An op-ed by Republican consultant Stuart Stevens laments his party’s strange evolution into supporting Russia over protecting their own country.
Stevens writes in the Daily Beast that somehow the GOP has gone from former President Ronald Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” to dismissing Russian involvement in the 2016 election.
“For the first time in American history we have meticulously detailed evidence that a hostile foreign power attempted to influence the choice of an American commander in chief, and the collective Republican response is apparently, ‘Our side won, move on,'” he wrote.
It’s a sentiment former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton observed Thursday morning.
“The president hasn’t just refused to condemn a foreign power that attacked our democracy. He’s also failed to protect the country’s voting systems against future attacks. He betrays his oath every day,” she tweeted.
The president hasn't just refused to condemn a foreign power that attacked our democracy. He's also failed to protect the country's voting systems against future attacks. He betrays his oath every day.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 30, 2019
After eight years of President George W. Bush promoting a “war on terror” and focusing on the “safety and security” of the United States, the Republican Party has set aside their strength for fighting foreign adversaries and replaced it with compliance for a cyber-invasion of their country.
Stevens called it an outright violation of every official’s oath of office.
“I, ______, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
He noted that any person who reads the Mueller report can see that the Russians worked diligently to undermine the American voter to elect Trump. Russians considered it part of “informational warfare,” meaning the United States was attacked and three years later has yet to retaliate.
“The modern Republican Party that has pushed the Pentagon budget to over $700 billion a year, that supports American military personnel in over 150 countries, those same Republicans have suddenly decided that Lenin’s ‘useful idiots’ are their new role models,” wrote Stevens, before asking why.
He noted that most of these people aren’t stupid, but somehow they’ve been led down a path of complacency because they think Trump will protect them.
“My colleagues tell me all the time—in fact, you wouldn’t believe how many phone conversations I’ve had, or conversations in person with colleagues,” Stevens quoted Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI). “A lot of them think I’m right about the Mueller Report. And they just won’t say it. A lot of Republicans. What they’ll say to me is, Justin, you know, going out publicly with that, you know the Democrats will never support you. You know that they’re hypocrites on this stuff. And I say, you know, some of them are and some of them aren’t. It doesn’t matter to me. Because you have to look at what you’re doing first. You have to care about what you’re doing. If you have a society where all we care about is that the other side is bad, and therefore we don’t have to do the right thing, that society will break down, and you will have no liberty. I refuse to be a part of that.”
Stevens explained that at the very heart of Trump’s presidency is a lie and every Republican official knows he’s unfit for his office. But they continue to be willing to make a deal with the Devil to score their tax cuts and right-wing judges.
“The Republican Party stood by a candidate who ran on a religious test to enter the United States. They knew it was unconstitutional and indecent, but they were silent,” Stevens wrote. “All through 2016 I had conversations with what passes for leadership in the Republican Party on the need to stand up to Trump. Most of their responses went like this:
“Trump is a disaster and a disgrace. But we have to let him lose on his own. If we, the Establishment, put our thumbs on the scale, when he loses it will be our fault and not the fault of his racism, the alt-right, those idiots at Breitbart. We will have elected Hillary Clinton. We have to let him lose and rebuild.”
What will likely come in the wake of Trump will be a confused and fractured Republican Party, unable to build a message to satisfy the majority of their party, which has been overtaken by conservative MAGA-hat wearing voters.
The Brookings Institute charted Republican Party growth since 2004, showing that Trump was able to bring in a great number of new conservatives to support his candidacy. But in wake of taking office, the GOP has been hemorrhaging members, particularly young voters and women.
This will become Trump’s legacy and not only were Republicans complacent about it, they embraced Trump’s branding.
Now that the Mueller report has been released, the GOP is losing its stranglehold on the idea that they are the party of national security.
“My question to all those Republicans who are more worried about defending Donald Trump than defending America: is this why you went into politics?” Stevens asked.
For now, it appears so.