I’m far more concerned about the bloodshed on the streets of Charlottesville than I am about the crocodile tears of “anti-Trump Republicans” like Bush White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter.
You have to listen to his comments in full on MSNBC’s AM Joy yesterday to appreciate just how blind to recent GOP history he seems to be:
If Painter has been a Republican for 30 years, then he knows damn well how long his party has been race-baiting. He knows damn well how the Republican Party resisted integrated schools, affirmative action, efforts to stop police brutality, and any and all efforts to remedy discrimination against African-Americans and other non-majority groups. He knows damn well that the GOP stopped embracing Abraham Lincoln decades ago–and wrapped its arms around the reactionary forces that gave rise to the viciousness in Virginia.
If Painter is so morally offended by what happened in Charlottesville yesterday, he will renounce the GOP today and leave the party. If Ana Navarro is so morally offended by what happened in Charlottesville yesterday, she will renounce the GOP today and leave the party. If any Republican who bore witness to yesterday’s terrorism is horrified by what they saw, they will renounce the GOP today and leave the party.
As disgusting as many of George Will’s views are, he at least had enough common sense to get the hell out of the GOP the moment Trump won the GOP nomination. He knew that to remain a Republican after Trump became the party’s leader was to be morally complicit in Trump’s actions.
Other Republicans left the GOP years ago when they finally realized just how morally bankrupt the party is. Former GOP Senators Jim Jeffords and Lincoln Chafee demonstrated uncommon valor when they severed ties with the GOP in the 2000s. As Chafee noted the night after Barack Obama conquered John McCain, the party’s devotion to divisiveness rendered the party incapable of governing:
[T]hat strategy, the Karl Rove strategy, if you will, of energizing the base, motivating the base, actually divides the country. And in the past, it’s been good at winning elections for Republicans, but terrible [for] governing. The Republicans have failed at governing. They’ve been great at winning elections by dividing the country and energizing the base. But then they have been in utter failure at governing because once you divide the country, it’s so difficult to govern.
And that was eight years before the dawn of the Donald.
I don’t believe Painter and Navarro are racists. I believe they have been willfully blind as to just how deeply depraved, just how morally savage, just how anti-black and anti-brown and anti-modernity and anti-rationality their party really is. Charlottesville was a rude awakening for both of them–and for Republican voters who aren’t total ghouls and hidebound bigots, but who have heretofore voted Republican because they think “Democrats are for higher taxes” or some such nonsense. Now, the truth about their party has been laid bare for the whole world to see.
Any Republican disgusted by what happened in Charlottesville yesterday has a moral obligation to their children and to this country to sever ties with the GOP. They may lose a few false friends. They may find it weird to seek alternate political routes. However, they will sleep comfortably for the rest of their lives knowing they did the right thing–and saved this country in the process.
UPDATE: More covfefe from the White House.