Diary

Don't tell me how you have 'left the Right' when you were never a conservative in the first place.

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Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
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The Washington Post has, or at least claims to have, some conservatives amongst its stable of opinion columnists. We have previously mentioned Jennifer Rubin, who was supposedly conservative, but “has been one of the most vocal conservative-leaning writers to frequently criticize the Presidency of Donald Trump, as well as the overall behavior of the Republican Party during Trump’s term in office. Writing in the Huffington Post, Dr. Munr Kazmir criticized Rubin for being “completely against policies she herself had championed for seemingly no other reason than Trump being in favor of them”. Rubin was criticized by Warren Henry of The Federalistfor changing her view on John R. Bolton after he was named National Security Advisor of the Trump Administration.”¹

And we have previously noted Max Boot, whose Post biography states he “is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow for national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a global affairs analyst for CNN” is now the author of the forthcoming “The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right.”” In his Fourth of July column, the esteemed Mr Boot wrote:

I left the Republican Party. Now I want Democrats to take over.

By Max Boot | July 4 at 9:52 AM

“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 presidential 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.

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.”

Really? Just what positions can Mr Boot find repugnant, when interviewed prior to Donald Trump securing the Republican nomination, The New York Times reported:

Max Boot, a foreign policy adviser to Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, said that if efforts to block Mr. Trump fell short, he would vote against a Republican nominee for the first time in his life.

“I would sooner vote for Josef Stalin than I would vote for Donald Trump,” said Mr. Boot, who expressed optimism that Mr. Trump could still be defeated. He added: “There is no way in hell I would ever vote for him. I would far more readily support Hillary Clinton, or Bloomberg if he ran.”

Josef Stalin had his political opponents purged, sent to concentration camps or simply killed outright. He orchestrated the policy of forced collectivization in the Ukraine, the Holodomor, which led to an estimated twenty million deaths. An early partner of der Führer, Comrade Stalin seized half of Poland, under the terms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, forced the subjugation of the Baltic states, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, and invaded Finland. Under Comrade Stalin, the Народный комиссариат внутренних дел, or NKVD (the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) executed 25,700 Polish POWs who were thought to be men who would resist and subvert Soviet rule in the annexed areas of Poland. After the Third Reich turned on the Soviet Union, and the USSR finally pushed German soldiers back to Berlin and defeat, the Soviet dictator’s policies created a buffer zone of countries forced into Soviet Communism, brutalizing the millions and millions of people in those countries as well as in his own.

Mr Boot is described, in his Council on Foreign Relations biography, as one of the “world’s leading authorities on armed conflict.” You don’t need to be one of the world’s leading authorities on armed conflict to know that Josef Stalin was a brutal dictator and murderous tyrant; any college sophomore, heck most high school sophomores, know that much. While some have (sort of) defended Mr Boot’s remark as intentionally ‘facetious,’ I do not: no one with any knowledge of Comrade Stalin’s history, and no one who is as (supposedly) educated and sophisticated as Mr Boot would make such a remark and not understand the consequences of what he said. An educated man, trying to be facetious in that regard would have said he’d vote for Mickey Mouse or Elmer Fudd, or even, were he going for being extreme, Charles Manson, rather than Mr Trump, but he wouldn’t say Josef Stalin or Mao Zedong or Adolf Hitler.

Yet Max Boot did.

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.

Oddly enough, the initial partner of Josef Stalin actually did ‘spit-roast’ Jewish kids, in a manner of speaking, though the manner of death that Adolf Hitler chose for Jewish children might actually have been kinder than slowly starving them to death, as was done in the Holodomor.

Donald Trump is 72 years old. No matter how successful he is in his presidency — and even CNN is headlining a story entitled Trump’s winning streak is transforming America — he is out of office no later than January 20, 2025, just 6½ years from now. Is the utter hatred of a President who is a tremendous blowhard and an [insert slang term for the rectum here], but who nevertheless has a very limited time remaining in office really worth the damage that a Democratic majority and President could do, in pushing socialism — see: Tom Perez, Bernie Sanders and their newest rising star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — to wreck our economy, racial preferences instead of the equal protection of the laws, illegal immigration, and social change to push homosexuality and transgenderism as normal?

Mr Boot concluded:

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 be destroyed before it can be rebuilt.

In “destroy(ing)” the Republican Party to rebuild it, the very things that Republicans, including those who were Republicans before the rise of President Trump, including, purportedly, George Will and Bill Kristol and Jennifer Rubin and Max Boot, have politically opposed would be imposed by a Democratic President and Congress. Bakers and other service providers would no longer have the freedom to decline to participate in ceremonies they personally or religiously found repugnant, government preferences based on race would be continued, our Second Amendment rights would be curtailed, our freedom of speech would be subjected to ‘hate speech’ restrictions, taxes would be higher, defense preparedness would be cut to fund more cockamamie social programs and giveaways, and the federal courts would be packed with clones of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

But wait, isn’t that what Mr Boot has wanted all along? From Wikipedia:

In an opinion piece for Foreign Policy in September 2017, Max Boot outlines his views thusly: “I 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.”

In December 2017, also in Foreign Policy, Boot wrote that recent events—particularly since the 2016 election of Donald Trump as president—had caused him to rethink some of his previous views concerning the existence of white privilege and male privilege. “In the last few years, in particular, it has become impossible for me to deny the reality of discrimination, harassment, even violence that people of color and women continue to experience in modern-day America from a power structure that remains for the most part in the hands of straight, white males. People like me, in other words. Whether I realize it or not, I have benefited from my skin color and my gender—and those of a different gender or sexuality or skin color have suffered because of it.”

While he holds some views that would appeal more to Republicans, what I am reading is closer to the description of a left-of-center Democrat.  In changing his registration away from the GOP, Mr Boot is not leaving his old party, but abandoning his long pretense of being a Republican.  Perhaps being registered as a Republican, and claiming to be a conservative, helped Mr Boot, as it did Miss Rubin, to get that gig as a ‘conservative’ columnist for The Washington Post, but the truth has come out now: he was never a Republican, never a conservative in the first place.
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Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.
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¹ – Wikipedia article on Miss Rubin.