Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Anti Trump GOPers Don't Know What to Do

They're 'in a quandry.'

"After Donald Trump sparked another week of turmoil, prompting President Barack Obama to question how Republicans can continue to support him, even the Republicans most critical of him remain unwilling to embrace his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton."

"But they have no consistent notion of what to do instead."

"Interviews with a dozen GOP activists who worked to block Donald Trump’s nomination reveal that their efforts have largely disbanded and scattered since their defeat at the Republican National Convention. Now, some are biting their tongues and supporting Trump. Some are fleeing the party altogether. Others are lining up behind Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and his running mate Bill Weld, both moderate former GOP governors. Only a few are doing the unthinkable: reluctantly backing Clinton."

“All we can do is hang on for dear life and hope for the best,” said Steve Lonegan, whose Courageous Conservatives PAC attempted to whip anti-Trump delegates at the convention.

"Lonegan had pledged to choose Trump over Clinton if he couldn’t prevent the mogul’s nomination, and he said Monday that he’s reluctantly in Trump’s corner for one reason: the Supreme Court vacancy. But don’t expect him to publicly advocate his position: “I’m done in the public realm,” he said."

"The hopelessness and despair of the anti-Trump crowd grew even more acute this week amid a series of Trump camp controversies that embroiled his campaign. With each new snafu — from inviting Russian cyber-spies to meddle in the election to disparaging the family of an American soldier killed in Iraq — the anti-Trump crowd’s indignation grows. But they’ve largely been reduced to trolling Trump on Twitter, encouraging conservatives to reject their nominee and resisting pressure to fall in line."

"Sally Bradshaw, a longtime confidant of the Bush family and veteran GOP strategist, made a sudden exit from the Republican Party this week and suggested she'd vote for Clinton in Florida if the race is close. The move, first reported by CNN and confirmed to POLITICO, was a last burst of fury at the party's embrace of Trump. She declined to say whether she hopes others follow her out."

"Leaving the Party was a personal decision for me and I’m sad about it," Bradshaw said in an email, declining to answer further questions about the decision."

"Her announcement was quickly followed Tuesday morning by Republican Rep. Richard Hanna's declaration of support for Clinton. And later in the day, Maria Comella, a former top political aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, threw in with Clinton as well."

Read more:

It comes down to how big a threat you think Trump is. Do you believe he's a threat to the Republic? If so, I don't see how you justify not voting for Hillary Clinton as Meg Whitman is also now doing.

Jennifer Rubin is urging her fellow Republicans that now is the time to ditch Trump:

"So, contrary to Trump’s assertions and Reince Priebus’s incessant spin, the GOP is not united. It’s less united than it was going into the disastrous Cleveland convention. Trump used the Republican National Committee to launch him into the race against Hillary; he now has no use for it. Coming on the heels of President Obama’s encouragement for Republicans to abandon Trump (which in fact makes it harder for them to do so), Trump appears bent on destroying what is left of the GOP and incinerating his own campaign."

"Worse, Ryan, McCain and others who, despite reservations, gave their endorsements are now getting nothing except the privilege of being humiliated. We have argued for months now that as soon as a Republican sells his political soul to Trump, he or she is in for constant embarrassment and is inevitably undermined by the intellectual and moral corruption required to stay in Trump’s camp. Republicans now must tolerate the intolerable, excuse the inexcusable and try to ignore the daily bombardment from the media. (“How can you support Trump when he says _____?”)

"Those Republicans who, unlike Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.), Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), declined to keep their distance are now sullied by every utterance, bizarre position and unhinged outburst of Trump. They can serially reject his remarks or rebuke his behavior, but their continued endorsement — now not even to be reciprocated — tars them as supporters of the party of Trump."

"Republicans would have been far smarter to have withheld their stamp of approval and maintained their dignity and principles. Unfortunately, none of the three whom Trump attacked seems poised to take the opportunity to back out of their Faustian bargain with him. So what next? There will be more humiliation and insults thrown their way. Trump will take more outrageous positions, which they will be forced to condemn."

"First, why do this? Trump is slipping in the polls and at this rate will lose states with competitive Senate races. Sticking with Trump at the expense of their own reputations and their ability to court non-Trump voters remains a curious strategy. Perhaps the only explanation is that partisanship and lack of political courage are the rule, not the exception, with our politicians today. As for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, only blind ambition coupled with extreme naivete can explain his decision to sign up as Trump’s running mate."

Indeed. Even the guy Trump really wanted to be his VP is criticizing him now.

I do think for House GOPers, it depends from district to district. McCain is screwed either way. He loses the primary if he goes against Trump. He loses the general for supporting Trump.

"Second, will anything force Republican to repudiate Trump? I suppose if attacking Gold Star parents, inviting Russia to interfere with our election and refusing to back vulnerable senators didn’t do it, nothing will."

"As Trump goes deeper into the gutter and his campaign spins out of control, he will, it seems, do grave damage to the party he temporarily took over and to lifelong Republicans who once were seen as principled leaders. Republicans can blame Trump, but it’s their own darn fault for refusing to man up and stop him."

John Harwood:

"longtime ally of Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager: "Manafort not challenging Trump anymore. Mailing it in. Staff suicidal."

"Trump campaign source, reacting to this, tells @alivitali, "It's all true" & "way worse than people realize."

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