Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin blasted the Republican Party for enabling President Donald Trump to use his office to punish political enemies.
The White House last week announced the president had revoked the security clearance for former CIA director John Brennan, which some Republican lawmakers have questioned but have taken no action to oppose.
"Nowhere do we get from GOP quarters any sense that the president’s behavior is antidemocratic," Rubin wrote for the Washington Post. "Republicans rationalize that because Trump’s critics are harsh (as if other presidents didn’t receive worse) the president can do as he pleases."
Rubin said GOP inaction had only emboldened the president to abuse his power and mislead the public.
"If you want to know why the president persists in lying, attacking democratic norms, smearing the intelligence community and interfering with a legitimate criminal and national security probe, you need look no further than his corps of GOP defenders," Rubin wrote.
Republicans would never have allowed a Democratic president to behave like Trump, she wrote, but offer little more than tepid criticism of his violations.
"Their inability to see beyond partisan tribalism and to consider how they’d regard, say, President Barack Obama if he were doing the same things, has emboldened Trump and led to the intellectual and moral collapse of the GOP," Rubin wrote.
Rubin said Trump and his GOP enablers had nearly succeeded in destroying the Republican Party as it once existed, and she questioned whether it deserved to survive.
"Perhaps if the GOP suffers that fate in the midterms, a new party can emerge that would represent a responsible counterweight to Democrats," she wrote. "We need two parties, but at this point we don’t need the Republicans."