matter of days, and by the end of the month scarcely anyone will mention her name. Cheney’s moment has come and gone, much like the list of Republicans who grumble about “Trumpism” and threaten to leave the party if they don’t get their way.
Really, folks? I don’t intend to beg you to stay. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
The Lincoln Project
Christine Todd Whitman
Joe Biden policies