A Common Sense Caucus Emerges to Elect Joe Biden

At least some Republicans are willing to put policy differences aside to get rid of Trump.

On the opening day of the Republican Convention, former Senator Jeff Flake not only endorsed Joe Biden, he brought 26 former members of congress with him to launch the group “Republicans for Biden.” Here’s what Flake wrote in support of that decision.

I have never before voted for a Democrat for president. But I’ve been asked many times over the past four years if I, as a conservative, could vote for a Democrat for President. “Sure,” has been my ready answer, “if he or she were a Joe Biden-kinda-Democrat.

Well, the Democratic Party just nominated a Joe Biden-kinda-Democrat, whom I am confident will approach his constitutional role with the reverence and dignity it deserves…

I have known Vice President Biden for two decades now. I served with him in Congress for much of that time. He is a good and decent man. I haven’t always agreed with him, and there will be many policies on which we will disagree in the future, and that’s okay. The steadiness of leadership, and the health and survival of our democracy — those things far supersede any policy issues on which we might disagree.

Just last week yet another group formed that is calling itself “Former Republican National Security Officials for Biden.” Here’s how they describe themselves:

We are former national security officials who served during the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and/or Donald Trump, or as Republican Members of Congress. We are profoundly concerned about the course of our nation under the leadership of Donald Trump. Through his actions and his rhetoric, Trump has demonstrated that he lacks the character and competence to lead this nation and has engaged in corrupt behavior that renders him unfit to serve as President…

While some of us hold policy positions that differ from those of Joe Biden and his party, the time to debate those policy differences will come later. For now, it is imperative that we stop Trump’s assault on our nation’s values and institutions and reinstate the moral foundations of our democracy.

To that end, we are firmly convinced that it is in the best interest of our nation that Vice President Joe Biden be elected as the next President of the United States, and we will vote for him.

Those two groups join the ranks of several others, including the Lincoln Project, Republican Voters Against Trump, and 43 Alumni for Biden. Individual Republicans who have endorsed Biden include John Kasich, Colin Powell, Christie Todd Whitman, Meg Whitman, and Chuck Hagel. In addition, there are those who have refused to endorse Trump, but have decided to remain silent on who they will ultimately vote for, including George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and John Boehner.

You might notice that all of the individuals speaking for themselves or joining these groups have one thing in common: they do not currently serve in congress or in the Trump administration. But as this video demonstrates, prior to the 2016 election, they all knew—which means they all know now.

I was reminded of the time back in 2013 when then-President Obama started talking about the possibility of a common sense caucus.

I do know that there are Republicans in Congress who privately, at least, say that they would rather close tax loopholes than let these cuts go through. I know that there are Democrats who’d rather do smart entitlement reform than let these cuts go through. So there is a caucus of common sense up on Capitol Hill. It’s just — it’s a silent group right now, and we want to make sure that their voices start getting heard.

In the coming days and in the coming weeks I’m going to keep on reaching out to them, both individually and as groups of senators or members of the House, and say to them, let’s fix this — not just for a month or two, but for years to come.

Major media outlets completely misunderstood what was happening and referred to Obama’s outreach as a “charm offensive.” But what was actually going on was that, as they voted to obstruct everything he tried to do, many Republicans would whisper in Obama’s ear behind closed doors that they agreed with him. But ultimately, party loyalty took priority over their views about sound policy, which is exactly what is happening today with their support for Trump.

At least there is a growing group of former members of congress and prior administration officials who recognize that the current president poses a unique threat to our country. They are standing up and speaking out as a common sense caucus to support the election of Joe Biden.

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Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.