Former George W. Bush official: GOP is now 'too compromised by extremists to be trusted with political power'

Former George W. Bush official: GOP is now 'too compromised by extremists to be trusted with political power'

Before he became a Never Trump conservative, Christian Vanderbrouk spent eight years in the George W. Bush Administration. Vanderbrouk analyzes the state of the Republican Party in an article published by The Bulwark on January 25, concluding that in light of the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol Building and widespread efforts to overthrow the 2020 election results, the GOP is "too compromised by extremists to be trusted with political power" at this point.

On January 6, Vanderbrouk notes, a "rampaging and murderous mob of pro-Trump insurrectionists…. ransacked the U.S. Capitol to disrupt (then-) President-elect Joe Biden's transition to power, murdering officer Brian Sicknick and shouting 'kill him with his own gun' at officer Michael Fanone while they tased him to the point of causing a heart attack." Such extremism, Vanderbrouk argues, now enjoys widespread support among former President Donald Trump's loyalists in the GOP.

Vanderbrouk explains that after the 2020 election, "Pro-Trump conservatives and elected Republicans echoed and amplified such menacing calls over the next eight weeks, with a particular focus on legislators, state government officials, and judges who refused to help the president remain in power. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani endorsed threats against lawmakers who refused to help overturn the election results. 'Sometimes, it even requires being threatened,' Giuliani said about pressuring Michigan state lawmakers. Freshman Congressman Madison Cawthorn urged attendees at Charlie Kirk's Turning Point USA to threaten their representatives as well."

According to Vanderbrouk, "Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn attracted widespread condemnation for advocating that Trump invoke the Insurrection Act in the weeks following the election and demanding a 're-vote' under military supervision. Fewer people noticed that Flynn also encouraged his followers on social media to donate to a group called the '1st Amendment Praetorian,' which describes itself as a 'volunteer force of military, law enforcement & intel agency community professionals standing up to protect the 1st Amendment and those who use it.'"

Vanderbrouk wraps up his article by stressing that traditional conservatives should not ally themselves with a party that has been overrun by secessionists and violent insurgents.

"For those of us who still consider ourselves conservative, we cannot yet return to a Republican Party that, at best, maintains strategic silence in the face of violent or secessionist agitation — and at worst, is egging it on from the fancy sinecures of Conservatism Inc.," Vanderbrouk warns. "A cancer of complicity afflicts nearly the entire movement, and while there are decent leaders who deserve support — particularly from far-right primary challengers — the GOP is too compromised by extremists to be trusted with political power anytime soon."

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