The Half Dozen Supposedly Decent Republicans Out There Pretty Sure They Can Stop Trump

CNN reports that some former Donald Trump staffers held a conference call last week to discuss how to save democracy from their previous employer.

The ragtag band of democracy defenders included former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Chris Krebs, whom Trump fired for saying true things about the 2020 election; former White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly, whom Trump fired for trying to make him look normal; former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who was fired before he even formally started; and CNN political commentator Alyssa Farah Griffin, who resigned as White House communications director in December 2020 when it was clear Trump wouldn’t stop lying about the election he lost badly. Former Homeland Security officials Olivia Troye and Elizabeth Neumann were part of the group. They both voluntarily quit the Trump administration in disgust, so good on them.

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Stephanie Grisham, the one-time part-time White House press secretary who was also chief of staff and press secretary to Melania Trump, was supposed to attend, but she was too sick from COVID-19 to join the call. Kelly had a prior commitment that must’ve been more important than saving democracy (maybe there’s a comet heading toward Earth), but he “monitored” the call for 10 minutes. This usually means half-listening while in the car.


The call was led by Miles Taylor, who wrote the infamous "anonymous" op-ed in 2018 boasting about his own soft coup within the Trump White House. Unfortunately, this brain trust’s first meeting didn’t result in a tangible plan for preventing a second Trump administration or a Speaker Marjorie Taylor Greene in a Kevin McCarthy flesh suit.

The only items the group seemed to agree upon in its first meeting, however, were that they're not sure what their way forward should be, and that they are way behind the efforts of former President Donald Trump and his allies to set the stage for 2022, 2024, and beyond.

So, they aren’t sure what to do but they’re certain they’re failing. That’s not encouraging.

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Taylor insists, though, that the group was “overflowing with ideas,” most of which Democrats have already tried with limited success. Hey, maybe we can shame Trump’s corporate contributors! Their help is certainly welcomed in defeating any MAGA stooge Trump has endorsed for state or local elections.

I know it's a little unfair to drag these reformed Trumpers because they’re the enemy of my enemy and all that, but these guys really suck at whatever it is they’re supposed to do. Biden’s poll numbers are dropping, and more voters are identifying as Republicans. Much of this is standard backlash to the party in power (no, really, that’s us), but what good are all these “good” Republicans if they can’t sell their brethren on the only existing pro-democracy party (again, that’s us)? If there were just 10 percent of “rational” Republicans who’d agree to vote for Democrats up and down the ballot, we’d be sitting pretty in November.

One big problem is that the so-called “rational” Republicans exist in a bubble far removed from the larger GOP electorate. Just a couple weeks before the Virginia governor’s election, Republican Accountability Project Director Bill Kristol suggested that Glenn Youngkin’s refusal to actively denounce Trump might cost him the race. That obviously didn’t happen, and Youngkin is already governing like a common DeSantis.

"We all agreed passionately that letters and statements don't mean anything,” [Taylor] told CNN. "The two operative words are 'electoral effects.' How can we have tangible electoral effects against the extremist candidates that have been endorsed by Trump?"

The Republican party is past accountability, past redemption. We need a group dedicated to its destruction while we still have a democracy.

[CNN]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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