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The Republican Case Against Trump’s GOP

Somerville

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I found this to be an interesting read. One can hope that some who label themselves 'conservative' will take the time to read the piece and then think about what Mr Stevens had to say - in his book and during the interview. I wonder if Stevens has worked with the Lincoln Project.

‘He’s Destroyed Conservatism’: The Republican Case Against Trump’s GOP

Stuart Stevens was a winning GOP operative. Now he feels terrible about what he’s done to the country.

Stuart Stevens spent four decades helping Republicans—a lot of Republicans—win. He’s one of the most successful political operatives of his generation, crafting ads and devising strategies for President George W. Bush, Republican presidential nominees Mitt Romney and Bob Dole, and dozens of GOP governors, senators and congressmen. He didn’t win every race, but he thinks he had the best won-lost record in Republican campaign world.

And now he feels terrible about it.

Stevens now believes the Republican Party is, not to put too fine a point on it, a malign force jeopardizing the survival of American democracy. He’s written a searing apologia of a book called It Was All a Lie that compares his lifelong party to the Mafia, to Bernie Madoff’s fraud scheme, to the segregationist movement, even to the Nazis. He’s pretty disillusioned.

The following is what most struck me about Stevens thoughts and regrets
What’s been the reaction of the people you used to work with?

I really don’t talk to most of those people. Look, I wanted to be careful not to make the book a bill of indictment against individuals, because that’s a cop-out. If I’m saying it’s a collective problem, and I want to start with personal responsibility. It’s countermessaging to say this person did this, that person did that. Look, these people know who they are. [. . .] They all know something wrong has happened in the party. For the most part, they’re just quiet about it. You won’t hear them defend Trump except as a necessary evil.

You know, it really struck me when I read the memoir by [the late German Chancellor] Franz von Papen, it’s exactly the same message you hear today. In 1953, he was still trying to justify Hitler: “You have to understand, the Bolsheviks were a threat, we had to counter them.” Of all the books I read to write my book, the Franz von Papen thing haunts me the most. It’s not to say that what happened in Germany is going to happen here. But the idea that you can’t talk about that—well, I think you have to talk about that. The parallel is so striking.

That’s pretty harsh. What’s the specific parallel you’re talking about?

You have good people letting evil happen. For the most part, these Republicans aren’t bad people. If you moved in next door, they’d be a great neighbor.

You talk about personal responsibility in the book, but I never got a clear sense of what you think your personal responsibility was for all this. What did you do wrong?

STEVENS: You know, I ask myself that all the time. I worked for people I liked and admired, people I wanted to win. I didn’t work for the Jesse Helmses of the world. Really, there are two Republican parties, even now.

I helped elect a lot of Republicans. My firm, which I left a year and a half ago, was more successful at electing Republicans than anyone else. And this is how the party has ended up. So how could I not have some responsibility? I can’t square that circle. There’s a genre of book that’s very popular in Washington: “If Only They Had Listened to Me.” I didn’t want to write that book, because they did listen to me!

"Two Republican parties" caused me to think of a gentleman I knew while living in Palm Beach. An immigrant, who came to the States with his family when he was 12. When he retired he was an executive VP for one of the largest companies in America. A life-long Republican, he donated at least $100,000/year from 1980 until 2000. He kept his personal values but he felt the party had changed from the one he had first joined in the 1960s. If he were alive today, I know he would be giving money to Joe Biden's campaign.
 

tres borrachos

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I found this to be an interesting read. One can hope that some who label themselves 'conservative' will take the time to read the piece and then think about what Mr Stevens had to say - in his book and during the interview. I wonder if Stevens has worked with the Lincoln Project.



The following is what most struck me about Stevens thoughts and regrets


"Two Republican parties" caused me to think of a gentleman I knew while living in Palm Beach. An immigrant, who came to the States with his family when he was 12. When he retired he was an executive VP for one of the largest companies in America. A life-long Republican, he donated at least $100,000/year from 1980 until 2000. He kept his personal values but he felt the party had changed from the one he had first joined in the 1960s. If he were alive today, I know he would be giving money to Joe Biden's campaign.

Very interesting read.
 

AmNat

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I found this to be an interesting read. One can hope that some who label themselves 'conservative' will take the time to read the piece and then think about what Mr Stevens had to say - in his book and during the interview. I wonder if Stevens has worked with the Lincoln Project.



The following is what most struck me about Stevens thoughts and regrets


"Two Republican parties" caused me to think of a gentleman I knew while living in Palm Beach. An immigrant, who came to the States with his family when he was 12. When he retired he was an executive VP for one of the largest companies in America. A life-long Republican, he donated at least $100,000/year from 1980 until 2000. He kept his personal values but he felt the party had changed from the one he had first joined in the 1960s. If he were alive today, I know he would be giving money to Joe Biden's campaign.

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What is it with leftists and concern trolling? Any idiot can tell that this isn't a "Republican" case against Trump, but you feel the need to lie about it.
 

Mr Person

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What is it with leftists and concern trolling? Any idiot can tell that this isn't a "Republican" case against Trump, but you feel the need to lie about it.

Because anyone who does not support Trump is not a "real Republican"? Way to make one of the author's points: you all just fell right in line and ex-communicated anyone who didn't.






_______________
STEVENS: . . . I keep coming back to: What does the party stand for? Four years ago, 90 percent of Republicans would say personal responsibility, character counts, strong on Russia, fiscal sanity, legal immigration, free trade. But now the party’s 100 percent against all these things. We’re left of Bernie Sanders on trade. We’re way to his left on Russia; Bernie may have honeymooned in Russia, but he didn’t marry Putin. We’re for an imperial presidency. I guess when the next Democratic president does an executive order for a wealth tax, we’ll be OK with it.

GRUNWALD: But Republicans won’t be OK with it. They’re not OK with an imperial presidency in general; they’re OK with a Republican imperial presidency.

STEVENS: That’s right. Why does the Republican Party exist today? It exists to beat Democrats. That’s not a political party. That’s a cartel. Why do bowling clubs exist? Because you like to go bowling. Fine. Just don’t kid yourself that you’re joining anything to do with principle or purpose. And I don’t think you can undo this stuff. What happened to the party in 1964 with African Americans? You went from 40 percent with Eisenhower to 7 percent with Goldwater and they never came back. Is this going to happen with Hispanics? Goldwater wasn’t out attacking black people; he just wasn’t for the civil rights bill. I wouldn’t call him a bigot. Trump is out there attacking Hispanics. Why did Republicans used to get 70 percent of Asian Americans, now we lose 70 percent? It wasn’t even like we were out attacking Asian-Americans, at least until recently, when Trump had a list of people he hadn’t attacked and he finally got to the Chinese. But they got the message that if you weren’t white, you weren’t welcome in the party.

How does the party allow that to happen? How does the party that’s supposed to be for family values stand by while the president, the head of the Republican Party, wishes a woman well who’s just been arrested for being at the center of an international child rape ring? It’s like a “Saturday Night Live” skit: What would it take for Republicans to support a moderate Democrat. What if the Republican candidate was a child molester? Nope! Not a problem! We’ll vote for Roy Moore.


Also valid points.
 
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bluesmoke

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I found this to be an interesting read. One can hope that some who label themselves 'conservative' will take the time to read the piece and then think about what Mr Stevens had to say - in his book and during the interview. I wonder if Stevens has worked with the Lincoln Project.



The following is what most struck me about Stevens thoughts and regrets


"Two Republican parties" caused me to think of a gentleman I knew while living in Palm Beach. An immigrant, who came to the States with his family when he was 12. When he retired he was an executive VP for one of the largest companies in America. A life-long Republican, he donated at least $100,000/year from 1980 until 2000. He kept his personal values but he felt the party had changed from the one he had first joined in the 1960s. If he were alive today, I know he would be giving money to Joe Biden's campaign.



How can you destroy what doesn't exist? Like fiscal/deficit hawks touted throughout many yrs though the Reps have run up greater deficits than the Dems. Anti-communism though Trump is in love with Kim and the Rep/Trump party has no prob with that. And Putin, who has not changed the communist stance against America one iota is embraced by Trump and Moscow Mitch embrace of oligarch advantage in Kentucky business interest. The list goes on.
 

Somerville

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What is it with leftists and concern trolling? Any idiot can tell that this isn't a "Republican" case against Trump, but you feel the need to lie about it.

More correctly - any person who denies reality at this time seems to be the only type following their Lord and Master over the cliff.
 

Ikari

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It's refreshing to see some Republicans finally standing up to Trump and his bastardization of the party. Though I do suppose that if Trump didn't look as weak as he does now and at risk of losing re-election, that we'd never have heard from these folk.
 

armycowboy

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It's refreshing to see some Republicans finally standing up to Trump and his bastardization of the party. Though I do suppose that if Trump didn't look as weak as he does now and at risk of losing re-election, that we'd never have heard from these folk.

Agreed. This feels like distancing rather than standing up to Trump.
 

Ikari

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Agreed. This feels like distancing rather than standing up to Trump.

A bit, I think some folk smell blood and they want to get on the right side of history before it all goes down. Others will try to distance because they may view Trump's endorsement as toxic.
 

armycowboy

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A bit, I think some folk smell blood and they want to get on the right side of history before it all goes down. Others will try to distance because they may view Trump's endorsement as toxic.

Those in competitive races will distance based on Trump's poll numbers. Those in solid red districta will probably stay loyal regardless.
 

Ikari

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Those in competitive races will distance based on Trump's poll numbers. Those in solid red districta will probably stay loyal regardless.

Not Cory Gardner, lol. He made a Trump-Love video. Though I'm not sure how "tight" that senate race is. I do believe that Hickenlooper is polling comfortably ahead.
 

noonereal

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It's refreshing to see some Republicans finally standing up to Trump and his bastardization of the party. Though I do suppose that if Trump didn't look as weak as he does now and at risk of losing re-election, that we'd never have heard from these folk.

These people, like myself, have been out there all along. Maybe you just never paid attention?
 

Ikari

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These people, like myself, have been out there all along. Maybe you just never paid attention?

Maybe they just weren't making a lot of noise until recently.

lol
 

OrphanSlug

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Agreed. This feels like distancing rather than standing up to Trump.

Yes and no, but being on either side speaks to the real issue of being an enabler for Trump or passive participant in Trump's Republican Party anyway.

Central to that article seems to be what Trump represents against what conservatism used to represent, what matters today is defeating Democrats with little to no interest in conservative values. Leadership and ultimately who ends up President apart of any Party has some influence on direction, some distancing themselves from Trump does not necessarily mean they have identified some new path.

There were some stunning admissions by Stevens in that article, but one that really struck was this recurring theme of who is playing who. Historians will argue for years on who was really in control here, but what was not in control was conservative ideology.
 

AmNat

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Because anyone who does not support Trump is not a "real Republican"? Way to make one of the author's points: you all just fell right in line and ex-communicated anyone who didn't.






_______________
STEVENS: . . . I keep coming back to: What does the party stand for? Four years ago, 90 percent of Republicans would say personal responsibility, character counts, strong on Russia, fiscal sanity, legal immigration, free trade. But now the party’s 100 percent against all these things. We’re left of Bernie Sanders on trade. We’re way to his left on Russia; Bernie may have honeymooned in Russia, but he didn’t marry Putin. We’re for an imperial presidency. I guess when the next Democratic president does an executive order for a wealth tax, we’ll be OK with it.

GRUNWALD: But Republicans won’t be OK with it. They’re not OK with an imperial presidency in general; they’re OK with a Republican imperial presidency.

STEVENS: That’s right. Why does the Republican Party exist today? It exists to beat Democrats. That’s not a political party. That’s a cartel. Why do bowling clubs exist? Because you like to go bowling. Fine. Just don’t kid yourself that you’re joining anything to do with principle or purpose. And I don’t think you can undo this stuff. What happened to the party in 1964 with African Americans? You went from 40 percent with Eisenhower to 7 percent with Goldwater and they never came back. Is this going to happen with Hispanics? Goldwater wasn’t out attacking black people; he just wasn’t for the civil rights bill. I wouldn’t call him a bigot. Trump is out there attacking Hispanics. Why did Republicans used to get 70 percent of Asian Americans, now we lose 70 percent? It wasn’t even like we were out attacking Asian-Americans, at least until recently, when Trump had a list of people he hadn’t attacked and he finally got to the Chinese. But they got the message that if you weren’t white, you weren’t welcome in the party.

How does the party allow that to happen? How does the party that’s supposed to be for family values stand by while the president, the head of the Republican Party, wishes a woman well who’s just been arrested for being at the center of an international child rape ring? It’s like a “Saturday Night Live” skit: What would it take for Republicans to support a moderate Democrat. What if the Republican candidate was a child molester? Nope! Not a problem! We’ll vote for Roy Moore.


Also valid points.

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I will give your opinions regarding the Republican Party all the consideration they're worth.
 
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