Wednesday, May 6, 2020

You read it first in the Spy, Never U Bummers edition

But “Never Trumpers” are increasingly involved in the Democratic Party and have gradually shifted their tactics in that direction — effectively becoming a “Never Trump” and “Never Bernie Sanders” coalition. And they appear to be having more success shaping their new party than the one that many of them had been associated with for much of their lives. Here’s how that shift has happened. . . .

Many prominent “Never Trumpers,” [Proferssor Robert] Saldin said, operate and make a living in liberal institutions. “They think of their jobs as translating conservative ideas to liberals. They had invested in the idea that conservatism was respectable,” he said. In particular, Saldin said, these figures had worked hard to suggest that racism was not a major feature of conservatism. [Ha! – Ed.]
His boys are back . . . as Democrats!
“So they were particularly horrified by Trump because he embodied what they had spent their careers saying was not conservatism,” he added. . . .

The core argument of “Never Trump” Republicans goes something like this:
  1. Trump is a much worse person and leader than other recent GOP presidents (the Bushes) or presidential nominees (McCain, Romney).
  2. Democrats and Republicans who disagree on issues such as abortion and tax policy should put aside those differences for now and unite in opposing Trump because he is a threat to fundamental American values like the rule of law.
  3. And finally, there is a sizable bloc of Republicans who will join with Democrats to challenge Trump — so long as Democrats don’t move too far ideologically to the left.
This argument may not be totally true. And the “Never Trump” narrative is clearly self-serving — of course a group of conservatives who feel like they don’t fit in the current Republican Party prefer a more conservative Democratic Party that they can align with. . . .

 The “Never Trumpers” argument — that Sanders couldn’t win the general election, in part because anti-Trump Republicans (like themselves) wouldn’t vote for him– was compelling, particularly for a Democratic Party obsessed with beating Trump. And the “Never Trumpers” were already in the ideal positions to make these arguments and reach Democratic Party elites and primary voters — the web pages of The Atlantic, The New York Times and The Washington Post and on MSNBC. [Former Bush hack Tim] Miller, in an anti-Trump publication called The Bulwark, described how he and other Republicans had failed to mobilize effectively against Trump in the 2016 GOP primary and laid out a step-by-step guide for how Democrats could avoid the same fate. . . .

So “Never Trump” conservatives can probably make some demands of Biden, just like any other constituency in the party, and he might feel some need to court them.

And that seems to be happening. The former vice president hinted recently that he might name some Republicans to his cabinet or transition team. . . .

“I don’t know that Biden needs a message for ‘Never Trumpers’ — most ‘Never Trumpers’ are going to vote for Biden,” Miller said. But, he added, “I do think eventually the campaign should have a message for them.”

Mostly, “Never Trumpers” simply want Biden to run a general election campaign similar to his primary run, emphasizing more moderate policies and appealing to more centrist voters.
“I don’t want him to make crazy sacrifices to the left that he doesn’t need to make,” Miller said.

Perhaps it's not just sheer perversity that animates those who have correctly seen that the obvious truth that the Republican Party was and is nothing more than a collection of white racists, plutocrats and warmongers.  Perhaps it's the fear that, unlike those few who have made some effort to recognize their past misdeeds, the much greater number of Republicans who have not (what are your Contra buddies up to these days, Ana?) are peddling a new dog's breakfast of whoppers.

As far as we can tell, Max [Boot] is alone among the Republican Never U Bummers in seeing the line that connects 60 years of racist Republican politics to its current master practitioner, President Tiny Toadstool.  The remainder don't, or won't.

That make us fear that what the Billys and Daveys and Steves and Joeys are angling for is a place at the political trough once we are rid of the Tangerine-Faced Grifter, assuming we live that long. 
We fear that they will return to claim what they see as their rightful place in national politics based on the falsehood that Trumpanismo was an aberration from, rather than the culmination of, Republican policies.

They'll be back, trying out new lies to embroil us in new wars, like David “Axis of Evil” Frum, protect plutocracy and screw the poor, like Joe “I Ended Welfare!” Scarborough, avoid tackling climate change in the name of “deregulation,” and deny women access to safe abortions, like Nicolle Wallace, who once accused John Kerry of being insufficiently devoted to “fetal life.”

 . . . .

We can't let Republicans insinuate their shabby discredited policies back into the mainstream under the guise of some non-existent “third way.”  If they want a center-right party, we already have one: the Democrats.

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