Opinion by: Krystal Ball
When I was on Bill Maher last weekend, he threw out a question that had me momentarily stumped. Who would Nicole Wallace, Steve Schmidt, and the other Never Trump-type Republicans be voting for? I had never really thought about it. Nothing against these people, but it had frankly never occurred to me to care. I mean, why would we look to a group of Republicans who just want Trump out of the way so they can get back to regime change wars, and Trump-style tax cuts for the rich, but without so much uncouth language?
It’s also a group of people who honestly barely exist in the wild. As much as I would love to imagine that there’s a huge group of voters out there who are lifelong Republicans that have seen the light, they just don’t really exist. The Never Trump Republican can only be found in the sanctuaries of cable news greenrooms and Sunday show panels.
Now thanks to David Drucker over at Washington Examiner, we have an answer to Maher’s query.
Never Trumpers are ridin’ with Biden. It makes sense really. Is there any group who stands to gain more from returning to a pre-Trump era? When they could ride roughshod over Democrats and make life miserable for poor people but with enough plausible deniability, and only racist undertones instead of overtones, so that they can cash in at the end of their “service” rather than winding up in a lime green shirt being ritually humiliated on Dancing with the Stars.
There also appears to be consensus in the group on who would be completely unacceptable. You’re not gonna be surprised. Per Jerry Taylor of the Niskanen center, “any electoral outcome that doesn’t return Donald Trump to the White House is a good outcome, save for the wild card of Bernie Sanders.” Yes, Donald Trump is an existential threat, but maybe not as much of an existential threat as actually empowering working class people.
Now, in another segment of the Morning Joe caucus there’s a similar handwringing going on.
At a Biden fundraiser yesterday billionaire casino magnate Neil Bluhm said that Warren and Bernie “don’t represent the Democratic Party” that he supports. This is a man who hosted Barack Obama’s 49th birthday party and has given to candidates like H.R.C. and Rahm Emanuel.
I guess it was all well and good as long as no one was going to raise his taxes or let his workers freely exercise their right to unionize. Now I know this is the point where I’m supposed to say we’re a big-tent Party. But yeah, no, these people can go somewhere else. Let’s take Bluhm as a specific example, he is a notorious union buster whose casinos have been charged numerous times with unfair labor practices.
I’m not sad he wants to leave the Party, I’m sad he ever felt at home here to start with!
Perhaps there was once an argument that you needed these people to fund the Party but we don’t need these people any more for anything! We don’t have to listen to their whining about how we’re too mean to CEO’s or Wall Street or care about their dreams of cutting Social Security or endure their anti-union rants. Consider that in 2018, Democrats witnessed an explosion of online fundraising. Nearly 5 million individual donors gave to candidates across the country through ActBlue alone.
Or consider that of the 3 top candidates, 2 of them have forsworn big dollar events for the primary. Now Warren does leave open the possibility she will go back to them in the general, but Sanders just passed the 1 million individual donor mark. Astonishing. Not one of those donors is a billionaire.
Look, here’s the deal: the Republican Party is supposed to be the Party of the rich. When things really started to go off the rails in American politics, the Democratic Party also became the Party of the rich. That’s how you end up with endless fixations on striking grand bargains to cut Social Security, NAFTA, TPP, and no jail time after the financial bailout.
It is my goal to return the Democratic Party to its FDR roots as the champion of the working class. So for me, people like Bluhm dropping out… that’s called progress. Repulsing the conservative sensibilities of the Never Trumpers is essential. So yes Neil Bluhm, this Party doesn’t represent you anymore. Because the truth is, whether or not Biden hangs on to win the nomination based on Obama nostalgia, his brand of neoliberalism has already lost. Medicare 4 All, the Green New Deal, and taxing billionaires are the new order of the day. If you’re not down for that, you owe it to yourself and everyone else to move along.