Four and a half years ago I considered myself a Republican, but then Donald Trump became the Republican nominee for president. Once his nomination was secured and it was clear the GOP would welcome his rhetoric with open arms, the party as I knew it was long gone.
This is the first year that I watched the Democratic National Convention without a Republican lens and found myself agreeing with the issues, speakers and most of all the positive rhetoric. The Democrats spoke of love and family, showing just how personal this election is for so many. Despite the doom and gloom that surrounds us, somehow the DNC was able to showcase the best of America and convey that the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket is fighting to not only restore America but to make her more equal and just for all.
In 2008, when I voted in my first presidential election, it was for Sen. John McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. If you had told me that eight years later I would leave the Republican Party and that 12 years later I would be voting for Biden and Harris, I would have thought you were crazy. But in every life, there comes a time for important decisions and principled stands. Disowning the GOP and being one of the first to condemn Trump and his rhetoric is one of the proudest moments of my life.
Former chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele is joining the Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans working to prevent President Donald Trump's re-election.
"Today is the day where things should matter and you need to take stock of what matters to you -- and the kind of leader you want to lead in these moments. And for me, it ain't him," Steele, a political analyst for MSNBC said making the announcement to host Nicole Wallace on Monday afternoon.
These are anecdotal stories. This isn't data or analysis. The same strategy was a losing one for Hillary Clinton. So I'll believe it when I see it on the ground.
The target group chose actual Republicans over pandering Democrats the last time. I believe they'll do it again because I think they'll believe it would be in their economic interests. I don't think "thought leaders" and "influencers" will have any influence on this group.
“Well over 12,000 people pre-registered to participate over the course of our four-day event. That includes 466 delegates who are trusted activists in our movement from all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico,” says McMulllin. “They’ll be participating in a presidential straw poll, the results of which will be announced tonight, and ratifying a declaration of principles later in the week.”
The event will feature the sort of respected figures who no longer have a place in the GOP. Speakers include former CIA director Michael Hayden, former FBI director James Comey, former RNC chairman Michael Steele, former members of Congress David Jolly and Charlie Dent, TV pundits Amanda Carpenter and S.E. Cupp, human rights activist and chess champion Garry Kasparov, former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford and former commerce secretary Carlos Gutierrez. Hayden tells me, “The GOP has no platform because the wanna-be autocrat Trump hopes to be totally unchained in a second administration so that he can indulge his uninformed lunatic whims. And his whims can change from minute to minute, hour to hour.”
Finn is among many NeverTrump women actively working to defeat Trump. She says, “I’ve participated in the last four GOP conventions, worked three Republican presidential campaigns and once invested my career in a healthier party. Now, like many former Republicans, particularly young-ish women like me, I’ve lost hope in today’s GOP as my political home.” She adds, “The GOP’s decision to forgo developing a party platform at this year’s convention solidifies their descent into a party that stands for nothing but ‘winning,’ Trump and needling the press and liberals. Our Founders are weeping in their graves.”
McMullin deplores the RNC platform of simply a paean to Trump. “Unfortunately, at this point, it’s not a surprise that instead of producing a platform of ideas and policy solutions this year, party leaders are literally just reaffirming their loyalty to a man, who also doesn’t have any worthy ideas or solutions.” He adds, “Until the party realizes that and returns to its founding principles and unifying ideas to advance the American cause, it will continue to be a destructive force and experience electoral defeat.”
The question is whether there is a critical mass of such people who might form the nucleus of a reformed Republican Party — or alternatively, a new party that might eventually replace the GOP as the second national party. More important than the politics, however, will be the ability to generate ideas that are distinct from the Democrats and from the right-wing populism that has infected the GOP. “Trump emerged as the perfect reflection of a party that long ago abandoned serious policy ideas and principled ideology,” Jolly tells me. “The Convention on Founding Principles will hopefully reflect what a new party could one day look like.”
I emailed a friend about the alternate GOP convention. She hadn't heard about it, but made this observation:
our official Washington state primary ballots had many candidates who listed their party affiliation as "Trump Republican Party", others listed "Republican Party" and a few listed "Republican Party pre 2016
-------------------------------- Outrage is warranted. But outrage unaccompanied by analysis is a danger in itself.
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A caller--who identified himself as a lifelong Democrat-- told C-SPAN late Monday that he will be supporting Republicans this year after being inspired on the opening night of the Republican National Convention, citing the “heartfelt way" participants "came across to the American people.”
The caller, who identified himself only as Rick, from Lorain, Ohio, told the station that he decided-- in part-- to change his vote because of the way Republicans embraced the word “God.”
“The people on the Democratic side, at their convention — acted like they were pushing God right out of it. And that had a lot to do with changing my mind,” he said.
A group of onetime Republican presidential appointees who served as senior ethics or Justice Department aides are endorsing Joe Biden for president, warning that Donald Trump has “weaponized” the executive branch and is putting in peril the legitimacy of the Justice Department.
“I think a lot of us are extremely alarmed, frankly, at the threat of autocracy,” Donald B. Ayer, former deputy attorney general during the George H.W. Bush administration, said in an interview with POLITICO. “He’s going to be unleashed if he gets a second term. I don’t know what’s going to stop him.”
Other Republican appointees to endorse Biden on Tuesday:
— Alan Charles Raul, who served as vice chair of the White House Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board under George W. Bush and served in roles with George H.W. Bush as well as associate counsel to the president in the Reagan administration.
— Charles Fried, former U.S. solicitor general in the Reagan administration and an associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
— Stuart Gerson, an assistant attorney general under George H. W. Bush.
— Peter Keisler, former U.S. acting attorney general under George W. Bush.
— Paul Rosenzweig, who served in the Department of Homeland Security under George W. Bush.
— Robert Shanks, former U.S. deputy assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration
— J.W. Verret, who served on Trump’s presidential transition staff.
Republican aides who worked in the George W. Bush administration and for the late Senator John McCain and Mitt Romney vouched their support for 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Thursday, joining other GOP officials in rejecting President Trump's reelection campaign on the final day of the Republican National Convention.
In separate letters released Thursday, alumni of the Bush administration, Utah Senator Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign and McCain's 2008 White House bid and congressional office announced their support for the former vice president. The Republican officials said that while they disagree with some of Biden's policy positions, they value his record of bipartisan work and believe he can offer steady leadership as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, a weakened economy and deeply entrenched political divisions.
"Given the incumbent president's lack of competent leadership, his efforts to aggravate rather than bridge divisions among Americans, and his failure to uphold American values, we believe the election of former Vice President Biden is clearly in the national interest," more than 100 former McCain staffers wrote in a public letter.
Romney's former staffers were more forceful in their rebuke of Mr. Trump, saying that while some of them voted for him in 2016, they are all now worried about the GOP transforming into a "toxic personality cult" under the president's leadership. Romney himself has frequently crossed the White House since arriving in the Senate, and was the only GOP senator to vote to convict Mr. Trump in his impeachment trial.
"Since 2017, the results of that disastrous decision have been on full display for the world to see. Now, with a pandemic crippling our economy and strangling our national spirit, every corner of America is suffering at the hands of President Trump's erratic, inept, self-absorbed governing style," more than 30 former Romney aides wrote in their letter.
The group of Bush administration alumni, led by former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, focused on Biden's values and decency, implicitly criticizing Mr. Trump's conduct while in office, including his support of conspiracy theories and use of racist, sexist and divisive language.
"Joe's kindness is sorely needed right now. He famously treats the train operator with the same dignity as his fellow senators. As former public servants, we believe that decency in government must not be allowed to die on the vine," 230 Bush alumni wrote in their letter. "We must take a stand and insist that it returns to the Office of the President."