Like termites, they’re coming out of the woodwork, Republicans who say they going to vote for Hillary Clinton.
“I don’t agree with her on many issues, but she would be a much better president than Donald Trump, said Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
The latest publicity-hungry Republican to go public with an announcement that he’ll vote for Hillary is Richard J. Cross III. For your edification, he’s a speechwriter who worked at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
“The reality is, I cannot vote for Donald Trump. I could never vote for Donald Trump,” Cross said in an op-ed published Wednesday in The Baltimore Sun.
Pumping up his bona fides, Cross said he “personally drafted the speech of the ‘Benghazi mom,’ Patricia Smith,” which was “…something of a home run moment for me.”
Comparing himself to civil rights heroes, Cross said “This is a time to stand up and be counted…”
But Cross also wrote in the Benghazi speech, “If Hillary Clinton can’t give us the truth, why should we give her the presidency?”
Now, barely four weeks later, like a chameleon, he’s changed his colors. “Despite what I wrote in that nationally televised speech about Hillary Clinton, I may yet have to vote for her because of the epic deficiencies of my own party’s nominee,” he said in his op-ed.
For somebody who said he’s “…always been GOP to the core,” Cross’s commitment to Republican values sure is feeble.
Are all these Republican defectors to Hillary saying they are prepared to support a candidate who is on the wrong side of just about everything Republicans say they hold dear.
Are they now willing to back up Hillary’s likely claim of a mandate and endorse her proposals to grow big government even bigger?
Will they keep their mouths shut if Hillary wins and tries to push through laws that will do things such as:
- Increase federal spending by $1.8 trillion over the next decade.
- Increase the national debt to 86% of GDP over the next decade.
- Expand benefits under an already troubled Social Security program.
- Expand the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
- Spend $60 billion more on clean energy
- Provide free community college
- End student borrowing for 4-year state colleges
- Increase various business taxes
- Impose new fees on financial institutions
- Enact liberal immigration reforms
And do Republicans endorsing Hillary want a damaged president that 69 percent of prospective voters consider dishonest and untrustworthy.
In an August 2015 Quinnipiac University poll, “liar” was the first word that came to mind more than others in an open-ended question when voters were asked what they think of Hillary Clinton, followed by “dishonest” and “untrustworthy”. (“Arrogant” was the first word that came to mind for Trump, but that doesn’t seem quite as toxic)
But Hillary’s problems as a candidate go even deeper.
“Voters see her as an extraordinarily cynical, power-hungry insider,” James Poulos said in The Week . “She is out for herself, not out for Americans. Voters know it.”
This ties in with a long-held and widespread perception that Hillary and her family are just plain greedy, what with them hauling off $190,000 worth of china, flatware, rugs, televisions, sofas and other gifts when they moved out of the White House, taking money from all sorts of unsavory people and foreign countries for their Foundation, and charging exorbitant amounts for speeches.
David Axelrod, a political consultant who helped steer Obama to the presidency, noted in his book, “Believer”, that Hillary has two other main weaknesses: she’s a polarizing rather than a “healing figure,” and she has a hard time selling herself as the “candidate of the future” given her checkered past and long political resume.
Given all this, what I don’t get about all these “principled” Republicans saying they are going to abandon Trump and vote for Clinton is why they don’t, instead, pledge to vote for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
Pew Research defines a libertarian as “someone whose political views emphasize individual freedom by limiting the role of government.” For a Republican, what’s not to like about that?
Johnson is a thoughtful, honest, politically-experienced candidate whose views align with many of those espoused by the Republican Party.
Yes, there are differences. Libertarians generally oppose U.S. military interventionism, want to slash defense spending, and favor limiting the extent to which the federal tax code is manipulated to achieve social policy goals.
But I expect the Republican Party would find a Libertarian president easier to work with and more accommodating than Hillary Clinton.
So forget about all those kudos for Republicans who say they’ll dump Trump and vote for Hillary. They don’t deserve them.