Opinion

There’s Another Republican Group Supporting Biden—Except It’s The Same Old Never Trump Names

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Posted: Jul 13, 2020 1:26 PM
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There’s Another Republican Group Supporting Biden—Except It’s The Same Old Never Trump Names

Source: Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Invision/AP

The only trend to be seen is in the amount of these articles.

Over the weekend The Washington Post had a lengthy piece on the alleged surge of Republican groups that are emerging to oppose President Trump and back Joe Biden. If they are to be believed, The Never-Trump Movement Becomes a Campaign Forcebut in order to be believed you need to overlook a reality; these are many of the same names we are already familiar with in this "movement".

The piece opens by highlighting a video, uploaded by a disenfranchised Trump voter who declares he is so fed up with President Trump that he will be voting for a Democrat for the first time in his life. The voter is lending his support whole-heartedly behind Joe Biden, "And if Joe Biden drops out, and the DNC runs a tomato can, I will vote for the Tomato can." The political acumen here is not bolstered by any explanation for what drove this lifelong Republican away, it is merely held up as proof of the tidal shift supposedly taking place in the country.

The video was courtesy of a political action committee, Republican Voters Against Trump (RVAT) which is collecting a growing number of these testimonials. RVAT will be editing a number of these clips together and running commercials in battleground states where they feel Trump shows weakness, doing their part to aid in the election of Joe Biden -- you know, like a true conservative is motivated to do on behalf of their beliefs.

The video highlighted by WaPo seems part of a theme; on the front page of RVAT.org we are greeted with a quote from another submission, reading, "I would vote for a tuna fish sandwich before I’d vote for Donald Trump again." This produce-based rebellion is just what will take down the President, according to RVAT founder Sarah Longwell.

“The ones that really stand out tend to the be the ones where someone is really grappling with the decision, someone saying, ‘I’ve been a Republican my whole life, I’m passionate about this party, I’m passionate about these ideas, but I just can’t vote for Donald Trump,’?” Longwell said. “It feels like they’re getting something off their chest, and people really respond to that authenticity and the realness of that.”

Of course these are anonymous testimonials, and we have no means of measuring how impactful, or even truthful they may be. These videos carry about the same level of import as a comment section on a YouTube page, amounting to little more than confirmation bias for the already converted. The revealing aspect comes in the form of who organizes these PACs.

That passion for the party and for the ideas is not shared by those running these grifts, like Longwell. If her name sounds familiar it is because she is also named as publisher of never-Trump site The Bulwark, where Bill Kristol and Tim Miller reside -- two other names found on the RVAT board. This PAC is connected with Defending Democracy Together, a coalition of supposed conservative groups where we also see the names of other Bulwark masthead denizens joining in, like Mona Charen and Ben Parker. 

So what the Washington Post attempts to sell us on is a blooming tide of Republicans jumping off of the party ship, when in fact it is the same crowd of anti-Trump cranks reconstituted under differing banners, delivering the same tired monologue. Like the recently announced Right Side PAC, we do not find a swelling list of new names suddenly converting; these are the same voices who have been opposing Trump since before his election victory. 

These are all the types who couch their disdain for the president, and the party, under the guise that they are clinging to pure core conservative values, but then their effort and money is all applied to getting a left wing candidate installed in the White House. Their sole motivation is to broadcast their hatred for Trump. As a result we do not get principled conservative values, established in a viable platform, and delivered by a candidate with a record of conservative performance.

It is merely bomb-throwing, poisoning the well, and damaging the efforts instead of offering alternatives and solutions. They do not represent a groundswell of opposition but are in fact a group of dust-kickers inside a bubble. Despite what WaPo wants to insist these are not new arrivals to the cause. The names are the same, only the logos on the fundraising literature is different.