In an appeal to fellow Republicans who have not yet turned their backs on Donald Trump after a disastrous three and a half years, longtime conservative gadfly Bill Kristol made the case that it is still possible for the GOP to salvage the 2020 election by dumping the president from the top of the ticket before it is too late.
With multiple polls showing the president falling farther and farther behind presumptive 2020 presidential opponent Joe Biden, and the president under siege over reports he knew and remained silent about Russia placing a bounty on the lives of American military personnel in Afghanistan, Kristol, writing at the Bulwark, suggested two approaches that would take Trump out of the mix -- voluntarily or not.
Before making his case against the president, Kristol explained that its appeal is directed at "those who, for whatever mixtures of reasons and motives, have until now reluctantly supported or tolerated him."
"Donald Trump is not up to the job of president; he is particularly unsuited to lead the nation in a context of twin public health and economic crises; he can’t be trusted not to throw the country into a crisis of democracy and legitimacy during the forthcoming election campaign; and he shouldn’t be entrusted with the powers of the presidency for another four years," Kristol charged.
According to the conservative commentator, Republicans should first take their cue from the Watergate era and appeal to the president to step aside for the good of the party and let Mike Pence take his place -- although Kristol noted he's not a fan of the vice president.
"It is self-evident that it would be much better for the country if Donald Trump were out of office for the next six months, and if he had no chance to be president for the next four years," he wrote. "A President Pence for the next several months—even with the possibility of a President Pence for the next four years—would be a good outcome for all Americans."
Failing that he proposed urging delegates attending the Republican convention to take their vote and hand it to anyone other than Trump.
"If Donald Trump ignores them, serious and patriotic men and women who have been Trump supporters could urge delegates to the Republican convention to withhold their votes in this emergency from Donald Trump, and could provide legal and political help when the Trump campaign claims those delegates are bound," he explained before proposing one more alternative that could end Trump's chances -- no matter how small -- of winning in November.
"Serious and patriotic men and women who have been Trump supporters could simply announce their support for Joe Biden now," he wrote before adding that a substantial outcry against Trump and for Biden might make the president throw up his hands and resign while blaming lack of support from his own party.
Adding, "the best option would be a Trump who has resigned from office," Kristol concluded, "There is no reason for patriotic Trump supporters to continue enabling him. There would be a portion of honor in helping us get beyond him."
You can read the whole piece here.