OPINION We need an active, robust Republican primary with choices that aren't Donald Trump

  
By:  john-russell  •  4 weeks ago  •  36 comments

OPINION We need an active, robust Republican primary with choices that aren't Donald Trump
they have convinced themselves that to be a Republican in 2019 requires you to lie.

....they have convinced themselves that to be a Republican in 2019 requires you to lie. They tell themselves that their mendacity serves the greater good.

“We’re liable to wake up one morning, and Donald, if he were president, would have  nuked Denmark .”

That was Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas back in 2016, when it was still permissible for the Republican Party to speak truth about Donald Trump. A man who has spent his life conning investors, the press, girlfriends and wives has now enlisted one of the two major political parties of the world’s only superpower in perhaps the greatest con in history. Republicans must pretend Trump should be president of the United States.

In a long career of political consulting, I’ve helped elect Republicans in over half the country. I turn on the television and see men and women I helped elect praising Donald Trump, and I know they are lying. They are not idiots who suddenly decided that the core values they long claimed were at the heart of the Republican Party — character counts, personal responsibility, strong on Russia, fiscal sanity — were now meaningless. But they have convinced themselves that to be a Republican in 2019 requires you to lie. They tell themselves that their mendacity serves the greater good.

Trump is changing the presidency 


In the 2016 Republican primaries, candidates other than Donald Trump spent most of their time attacking each other for one seemingly very sound reason: The Republican Party was never going to nominate a bankrupt casino owner who had lost the  2000 Reform Party nomination  for president to Pat Buchanan; a candidate who had given the  maximum allowed under law to Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner , had five kids with three wives, who seemed to believe church was where you went when you needed to marry a model, and who talked in public about dating his own daughter.

It was obvious this man could not represent a conservative party, so the key to winning the Republican nomination was simple: Be the last person standing against Donald Trump and you had to win. That logical conclusion proved to be an optimistic fantasy.

The justification that many Trump skeptics gave for supporting him in 2016 was that he would change, grow into the office. But the presidency hasn’t changed Trump; he is changing the presidency. Trump has validated decades of criticism from Democrats that issues like the national debt and family values were meaningful to Republicans only to the degree they could be weaponized against Democrats.

We now exist in a world in which Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is  to the right of a Republican president  on Russia and North Korea. Racism seeps from this White House like blood from a poorly bandaged wound.

In 2016, Republicans who had grave doubts about Trump but supported him could argue that he was better than Hillary Clinton, and that it was a binary choice. But a Republican primary gives Republican voters a chance to choose another Republican alternative. Voting for Trump in a primary is validating Trump, stripped of any pretense that he might improve or that an evil socialist is the alternative.

That’s why Republicans need an active, robust primary. The 2020 Republican primary is the definitional moment for the Republican Party for a generation or longer. We know who Trump is; the question for Republicans is who are we? Do we believe character doesn’t count, that the national debt is meaningless, that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (a man with American   blood on his hands ) is a “ friend ,” and that after decades of arguing that culture defines the soul of America, a president paying off a porn star is of no consequence?

A vote in the primary for Trump is to endorse all of the above. Arguing that you will vote for Trump because of judges but don’t approve of him saying he couldn’t have raped a woman because “ she's not my type ” is a childish rationalization. It’s like boarding a plane and saying you approve of where the first 10 rows are going but don’t approve of where the rest of the plane is landing. It’s one plane. You board it willingly and knowingly, or you get on a different plane.

Party of Lincoln is better than Trump


So far,  former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld  and  former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh  have announced that they are running against Trump. I’m supporting Weld.

He represents what the Republican Party claimed to be for decades: a  former U.S. attorney  (named by President Ronald Reagan) who put crooked politicians in jail, a big state governor who  balanced budgets  and saved a state from bankruptcy without raising taxes. In a state that was less than  15% Republican , he brought people together to solve problems without the personal attacks and pettiness that is the Trump way. He is everything Trump is not: A big-hearted, decent man who understands what makes America more than just a place on the map with a flag.

Never Trump ex-Republican:  I will vote for almost any 2020 Democratic nominee

There is talk of  other candidates running . I hope they do. If the Republican Party accepts that Trump is the best we have to offer, it will forever own every bit of the bigotry, ignorance and terribly bad ideas that Trump would bring over the next four years.

Voting for Trump in the Republican primary is validating that the Republican Party is Trump’s party. If you are comfortable with that reality, fine, you have your man. But if you believe a party once defined by Abraham Lincoln is better than Donald Trump, this is your moment. Take a stand for an alternative or embrace that you are defined by Donald Trump. It’s your choice.

Republican strategist Stuart Stevens worked for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and is currently an adviser to America United, a super PAC supporting William Weld in the 2020 Republican presidential primary.  

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JohnRussell
1  author  JohnRussell    4 weeks ago

Donald Trump told a couple of pretty big lies today. 

First he said that China called and asked to reopen trade negotiations,China denied this. 

And second he told a press conference that his wife Melania knows Kim Jong Un, the North Korean dictator

“The first lady has gotten to know Kim Jong Un and I think she’d agree with me, he is a man with a country that has tremendous potential,”

If Melania Trump has "gotten to know" Kim Jong Un it is by watching television or reading news stories. She has never met the man. 

Trump is getting more brazen in his lying. 

 
 
 
WallyW
1.1  WallyW  replied to  JohnRussell @1    4 weeks ago

His alternative interpretations of facts are of little concern to me.

Policy is the much more important than personality

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.1  author  JohnRussell  replied to  WallyW @1.1    4 weeks ago

The fact is Melania doesnt know Kim Jong Un. 

What you call alternative facts are lies. 

 
 
 
bbl-1
1.1.2  bbl-1  replied to  WallyW @1.1    4 weeks ago

And that ( policy ) would be what, sir?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.3  author  JohnRussell  replied to  WallyW @1.1    4 weeks ago

White House Admits Melania Trump Has Never Met Kim Jong-Un

https:// www.mediaite.com /trump/white-house-admits- melania-has-never-met-kim-jong-un ...

White House Admits  Melania Has Never Met Kim Jong Un  After Trump Claims They’ve ‘Gotten to Know’ Each Other. By Caleb Ecarma Aug 26th, 2019, 3:36 pm .

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Yikes !

 
 
 
WallyW
1.1.4  WallyW  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.1    4 weeks ago

So what?  Who gives shyt if Melania knows little Kimmy. It's not relevant.

Clinton and Obama lied every time their lips moved.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.5  author  JohnRussell  replied to  WallyW @1.1.4    4 weeks ago

Trump lied about his wife knowing Kim Jong Un because he knows she is a more sympathetic character than he is. 

One day he's going to openly lie to the world media like that and start a big international incident. 

 
 
 
Krishna
1.1.6  Krishna  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.3    4 weeks ago

Maybe Kim Jung Un should run for president on the Republican ticket?

(He's a pretty cool guy, a truly wonderful person...Trump even said so! :-)

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
1.1.7  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  WallyW @1.1.4    4 weeks ago
Who gives shyt if Melania knows little Kimmy. It's not relevant.

It's only not relevant to those who don't care that Donald Trump is a serial liar. To everyone else, the lies that come out of someone's mouth show what type of person they are even if the lies themselves don't matter all that much.

 
 
 
luther28
1.2  luther28  replied to  JohnRussell @1    4 weeks ago
"Donald Trump told a couple of pretty big lies today."
Why would today be any different than any other day, I believe the count on the lie o meter is now past 12,000.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2  author  JohnRussell    4 weeks ago

Photo of the day :  Melania looking like she's getting ready to lock lips with Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. 

melania-trump-justin-trudeau.jpg

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She looks smitten, no? Like she’s going to land a big kiss on his Canadian lips? Of course she was probably caught in the moment doing the customary two-cheek smack-a-roo that’s customary when in Europe. But, dunno, she looks like she’s relishing her time with Trudeau, like her step-daughter looked like she was relishing her time with Trudeau. Or as many people said on   Twitter , “Get you someone that looks at you the way Ivanka Trump looks at Justin Trudeau.” https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2019/08/melania-trump-justin-trudeau-g7
justin-trudeau-ivanka-trump.jpg
 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
2.1  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  JohnRussell @2    4 weeks ago

After he leaves the White House and by 'leaves' I mean:

256

...I bet it takes Trump a month before he realizes Melania left him 3 years ago.  Although I've seen interviews where she has supported him, I would imagine it has been difficult to keep a smile on her face after spending the last three years learning just how big of a dirt bag he really is.  

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  JohnRussell @2    4 weeks ago

He is yummy

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
2.3  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  JohnRussell @2    4 weeks ago
She looks smitten, no? Like she’s going to land a big kiss on his Canadian lips?

She's giving Trudeau the same look her father gives her...

 
 
 
Tessylo
2.4  Tessylo  replied to  JohnRussell @2    4 weeks ago

I bet Melania puts a bag over the shitstain's head, if he can even get it up anymore, and imagines he's anyone but this scumbag.  

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.4.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Tessylo @2.4    4 weeks ago

that sounds like an awful lot of work for what?

ewwwwww......

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
2.4.2  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.4.1    4 weeks ago

I doubt she even lets him touch her anymore. She's got so much dirt and leverage on him now and he knows it, there's just no way he'd try and force himself on her anymore. We all watched as she even batted away his hand when he tried to hold it and they haven't shared a bedroom since he moved into the white house.

 
 
 
Tessylo
2.4.3  Tessylo  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @2.4.2    4 weeks ago

I would have to agree.  

She has to pretend sometimes I'm sure and put on a big smile.

Any tell all book would be more than any pre-nup she was forced to sign.  

I don't think they even shared a bedroom in tRump tower.  Just let him slobber all over her when necessary, one, two, three pumps and back to your room Donald.  

 
 
 
Kathleen
3  Kathleen    4 weeks ago

Oh for heavens sake, if you took a shot like that with anyone getting ready to kiss, it would look funny like that too.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3.1  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Kathleen @3    4 weeks ago

So they were getting ready to kiss?  Hmmmm. 

At least she waited until her husband's back was turned. 

 
 
 
Kathleen
3.1.1  Kathleen  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1    4 weeks ago

Cheek to cheek or whatever. You know what I meant.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3.1.2  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Kathleen @3.1.1    4 weeks ago

Yes I do. 

 
 
 
WallyW
3.1.3  WallyW  replied to  Kathleen @3.1.1    4 weeks ago

Air kiss.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3.1.4  author  JohnRussell  replied to  WallyW @3.1.3    4 weeks ago

I dont know, it looks pretty intense.

512

 
 
 
Goodtime Charlie
3.1.5  Goodtime Charlie  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1.4    4 weeks ago

Obama kissing French Prime Minister Manuel Valls looks very intense.

unnamed.jpghttps://notallowedto.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/unnamed-446x450.jpg 446w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" width="500" height="505" >

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3.1.6  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Goodtime Charlie @3.1.5    4 weeks ago

Uh, they're sharing one nose

512

That's poor work.   Fake news. 

 
 
 
Krishna
3.1.7  Krishna  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1.6    4 weeks ago

Here are two photos that created a scandal a while back:

512

512

The hand-holding photo appeared first-- the kissing one didn't appear 'till later. Of course all the politically obsessed online, on both sides of the aisle spent hours discussing these. (It later turned out that the hand holding photo was real-- the kissing photo a complete fake, done in Photoshoppe).

Some people really need to get a life!

(And no-- I'm not referring to Pres. Bush or King Saud..!!!)

 
 
 
Goodtime Charlie
3.1.8  Goodtime Charlie  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1.6    4 weeks ago

Well, I guess they could have touched noses but since they didn't one had to be aside the other hidden from view

 
 
 
1stwarrior
3.1.9  1stwarrior  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1.6    4 weeks ago

You really need to get your eyes checked John - gads..

 
 
 
bbl-1
4  bbl-1    4 weeks ago

An active, robust republican primary?  Why?

Just allow the 'Birtherism Party' to be what it willfully has become.  The hell with the gossamer veils, pull back the damn curtain and let the stage show run its course.

 
 
 
WallyW
4.1  WallyW  replied to  bbl-1 @4    4 weeks ago

No need for a primary, since Trump is a proven winner.....

and with tired old Joe quickly fading, the left is stuck with a bunch of far left un-electable losers.

 
 
 
Krishna
4.1.1  Krishna  replied to  WallyW @4.1    4 weeks ago
Oh for heavens sake, if you took a shot like that with anyone getting ready to kiss, it would look funny like that too.

If Scaramucci ran, I would support his campaign-- I luv his bizarre sense of humour! 

(But I wouldn't try to kiss him when someone's back is turned!!!)

 
 
 
Tacos!
5  Tacos!    4 weeks ago

I would welcome a primary battle with a handful of candidates, but it's never going to happen. It just isn't done. In fact, an elected president has only once failed to regain his party's nomination in the reelection in spite of actually trying for it. Franklin Pierce. 

I think most of the political players fear that such infighting - when they should be marching hand-in-hand to reelection - can only harm the party, no matter who is being reelected (even if that person is Trump). I guess it's a kind of political "bird in the hand."

 
 
 
luther28
5.1  luther28  replied to  Tacos! @5    4 weeks ago

Pretty much along the lines I am thinking.

I believe (whether one likes it or not) that Mr. Trumps approval rating is around 89% among Republicans, that is a number that is next to impossible to overcome. The main issue is who is left in the GOP with enough appeal that can actually put together a realistic challenge, no one readily comes to my mind.

 
 
 
Ronin2
6  Ronin2    4 weeks ago

Yes, the Dems are begging for someone, anyone, to primary against Trump. The more candidates the better. Anything to take focus off of their 20 plus candidate shit show that is sure to fracture the Democratic Party one way or another.

No Biden? Then the moderate Democrats revolt. No Bernie, Warren, or Harris- then the far leftist loons revolt; same as last time around.

The desperation is palpable. 

"Vote for whatever Democrat comes rolling out of the insane exploding clown car last. Whoever it is will be better than Trump. Even if the are a far leftist hack determined to rule by EO."

The fact they only have two Republican nobodies come out to run against Trump has to hurt. Of course they hold out the ever hopeful, "There is talk of other candidates running". Talk is cheap- just as the 20 plus Democratic candidates still trying to get their message out over Trump sucking all the air out of the room. 

 
 
 
katrix
6.1  katrix  replied to  Ronin2 @6    4 weeks ago
Yes, the Dems are begging for someone, anyone, to primary against Trump.

So are Independents. That way we have hope for a rational adult to lead our country, regardless of which party wins.

 
 
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