Why it matters that the Bushes are abandoning Trump
by John Arvosis

There was the recent news that the Republican party’s 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, is skipping the Republican convention this year.

This comes on the heels of George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, John McCain and several other top Republicans also saying they won’t attend the convention in July, in an apparent slap at the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump.

Some on the left don’t care that the Republican party is imploding over Trump’s imminent victory in the primaries. In fact, they’re offended that anyone else would care. You’re actually a bad Democratic and a bad progressive, under their thinking, if you’re happy that the Donald Trump is causing the GOP to implode.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign rightfully keeps a list of all the Republicans abandoning Trump. And that set liberal partisan David Sirota off today, along with several other progressives.

I thought this one, below, was particularly interesting, since the guy is criticizing Bill Clinton for partnering with George Bush — among their humanitarian partnerships was raising money for the victims of the horrific 2010 earthquake in Haiti. So that’s now a bad thing, trying to make support for humanitarian crises bipartisan and/or nonpartisan? Some folks on the left need to get a grip.

Screen-Shot-2016-05-05-at-4.57.40-PM

It’s time to have a little chat about winning.

The goal of an election is to win. And short of sacrificing baby bunnies to Lucifer, I’ll laud most anything that helps get us one step closer to victory — and that most certainly includes welcoming the fact that the Bushes, Mitt Romney, John McCain and lots of other top Republicans are now walking away from Donald Trump.

For some on the left, winning is secondary to feeling awfully good about themselves. A misguided sense of purity comes before all else. And if you have to lose, a lot, in order to preserve your overly strict sense of soul, then so be it. Except of course, the downside of that purity is that all the issues you care about continue to go to hell because the other guy keeps getting elected. And it’s not clear how the cause of “progressivism” is served in the long run if progressives never win.

This lack of understanding as to what elections, and politics more generally, is about (winning) goes hand in hand with Anger Inc., the increasingly vocal fringe of the Democratic party that embraces anger as both a political platform and religion.

Everything they believe is true and best, and should they disagree with you about anything, you are instantly the devil, since, after all, the very fact that they feel something means it must be true and incontrovertible.

And while I can stomach, to a degree, people who aren’t experts in politics thinking “who cares what George Bush thinks,” it worries me when those of us who do this for a living think the same.

So why does it matter that the Bushes and all the other top Republicans are now abandoning Donald Trump?

1. Every time a Republican abandon Trumps, it steals the news cycle and forces Trump to respond to the ongoing, and growing story, that his campaign is a train wreck waiting to happen. This gets Trump off message. And any time you get your opponent off message, you’re doing well.

2. People are influenced by others around them.
Some Republicans and independent voters are going to see the Bushes, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and now even Speaker Paul Ryan (who said that he, at this time, isn’t going to endorse Trump) distance themselves from Trump, and it’s not only going to send them a message that maybe Trump isn’t worth supporting, but it’s also going to provide them cover should they already be leaning that way anyway.

3. The more Republicans abandon Trump, the more uneasy GOP donors grow with giving money to Trump — in part because they may increasingly wonder if Trump is a lost cause.

4. The more Republicans abandon Trump, the greater a story it becomes, and the more 1, 2 and 3, above, kick in.

The notion that we shouldn’t care about — or that we should have disdain for — the fact that key Republicans are abandoning Trump reminds me of the response in the gay community when individual Republicans come around on issues. Some welcome the news; others attack the convert. But as a friend wrote a while back, you can’t argue for people to change, and then attack them when they do.

But regardless, I couldn’t care less if daddy Bush and his boys have found the light of progressivism, or are simply making a cold calculated move they believe will help their party in the future (their decision is of course based on the latter). I care that the actions they’re taking are hurting Donald Trump, and lessening his chances at winning the presidency. And that’s a very good thing that we should all be happy about.

There’s an old saying: Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake.

And I’d add, be sure to get lots of of popcorn.

This is cross-posted from AMERICABLOG. AMERICAblog was created by John Aravosis, a former writer for the Economist with a joint law degree (JD) and masters in foreign service (MSFS) from Georgetown University, and twenty-five years experience working in national politics in Washington, DC. AMERICAblog launched on April 24, 2004, and quickly became one of the most influential political blogs in the United States, with monthly traffic exceeding 1.5 million page views and 700,00 unique readers (Google Analytics).

Guest Voice
Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 The Moderate Voice
  • A perceptive friend has said “there are hoopleheads on both sides of most arguments.” Applying the idea to politics, I might amend that to say that there are fundamentalist, ideological zealots on both sides of the ailse. This article as well as the Sanders supporters threatening to withhold their support from Hillary Clinton should she win the Democratic nomination provide cases in point.

    • KP

      Hear him! Hear him!

      <><><>

      Off topic, on hoopleheads, that reminds me of the 1972 song by Mott The Hoople, “All the Young Dudes”.

  • montag

    I don’t believe for one minute that high-profile Republicans are abandoning Donald Trump. What they say in public, and what they do in private (donations, voting) are two entirely different things.

    Does anyone really believe that Romney, Ryan, the Bushes, and anybody else not attending the GOP convention are going to sit this one out or support Hillary Clinton?

    If so, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sell.

  • The Ohioan

    Maybe.

    1. It seems that Trump just dismisses those who have actively said they won’t vote for Trump/attend the convention/campaign or support with money the Trump candidacy. What he doesn’t dismiss he uses as a bludgeon over their heads. This doesn’t help Democrats.

    2. In this melee it is hard to be convinced by anyone because everyone is confused – except Trump voters who are not confused at all. Being influenced to vote for Trump or not vote at all – this doesn’t help Democrats.

    3. The GOP donors will give to the GOP nominee once that’s decided. Not that Trump needs it since the media, mainstream and other, have given him 80% of the total coverage so far. And whatever he says just encourages his voters more so he really doesn’t need money except for organizing and that will be done anyway to keep the Reps down ticket afloat. That doesn’t help Democrats.

    4. The more Republicans (the establishment) abandons Trump, the more voters will flock to him. That doesn’t help Democrats.

    The idea that these establishment types who are abandoning Trump hurts him seems to me to be the exact opposite of what is happening. It’s a modern version of “Please don’t throw me in the briar patch” ploy. The Clinton machine wanted Trump, now they just have to figure out how to beat him. And actually win the nomination, of course; if a week is a lifetime in politics, 6 months is an eternity.