GOP Lawmakers Plotting Escape From Trump Over Concerns He’ll Lose In ‘Landslide’
Conservative political columnist Matt Lewis wrote in an opinion piece in The Daily Beast that many Republican officials are “plotting their escape” ahead of the November election now that President Trump “may lose in a landslide.”
- Recently, many retired, high-ranking military officers have publicly criticized Trump, including General James “Mad Dog” Mattis. He “ripped Trump a new one after Trump threatened to use US military forces against our own citizens,” wrote Lewis.
“Mattis, one of the few adults to serve in Trump's administration, resigned on principle, and his criticisms were strong and pointed—so I don’t include him in what I’m about to say next, which instead applies to the many elected Republicans who acted like pantywaists before they started to smell Trumpian blood in the electoral waters: When it looks like a ship is sinking, the rats begin scurrying off,” Lewis continued.
- Sen. Ben Sasse (R- NE) “reemerged recently as a Trump critic,” Lewis noted. “He (coincidentally) rediscovered his courage after winning his primary election” as soon as it was revealed that Trump was losing by double digits to former Vice President and 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden.
- In addition, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R- AK) responded to Mattis’s criticism by saying she is starting to struggle with whether to support Trump in 2020.
- Politico’s congressional reporter Andrew Desiderio tweeted Murkowski’s statements: “Perhaps we're getting to the point where we can be more honest with the concerns that we might hold internally.”
“After three years of insanity, what will it take for our elected officials to get to the point of honesty?” Lewis wrote. “Still it’s better late than never. The future of the country is at stake. Republicans are facing a profoundly moral choice—the moral choice of their careers. They've already failed, repeatedly, and fed me column fodder for years now. But fate is handing them one last chance to get on the right side of history. The question is, will they take it?”
- After describing “Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s decision to stand up to Trump (before backing down)” and “Republican Senator Chuck Grassley’s move to block Trump nominees until he explains the firing of inspectors general,” Lewis stated that Republicans have finally realized that “there will be life after Trump. And if they want to hang on to their careers and reputations, they better paddle faster.”
Lewis also raised the question of whether “vulnerable Republicans who are on the ballot this November” will want to begin distancing themselves from Trump.
- He stated that it is possible that “one or two incumbent Republicans might ultimately conclude that sticking with Trump and getting re-elected are mutually exclusive,” citing how Maine’s Susan Collins might “conclude that her best chance to win is to distance from Trump and try and localize the election.”
- “I’m fairly confident that Mr. Trump will be defeated in the election,” conservative columnist George Will stated on Wednesday. “The next morning, a lot of Republicans will say, ‘Trump? I don’t recognize the name.’ They’ll get over this fairly fast.”
“People are looking for the exits,” Lewis concluded. “Trump, the man, will not go quietly into that good night. But a landslide loss would cast this one-term president in the role of a ‘loser,’ more akin to Jimmy Carter than Richard Nixon.”