Conservative slams Will Hurd for promoting the fantasy that a moderate Republican can prevail in 2024

Conservative slams Will Hurd for promoting the fantasy that a moderate Republican can prevail in 2024
Will Hurd in November 2024, Wikimedia Commons

During a recent interview with The Atlantic’s Tim Alberta, former Rep. Will Hurd of Texas expressed hopes that a non-extreme or “normal” brand of conservatism can prevail in the Republican Party in 2024 — that he could run for president as a moderate Republican two years from now and win. Never Trump conservative Tim Miller responds to that interview in an article published by The Bulwark on March 30, stressing that Hurd is living in a fantasy world if he believes that the GOP will have any room for a presidential candidate with his non-extremist views in 2024.

“Let’s start here: 2024 will not be, as the Atlantic’s headline puts it, ‘The Revenge of the Normal Republicans’ — at least not in the sense that Hurd and Alberta mean it,” Miller warns. “There is not a reservoir of support out there for ‘Republican’ candidates like Hurd who don’t care about trans athletes or CRT, feel anguished over George Floyd’s death, think Donald Trump should have been impeached, and believe ‘the letter next to my name should matter less than my message.’”

Miller continues, “Hurd laments the fact that many of his boobish former congressional colleagues didn’t do the homework and couldn’t be bothered to learn the difference between Sunni and Shia. He says we need leaders who instead, contemplate the complex moral quandaries and competitive challenges arising from such fields as quantum computing and artificial intelligence and biomedicine. Hard agree!”

Miller, a former Republican who is often featured as a conservative pundit on MSNBC, believes the GOP took a dangerously authoritarian turn with Trumpism — and while he doesn’t disagree with Hurd’s vision for the Republican Party, he believes that Hurd (who was the only African-American Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives) is being hopelessly naïve if he believes the GOP will move in that direction in 2024.

“Everything Hurd says now is the same exact shit I peddled as the spokesman for Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign 11 years ago,” Miller recalls. “Comity! Normalcy! Taking on the hard challenges! Ignoring the extremists! Getting off the crazy train! Blah blah blah blah blah. How’d that race turn out? We skipped Iowa, finished a distant third in New Hampshire, and called it a day. Womp, womp.”

Miller goes on to say that thanks to Trumpism, the far right is even more prominent in the GOP now than it was when he promoted former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.’s presidential campaign in 2011 and 2012.

“If Huntsman couldn’t even sniff a single primary win in 2012,” Miller argues, “how is Hurd going to do it with the same message now that today’s GOP is even less disposed to care?”

Miller wraps up his article by emphasizing that while he generally likes Hurd from a policy standpoint, the former congressman is doing moderate conservatives a disserice by giving them false hope that they will be welcome in 2024’s GOP presidential primary.

“Despite my acerbity, I want to be clear: I like Will Hurd,” Miller writes. “I have disagreed with his tactical moves in relation to Trump over the past few years, but it seems to me that if you strip away all the political positioning and the BS, we probably agree on nine out of ten issues…. But a genie ain’t coming to my door, and there’s no acquisition cost that is going to make Republicans choose Will Hurd in 2024.”

Miller continues, “Pretending the party has the potential to be something that it has no chance to be is not actually how we get the ‘solutions’ that Hurd claims to care so much about. If anything, it risks distracting people from confronting the sobering, real-life political choices that are in front of us.”


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