George Will, Joe Scarborough lead midterm exodus from GOP

It is almost Biblical, like Moses parting the Red Sea, to watch a growing list of prominent conservatives leave the Republican Party entirely, urge voters to back Democrats in the midterm elections, or both.

Leading lights in the firmament of conservative conscience include the dean of conservative columnists, George Will, and former congressman and Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough.


The exodus from the GOP includes lifetime Republican and Washington Post columnist Max Boot, leading Republican campaign adviser Steve Schmidt and Peter Wehner, who served former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.


President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE, who might be called the man who inspires a thousand points of darkness, spent his July 5 evening mocking former President George H.W. Bush for helping countless Americans through his "Thousand Points of Light" program. 

In that same speech, Trump again attacked Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a strange habit for a man who heaps lavish praise on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un among other murderous dictators.

What have prominent Republican war heroes done to Donald Trump? Former President George H.W. Bush and Sen. McCain are not only major war heroes; they are among the most widely respected and admired public figures in American life. 

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE, another Republican who was decorated for valor in the Vietnam War, has become a regular target of Trump’s ire.

Something is happening in America that is large and profound. If Donald Trump is America’s first post-truth president, George Will, Joe Scarborough, Max Boot, Steve Schmidt, Pete Wehner and other legitimate conservatives are leading a growing wave of post-partisan conservatives who are rejecting the GOP of Donald Trump.

I predict these post-partisan Republicans will soon be joined by other genuinely conservative luminaries who essentially believe that the Republican Party is dead and that the GOP must lose its majority in Congress to save itself from the post-truth president who offers America a thousand points of darkness.

Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act Internal RNC poll shows Pelosi is more popular than Trump: report MORE (D-Calif.) may be the latest target of fanatical Republican partisanship and invective, but consider this question: What does it say that George Will would prefer that Pelosi be the next Speaker of the House over any Republican?

Let's give a standing ovation to Will, Scarborough, Boot, Schmidt, Wehner and other legitimate conservatives and Republicans who have taken a stand of principle to leave the party they once loved, to serve the country they will always love.

Let's give a standing ovation to former President George H.W. Bush and Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ MORE. No matter how much I may disagree with them on policy issues, they were heroes in war, patriots in public life, true conservatives in spirit and great Americans throughout their careers.

What kind of Republican attacks Bush 41 and McCain? What kind of president attacks Canada?

What kind of president attacks European unity, divides the NATO alliance, praises the Russian dictator who attacks Western democracy, salutes North Korean generals and surrounds his presidency with the worst collection of crony capitalists and swampland profiteers ever assembled by any president?

As I recently wrote in The Hill, Ronald Reagan would strongly condemn Trump’s praise of dictators and attacks against democratic leaders. If Trump dares to seek a private meeting with Vladimir Putin with no Americans present, special counsel Mueller should have a representative present at their meeting, just in case.

From now until Election Day, voters will witness Will, Scarborough, Boot, Schmidt, Wehner and a growing number of other prominent Republicans and conservatives raking Trump and his supporters over the coals.

From now until Election Day, voters will witness more Trump attacks against widely admired figures such as Bush 41 and McCain that will be followed by more condemnations from Will, Scarborough, Boot, Schmidt, Wehner and other respected figures who will soon emerge to follow in their footsteps.

From now until Election Day, voters will witness a growing number of prominent Republicans and conservatives breaking ranks as a matter of conscience — and calling on voters to elect a Democratic Congress to save their party and our nation from the post-truth president.

On Election Day voters will elect a Democratic House and possibly, even, a Democratic Senate.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.