Wednesday, May 12, 2021


Threats are not enough:
More than 100 Republicans, including some former elected officials, are preparing to release a letter this week threatening to form a third party if the Republican Party does not make certain changes, according to an organizer of the effort.

The statement is expected to take aim at former President Donald J. Trump’s stranglehold on Republicans, which signatories to the document have deemed unconscionable....

“This is a first step,” said Miles Taylor, an organizer of the effort and a former Trump-era Department of Homeland Security official who anonymously wrote a book condemning the Trump administration. In October, Mr. Taylor acknowledged he was the author of both the book and a 2018 New York Times Op-Ed article....

Mr. Taylor declined to name the signers. Reuters reported earlier that the former governors Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania and Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey will sign it, as will former Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters and former Representatives Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, Barbara Comstock of Virginia, Reid Ribble of Wisconsin and Mickey Edwards of Oklahoma.
I've said for years that Republicans who are disgusted by the extremist drift of the party should stage a big public departure from the party. I said this in 2015, in 2013, in 2012, in 2011, and probably several other times. It never happened. It's still not happening. These people are still terrified.

Christie Whitman is afraid to leave the party? Why? As I've noted many times, she wrote a book denouncing her party's extremism in 2005.

Is she still patiently waiting to be told that she was right, the party was wrong, and everything will change now? The party's only gotten worse. She hasn't held an elected or appointed position in politics since 2003. She's 74 years old. What career opportunities does she believe she's putting at risk if she cuts her Republican ties altogether?

Miles Taylor, author of the then-anonymous op-ed "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration," is 34. He has a career to protect. But he's already burned, dynamited, and nuked his bridge to the Republican Party as it currently exists. Nobody cares whether he still claims membership -- he's a pariah. And if the party becomes what he wants it to be, he can return if he leaves now. So what's he afraid of?

But this half-measure is getting the kind of media attention I always hoped a mass resignation would get, so maybe it's worth it. Still, when none of these folks actually leave the party, and when no one more prominent or currently in office joins them, attention is likely to fade. The party will get worse. And the response will probably be ... more half-measures like this, until it's too late, because we're a post-democratic one-party state run by conspiracy-mongering extremist authoritarians. We could be there in four years. So stop dithering.

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