A recent Washington Post article written by Post columnist and prominent “Never Trumper” Max Boot attacks the GOP for having “shifted to kooks” and become a “cult of personality” and a bastion of “irrationality,” “conspiracy mongering,” and “racism,” while calling for those on “center-right” GOP voters to join in support of President Biden.
The Wednesday article, titled “The GOP can’t be saved. Center-right voters need to become Biden Republicans,” begins with a quote from Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), one of ten House Republicans who voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump earlier this year, stating that Trump is a “Republican usurper” and he would not let Trump “take the party” and he’d “fight like hell” to ensure so.
Despite admiring Kinzinger’s “fighting spirit,” which Boot claims he once shared, the Post columnist recalls that the day following the 2016 election, he “re-registered as an independent after a lifetime as a Republican,” a decision he writes that he never regretted because the GOP “has become even more of a horror show than I anticipated.”
Quoting former House speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Boot claims “the ‘crazies’ have taken over” the Republican party, as he laments the lack of “John McCain-style Republicans,” of which Kinzinger is described as one.
“The party’s center of gravity has shifted to kooks” like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and “low-rent hucksters” such as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Boot writes.
Boot continues by accusing Republicans of apathy toward supposed Trump administration wrongdoings.
“Most Republicans don’t care that Trump locked up children, cozied up to white supremacists, tear-gassed peaceful protesters, benefited from Russian help in both of his campaigns, egregiously mishandled the pandemic, incited a violent attack on the Capitol and even faced fraud complaints from his own donors,” he writes.
Citing polls that have found overwhelming Republican support for Trump, Boot attacks the GOP as an irredeemable “cult of personality” fraught with deplorable values.
“This is a portrait of a party that can’t be saved — at least in the foreseeable future,” he writes. “The GOP remains a cult of personality for the worst president in U.S. history. It has become a bastion of irrationality, conspiracy mongering, racism, nativism and anti-scientific prejudices.”
Boot then suggests that a “sane, center-right voter” can either support an “increasingly extremist and obstructionist Republican Party” or a Democratic Party “working to solve our most pressing problems.”
Claiming they “have no standing left” to oppose Biden, Boot asserts that Republicans have “lost all credibility on free trade” after having “supported Trump’s trade wars” and neo-isolationist foreign policy.
“What do they have left?” he asks.
Boot concludes by accusing Republicans of “increasingly catering to the far right with shrill, divisive rhetoric and antidemocratic actions such as bills to restrict voting,” and advocating that those on the center-right “become Biden Republicans.”
In January, Boot called on heavyweight telecommunications corporations to shut down conservative cable news outlets including Fox News, One America News, and Newsmax TV, comparing the need to do so with that of shutting down foreign terrorist influencers.
“There is a whole infrastructure of incitement that will remain intact even after Trump leaves office,” Boot wrote. “Just as we do with foreign terrorist groups, so with domestic terrorists: We need to shut down the influencers who radicalize people and set them on the path toward violence and sedition.”
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.