Giving his Former Party the Boot


I have to admit that my favorite cable news talkers are the conservatives who have abandoned the Republican Party because of Trump. Among my favorites are Nicole Wallace, who was communications director for George W. Bush, Steve Schmidt who was John McCain’s campaign manager, and former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough. Wallace and Scarborough both  have shows on MSNBC and some of their guests are other conservatives who have dropped out of the party.

So over the past weekend—before the bombs and synagogue shooting— a friend told us about a book she was reading by a conservative named Max Boot. He’s another never-Trumper who quit the party. She thought that progressives could learn from his perspective by combining some of his economic ideas with progressive social ideals. We’d never heard of him. So I looked him up, and found out he is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a columnist for the Washington Post, and a global affairs analyst for CNN.

The next morning I turned on CNN and there was Max Boot talking about the fear-mongering coverage by FOX News of the caravan of immigrants moving toward the U.S.border from Honduras. “It is demagoguery,” Boot explained, “It is also, I believe, racism and nativism really pandering to the fears of Trump supporters and Fox News viewers who tend to be older white males who are alarmed about the supposed invasion of dark-skinned newcomers coming to America.”

Boot went on to complain that the GOP under Trump has gone from being conservative with a white extremist fringe to one where white nationalism is at the heart of the party and the true conservatives have been pushed to the side — part of the reason why he left.

One thing I hear over and over from these conservative former Republicans is that it’s not enough any more to say of Trump that “I like his policies, but I hate his tweets.” That’s simply a way of ignoring what’s going on in the Republican Party and the White House as racism and demagoguery has become the norm. They also say that Trump’s overt admiration of dictators and his snubbing of our democratic allies overseas is pushing us in a dangerous direction.

So it was synchronicity when I turned on the TV and there was Boot, who I’d never heard of, before being informed about him the evening before. But now all the media attention is going to the crazies, the bomber Sayoc we now know wanted to “go back to the Hitler days,” he former boss said. He wanted follow and lead  the white supremacist. He wanted to lead the foot soldiers. Then that story gets overtaken by another Trump supporter who killed eleven in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

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17 Responses to Giving his Former Party the Boot

  1. CJ says:

    Wrong. Bowers is NOT a Trump supporter. Check the story about him in the New York Times newspaper. Bowers hated Trump. “Expressed anger at him” and also stated he did not vote for Trump. I have said I wouldn’t comment anymore about politics, but this isn’t about politics, it’s about murder. Yes, the mailbox bomber IS a Trump guy, but Bowers is not, according to the ‘credible news sources’.

    • Trish and Rob says:

      He’s anti-Semitic and often posted rants to that effect on social media.

    • Trish and Rob says:

      Thanks for the correction, Connie. I still remember Trump saying that some of the men marching in Chorlettesville were good people. Those guys with the torches were shouting: “Jews are not going to replace us.” Over and over again. And Trump dog-whistles the racist base with his anti-Globalist comments that are seen as referring to Jews.

      Strangely, VP Pence chose to meet with a rabbi who is part of the Jews for Jesus Movment, or Messianic Jews, who all other Jewish denominations consider Christian. The rabbi not only prayed for the deceased in the Pittsburgh assault, but also prayed for Republican candidates at the same function. Another example of tone-deaf Republicans. Like Trump, who wouldn’t even take a one-day break from his campaign schedule and was introduced with the song HAPPY on the same day as the slaughter at the synagogue.

  2. DJan says:

    I don’t know if my comments are making it to you. I look at the page afterwards, and nothing shows up. I’m getting discouraged. Something has changed. 🙁

  3. nancy says:

    Guess who will be next on some wackos hit list? The “evil” democrats. We hope our votes will make a difference, but already there are voting machines in Texas changing votes from democratic to republican. It is so hard to have hope with so much darkness.

    • Trish and Rob says:

      It’s a sad situation. Yet, we have people saying words don’t matter. In other words, Trump can say anything he wants and that doesn’t make him culpable in any for the growing violence in this country. By all accounts, most of it is from the right—-the shootings, the bombs, the beatings, all carried out with racial slurs and anger at the Others, people who are not like them.

      The Republicans like to say it’s both sides, but the left is battling with words, for the most part, not bombs or guns. Sure they’ve confronted congressmen in the hallways and shouted at them, and some have even disrupted their dinners in public restaurants. But there’s a clear difference between shouts and shots.

      Trump is clearly stimulating both sides. He has changed the Republican Party in dramatic ways, as Max Boot explains in his book. For years, neo-Confederate Corey Stewart couldn’t get anywhere in his attempt to win election in Virginia. This year, he’s the Republican nominee for Senate.

      Rep. Steve King (-Iowa) gave an interview to a white nationalist publication, praises white nationalist leaders and spreads their propaganda on Twitter. Nationalist Steve Bannon guided Trump to the White House and was his chief advisor for months.

      Andrew Wheeler, who replaced the incredibly corrupt Scott Pruitt as the chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, has a documented history of engaging with white nationalists and conspiracy theorists online.

      Earlie this month, a fascist street gang called the Proud boys beat up leftists in Manhattan who were protesting the appearance of the leader of the Proud Boys who was addressing the Republicans in their Midtown club. Last week, seven other white nationalists were arrested in L.A. for beating up protesters. It goes on and on.

      Against that, we hear the Republicans railing against Maxine Waters for saying that Trump should be impeached, that he’s unfit for office. So Trump calls out her name at rallies, calling her low-IQ Maxine…and the congress woman gets two pipe bombs sent her way by an ardent supporter.

      Where are Maxine’s huge rallies and inflammatory talk? There are none. She merely does interviews from time to time. Hard to compare the two.

      • bh says:

        By all accounts, most of it is from the right

        The Republicans like to say it’s both sides, but the left is battling with words, for the most part, not bombs or guns.

        Did you forget about the leftist who opened fire on a baseball field, almost fatally wounding congressman Steve Scalise 3 others? Or the left-wing protesters who set fire to cars and buildings in Portland? Or the ones who attacked police officers with explosives and bricks? Or the ones who attacked a woman and beat her senseless, leaving her in a wheelchair for defending a conservative’s right to speak? Or the ones who caused millions of dollars in damage on the campus at Berkeley protesting (again) a conservative’s right to speak?

        I could keep going, but I won’t. It’s silly to pretend the violence is only coming from the right. Stop it. And pretending Donald Trump is the cause of it is even sillier. Stop it. In a country with 300 million people, some percentage of them are going to be crazy. And some of those crazy people are going to do crazy things, no matter whether they’re registered Republican or Democrat. So stop pretending it’s one-sided. It’s not.

        • Trish and Rob says:

          Trump is an agitator, he works people up. He calls the media the enemy of the people. He did it again yesterday. Now 2 more suspicious packages turned up at CNN mailroom. Don’t deny it. Trump is provoking violence virtually every day now. You call someone an enemy and crazy people are provoked to carry out his wishes. When are you going to wake up to the fact that you are supporting a white nationalist, who would not want you in this country, if you were trying to enter now. You were born in one of the shithole countries – India. Trump said, “Why can’t we get people from places like Norway.” White people, of course. Self-loathing much, BH?

          • bh says:

            Actually I am exactly the kind of person he wants coming here, and exactly the kind of person his proposed merit-based immigration system would bring more of – high IQ, well-educated, productive members of society, willing and able to fully integrate into the American way of life. What he doesn’t want are people who come here to take advantage of our welfare system and create a drain on our limited resources, and people who cross the border illegally instead of waiting in line like everybody else (as my family did 50 years ago). I didn’t think it required a 165 IQ to understand that his “shithole” comment had nothing to do with skin color, and everything to do with IQ distribution and educational system, but evidently it does. That, or people are pretending not to understand that in order to feign outrage and promote the narrative that Trump is a racist.

            I think it confuses you that someone who looks like me would support President Trump. Your MSNBC hosts have been patiently beating you over the head with the notion that all Trump supporters are rednecks who sit in their trailer park all day watching Fox News and reading InfoWars while cleaning their guns and duct-taping confederate flags onto their ’89 Dodge pickup trucks. It may surprise you to learn that we don’t all look or talk or act like the cartoon characters they’ve created for you. It turns out we come from all different walks of life, and we actually have our own original thoughts, and we see what MSNBC and CNN and the liberal “elites” think of us, and we’re kind of tired of it. That’s why Donald Trump is president. You want more of him? Keep doing what you’re doing.

            • Trish and Rob says:

              Nothing you say here convinces me of anything.

            • Trish and Rob says:

              So you are an immigrant of color who’s against immigration of poor people who are attempting to escape life-threatening dangers in their home country. Nice. You are a privileged dude, I see. The problem with Republicans like you and Trump is that you are tone-deaf. For example, does Trump take a day off campaigning on the day 11 Jews are killing in a Pittsburgh synagogue? No. Not only that, he is introduced by the song HAPPY. The singer/composer was so upset, he filed a lawsuit to keep Trump from using any of his songs. Not that that will work. The Rolling Stones tried the same, and the campaign just keeps playing Sympathy for the Devil before he speaks. That’s a funny one and I hope they keep playing it. Talk about tone-deaf.

              You don’t believe that PC stuff matters, ie. Taking a day off the campaign trail after such a horrific event? Well, it matters to some people. His latest polls show him at 40% popularity—down 4%—with 54% disapproval rating.

        • Trish and Rob says:

          A normal president, a normal person in his position would’ve called at least the former presidents and said he was sorry about what happened, and we’re going to catch the perpetrator. But that’s not Trump’s way, he doesn’t know how to be presidential. He just punches back, he’s a baby.

        • Trish and Rob says:

          That’s right. A Bernie supporter shot up Republican’s softball team and wounded Scalise. And Republicans didn’t blame Bernie. What makes the current situation different? When you are confronted with a data set, you always look for the variables. You ask what’s different about this set of circumstances from the others. And in this case — unlike the others — Trump’s rhetoric is a highly unique variable. I could go on with examples—ie the body-slamming comment, enemy of the people comment about Dems and the media, repeated personal attacks on Soros who he claims is paying for the ‘caravan.’ There’s more, much more, every day more. This president didn’t even pause one evening in his campaigning on the day of the largest attack on Jewish people in the history of the country. He even threw in a dismissive comment about never-Trumper conservative Bill Crystal, a Jew, in that event. Afterwards, he tweeted about the World Series, as if that was more important than an assault on a synagogue.

          • bh says:

            And Republicans didn’t blame Bernie. What makes the current situation different?

            What’s different is that it’s democrats doing the blaming and finger-pointing this time. We didn’t blame Bernie because that’s not how we operate. We (at least the reasonable ones among us) believe people are responsible for their own actions. Even crazy people.

            And since you keep bringing up the “enemy of the people” comment, let’s talk about what he actually said there (and not what MSNBC wants you to think he said). He said “The fake news media is the enemy of the people” (emphasis mine). So by applying that comment to themselves, CNN and MSNBC have either confirmed that they are part of the fake news media, or they want you to believe Trump said all media. Which he didn’t. So are they lying, or are they part of the fake news media? You have to pick one. You keep saying words matter (and I never said they didn’t, by the way), so by that standard you have to take his words in the actual context in which they were spoken, and they have to mean what they actually mean, not what the talking heads want you to think they mean.

            • Trish and Rob says:

              What’s fake news, BH?

              I don’t believe anything that trump says. He lies daily – and that doesn’t come just from MSNBC. I suspect the only news outlet that doesn’t report his lies is FOX.

            • Trish and Rob says:

              I’m surprised that a smart guy like you, BH, would buy into all the lies. They are constant. You can’t just say MSNBC just twists his words, and think what he says is truthful. It’s not. For example, Sarah Sanders, his spokesperson, yesterday said Trump won by an “overwhelming majority” of 63 million votes — despite the fact that his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, won 65.8 million votes and he lost the popular vote. Sanders only says what Trump wants her to say. She knew she was lying. They do it everyday, and the Republicans in Congress never call him on it.

              No wonder the latest polling results look dismal for him. He dropped 4 points in popularity to 40% in the week before the election. Now the party is putting out a minute-long ad that doesn’t mention him. Wonder why? Meanwhile, he goes out day after day revving up the base…and the Dems and the Independents, who are more numerous.