Ex-White House official warns Republicans embracing Trump will own his toxic legacy

Ex-White House official warns Republicans embracing Trump will own his toxic legacy
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), joined by President Donald J. Trump, delivers remarks to the Clemson players during a celebration for the 2018 NCAA College Football National Champions the Clemson Tigers Monday, January 14, 2019, in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

Whatever they might be saying about President Donald Trump in private, most Republicans in Congress and GOP governors are afraid to openly criticize him. But David Meyers, who served in the George W. Bush White House from 2006-2009, has a warning for Republicans who are rallying around Trump: in an article for the conservative website The Bulwark, Meyers asserts that Trump’s toxic legacy will also be their toxic legacy.

“Donald Trump’s actions have so demeaned and debased our country and the role of president that we’ve become accustomed to them,” Meyers explains. “Things we previously thought unimaginable — a president who makes racist statements and calls a free press the ‘enemy’ of the people, who explicitly supports political violence, who lies to the face of Americans without reproach or consequence — have become commonplace in the United States.”

In some media outlets, it isn’t hard to find conservatives who are vehemently critical of Trump — MSNBC, for example. But the Never Trumpers who work at MSNBC or are often featured as guests tend to be people who no longer hold public office (former Rep. Joe Scarborough, who now hosts “Morning Joe”), served under a previous GOP president (Nicolle Wallace) or write columns for the Washington Post (Jennifer Rubin). They aren’t Republicans who are presently serving in the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate and live in constant fear of being slammed by Trump on Twitter.

“Only one sitting national Republican — Justin Amash — has left the party in protest of (Trump’s) fundamental unfitness,” Meyers observes. “His lies, autocratic tendencies and dismantling of legislative and executive safeguards continue without consequence — or sometimes, even notice.”

Meyers quickly adds, however, that Republicans who ally themselves will Trump will pay a political price for Trump’s actions whether they like it or not.

“Every single Republican senator or representative who does not explicitly condemn Trump’s behavior, or call for his removal — either now or through the November presidential election — is complicit in any further abuses, mismanagement or crimes that will occur under his watch,” Meyers warns. “Republicans who were elected to serve the interests of our country continue to look away, believing they are not responsible. But they are. We all are.”

Meyers applauds retired Gen. James Mattis, former secretary of defense under Trump, for recently calling the president out and wishes that more conservatives would do the same. But too many Republicans in Congress, Meyers laments, are afraid to do so — and politically, they will pay a price for their cowardice.

“We need leadership,” Meyers declares. “We need compassion. And we need Republican senators and representatives who love this country more than they love their own political fortunes, and are willing to do what is right — even if it will cost them election in November. Enough is enough. Trump must go.”


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