Over the past week the nation has seen a surprising number of Republicans, conservatives, and Trump appointees start to stand up to President Donald Trump – including some who worked in his administration, and even some who still do.
It is a stunning snapshot for the president whose name has become synonymous with today’s GOP.
The list is long. A few examples:
General Jim Mattis (ret.), Trump’s former Secretary of Defense
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT)
President George W. Bush
General Colin Powell (Ret.), former Secretary of State
General John Kelly (ret.), Trump’s former Chief of Staff and former DHS Secretary
Defense Secretary Mark Esper
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley
On Friday a staggering 89 former Defense officials (some Republicans, some Democrats, many of unknown affiliations) signed onto a statement saying the U.S. military must never be used to violate Americans’ constitutional rights.
It seems the tide is turning, and according to GOP strategist Rick Wilson, Republicans are finally waking up to the fact that if they continue to tie their futures to President Donald Trump they will find their fortunes diminished. Bigly.
“For a long time individuals in the party were very suppressed by the fear of Donald Trump destroying them because he would tweet about them, he would say bad things about them and it could wreck somebody’s primary chances or hurt them in some other political space,” Wilson tells The Guardian.
“Now we’ve reached a point where the intolerance for his incompetence has reached just stratospheric levels. People just cannot abide it. It’s one thing to say, ‘Oh, he’s rough around the edges but he gets things done,’ but now he’s failing in so many dimensions that people are no longer tolerant of it.”
Trump’s “political standing has collapsed so greatly that it’s easier for these folks to not feel the same risk level,” says Wilson, a co-founder of The Lincoln Project. “There’s going to come a point very soon where having a nasty tweet from the president is a badge of honour and a tool of survival because my rule of ‘everything Trump touches dies’ is real.”
“The people that are trying to get away from it now, I think, are going to end up in a better position than they would have been prior to this. There are many more people that are going to put daylight between themselves and this president because he is political herpes. They don’t want to be touched by it.”
Trump ripped as a ‘traitor’ by veterans for his mask photo-op at Walter Reed Hospital
The veteran advocacy organization Vote Vets on Sunday blasted President Donald Trump for holding a photo-op at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
After a round of golf on Saturday, Trump traveled to the hospital to be photographed by the press pool wearing a mask, which was a first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vote Vets, which says it has raised over $120 million since being founded in 2006 and made over 50 million voter contacts, released a new video on Trump's visit.
The ad says it shows "what wounded warriors see when Trump comes for a photo-op."
Trump’s push to reopen schools prematurely is an assault on states’ rights that may prove deadly
It’s hard to avoid a sense of déjà vu as the Trump regime threatens to withhold federal education funding from states that refuse to re-open their schools this fall. The contours of the “debate,” such as it is, perfectly align with the one we had a couple of months ago about re-opening businesses in the midst of a pandemic.
Then, as now, conservatives tried to frame the issue as a choice between re-opening and staying stuck in quarantine indefinitely. Those less moored to reality, including the President, insisted that proponents of quarantines were only motivated by a desire to undermine Trump’s prospects for re-election. The real divide at the time was between those of us who wanted to follow the science, build up adequate testing and contact-tracing capacity and re-open safely once the rate of infection had declined, and those, mostly on the right, who wanted to re-open prematurely either because they believed we’d achieve herd immunity if we let the outbreak run its course or because they thought Covid-19 was a “hoax” that was no more serious than the seasonal flu.
How 68,000 COVID-19 survivors created a world-class patient resource group in just four months
Diana Berrent was one of the first people in her hometown of Port Washington, New York, to get COVID-19. Back then, in early March 2020, only immunocompromised and seniors were believed to be high-risk; hence, as a 46-year-old yoga practitioner and runner, Berrent was "shocked" when she woke up with a 103-degree fever and respiratory infection — symptoms that strongly suggested she had coronavirus, which was later confirmed by a test.
This article first appeared in Salon.