War-Mongering Failures Are Leaving the Republican Party, and No One Cares

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

The ritual puffing up of every former Republican official who leaves the GOP has become a bit stale over the last four years. When Trump was in office, everyone wanted their moment in the sun, with some leaving the party multiple times just to make sure it stuck and to get some extra of that sweet, sweet cable news action. I’ve honestly lost count of how many times S.E. Cupp and Max Boot have claimed to no longer be Republicans.

With Trump out of office, the virtue signaling hasn’t stopped though.

Reuters is reporting that dozens of Republican officials from the Bush administration are leaving the Republican Party, letting their registrations lapse or registering as independents. According to the interviews, they blame their abandonment on the Capitol riot and on current congressional leaders not abandoning President Trump’s claims of voter fraud. It appears unlikely that, with 45 Republicans voting to declare the recent impeachment unconstitutional, the Senate will be able to convict Trump.

You want to know why this is still happening post-Trump? Because it was never really about Trump. Rather, it was about all the unclean normals in the party who dared to question whether spending 20 years in Afghanistan was a smart play, if unlimited trade with the tyrants in China made long-term sense, or if unfettered illegal immigration actually helped the economy. The peons took control in 2016 and the establishment fossils really, really didn’t like it. Trump was just an easy foil, but he was never the real cause of their discomfort.

None of this is to say that purity was ever required. It’d be perfectly understandable if someone supported the war in Iraq, for example, and then later soured on it. But the arrogance of these now-former GOP establishmentarians would never allow that. They could never accept that they made the wrong call, or at least screwed up an initially defensible call. The same goes for our relationship with China. There’s too much money involved for the beltway dwellers to dare consider that enriching our biggest enemy on the planet isn’t smart.

Drew Holden commented on this in a succinct manner a few days ago, and I think it’s worth posting here.

Think about how screwed up the priorities are here. These Bush-era officials propagated disastrous wars while in power and supported more disastrous ones under Obama (Syria, Libya, etc.), resulting in the loss of at least a million lives over 20 years, yet it was Donald Trump talking about election fraud that finally was the line for them. That just couldn’t be tolerated. They could tolerate their own support for stupid policies in Syria that helped lead to over half a million dead, but mean tweets were the last straw.

There’s no actual moral center here. There’s just worship of the status quo. No one ever wants a moral reckoning over garbage foreign policy or bad trade policies that legitimately hurt people. Instead, they want morality to begin and end with decorum. Meanwhile, most other voters saw through that long ago, which is why you can’t even garner anymore close to majority support on the right for most of Bush’s policies and foreign entanglements, much less in the country as a whole.

These people are pariahs, whether they realize it or not. Sure, they may still be in polite company in Washington, but the rest of the country could not care less that they are leaving the Republican Party. Good riddance.


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