A mass exodus from the Republican Party is underway, with many establishment-favorite legislators quitting the ranks of Congress in what they are framing as a protest against their party’s populist figurehead.
While most Republicans see this as evidence that President Donald Trump is living up to his mandate of draining the swamp, the fake news smear merchants at the Washington Post frame this as proof that Trump is losing control over the GOP.
The Bezos-run lobbying rag published an article this weekend gushing over the quitters who have abandoned ship:
The vast turnover is a reminder of just how much Trump has remade the GOP — and of the purge of those who dare to oppose him. Former congressman Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) lost his June 2018 primary after challenging Trump; he’s now a Republican presidential candidate. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), the only Republican to accuse Trump of impeachable acts, quit the GOP in July citing the “partisan death spiral.” His political future is uncertain…
Most of the departing Republicans publicly cite family as the reason for leaving. But behind the scenes, Republicans say the trend highlights a greater pessimism about the direction of the party under Trump — and their ability to win back the House next year.
The president has doubled down on an all-base strategy for his reelection campaign, making some Republicans ask whether Trump has put his own political future ahead of the long-term viability of the party of Abraham Lincoln.
While the fake news wants to put these quitters on a pedestal, these former lawmakers are not likely to bow out with grace and dignity. There is a great chance they will become lobbyists based on their connections made in the Washington D.C. swamp. There are several examples of anti-Trump lawmakers who bowed out during the previous session already doing as much.
Former Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Lamar Smith (R-TX) retired last year and immediately became lobbyists for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a top international legal firm. Former Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) announced the formation of her own lobbying firm before she even left Congress in 2019.
Still, departing lawmakers have the nerve to paint themselves as heroes for cutting and running from public service. They lament the fact that the Republican Party is not pandering enough to diversity, and refusing to play nice with Democrats who are sending the country down the road to socialism and despair.
“The electorate is changing . . . and if you’re not staying up to date, and if you’re not talking to people who are going to be future voters, then you’re going to have a problem at the ballot box,” former CIA officer and departing Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX) recently said in an interview. “It’s women in the suburbs, minorities and young people — those are going to be the key groups and key voters in 2020.”
“Fewer than 12,500 people have ever done this. Congress has the opportunity to do incredible things for this country. I worked hard to be here. I love what it stands for. But I can’t afflict that trade-off, that sacrifice on [my son], when in fact all we’re sacrificing is just time because . . . we’re not solving the nation’s problems here,” departing Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI) said.
It will only be a matter of time before this election cycle’s quitter class ends up in lobbying positions as well. The Republican Party will be stronger without them, as they can be replaced by more nationalist, pro-Trump lawmakers.
Mitch McConnell Preparing Exit Strategies, Potential Successors in Advance of Possible Retirement
Will Mitch retire?
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly created a shortlist of potential successors, with the establishment Republican considering a possible retirement before his term ends. McConnell was reelected to another Senate term in 2020, and the Intercept broke the news of his retirement considerations on Thursday.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is reportedly McConnell’s first pick for his successor. Former UN Ambassador Kelly Craft and Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams are also possible replacements. McConnell, 79, has served as a Kentucky Senator since 1985.
Kentucky law currently would allow Governor Andy Beshear- a Democrat- to appoint McConnell’s successor if he retired. However, McConnell is pushing for the Republican state legislature to pass reforms allowing them to select replacements for Senators who have resigned. McConnell’s quiet boosting of legislative reforms to appoint interim Senators led to the reports of his potential retirement, although it’s unclear when he plans to leave the picture.
McConnell largely alienated the Republican Party with a forceful denunciation of former President Donald Trump during the second sham impeachment trial targeting the President, although he declined to vote to convict the President on the basis of legality. A Republican candidate in the mold of McConnell’s 20th century style would have a difficult time winning a Kentucky GOP primary, and McConnell’s appointed pick may start off in such an election with a considerable handicap. In addition, the legacy Senator remains popular in Kentucky, although at least one county party censured him for his betrayal of Trump in January.
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