Conservatives deserting the Republican Party

The Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, has renounced her Republican registration citing partisan misbehavior by Trump, and by the Senate during the Brett Kavanaugh hearing.

Kansas State Senator Barbara Bollier has become a Democrat after 43 years as a Republican, citing morality and the GOP’s ‘absurd’ stance on LGBTQ issues.

Top conservative thinkers who’ve left the GOP and are urging people to vote for Democrats include George Will and Max Boot.

Steve Schmidt is a top Republican strategist, serving in high White House positions under Bush-Cheney, and as Communications Director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, etc.

Several former Senators and Congressmen have left the GOP recently: David Jolly, Gordon Humphrey, Joe Scarborough, etc.

Republicans who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 include President G.H.W. Bush, Henry Paulson, Colin Powell, Christine Todd Whitman, John Warner, etc. In addition many, like Gov. John Kasich, voted for a 3rd-party candidate or a write-in.

One top Republican who’s left the GOP cited Susan Collins’ vote to confirm Kavanaugh as evidence that there’s nothing left in the Party worth salvaging. She is supposedly the beacon of hope for GOP moderation and sanity, yet sacrificed all principles to make a dishonest and fawning speech in support of this misogynist perjuring hyper-partisan judge.

Why haven’t more thinking Americans left the GOP? Can we retain any respect for those who haven’t?

What’s the Venn diagram of ‘thinking Americans’ and ‘Republicans’ look like anymore?

What did any of those people, or the departing Senators and Congressfolk making all of their tut-tutting final speeches, do to prevent any of that happening with their party while they still could? They followed the party line like they always did, didn’t they?

Let 'em just STFU. Nobody cares what they think.

I left the Republican party during the 2016 election. It was a long time in coming, as I’d become increasingly concerned with the direction of the party on many issues. But the nomination of Trump was the final straw. It was indefensible on so many fronts.

It’s not that I like the Dems. But the Pubs are no longer a normal political party. It’s been taken over by grifters, kooks, criminals, racists, hucksters, con-men…you name it, they have it.

When I was growing up, most of the crazies were on the Left. That’s no longer the case.

How would we know if they did? Maybe as a first step they felt it was better to speak quietly to their colleagues about their concerns rather than air Republican dirty laundry in public. We wouldn’t know if any of these people had done that. Having seen that that didn’t work they’re now going public.

It’s never too late to start doing the right thing. Calling people out for not having done it sooner doesn’t help matters.

The Right-Wing media industrial complex is still selling the fairy tale that GOP = Real American and Democratic Party = EVIL. Even the rare “thinking” GOP member has a very strong identity bond with the party, in spite of all the nonsense. If there were an alternative party that is not the Dems, and FOX told everyone to go join, then I think you would see an exodus. But, at least so far, that party does not exist, and FOX seems to be Trump all the way.

Even Bill Buckley once famously remarked that “our side has more kooks than theirs does”. Maybe it just seemed to you that there were more crazies on the left because they were more vocal, and doing bombings and stuff.

It is worth noting that there does not seem to be enough non-trump conservatives to sustain the Weekly Standard, which has folded.

Buckley was quite right. The large majority of political violence in the US is from the right, not the left.


As much as I’d like to think this is the beginning of some sort of mass exodus from the Republican party, I don’t believe it is. What it is, at most, is a slight realignment; upper-middle-class professionals with advanced degrees, formerly a politically mixed demographic, are becoming overwhelmingly Democratic. (Bollier, who is a doctor, would fit into this category, as would most journalists and pundits.) This is not, numerically, a big demographic. It is a vocal demographic, one that does a lot of writing and public speaking and has access to the kind of venues that allow its voice to be heard, but that’s not the same thing.

Wellllll, to be fair they do have audiences of readers, viewers, and in the case of elected officials - supporters and voters. So, there is the possibility of some coattail (bandwagon?) effect.

That is true, but I’m not convinced the majority of the people who currently identify as Republicans are the type of people who are influenced by, say, George Will in the first place. Mostly, the people who were the kind of Republicans who read George Will have already stopped identifying as Republicans – not so much because of George Will but because they and George Will were both caught up in this bigger trend, if that makes sense. The current group of Republicans has a different set of opinion leaders and influencers, and I see no reason to think this group isn’t still going strong.

Don’t ask Scott Walker to draw it. :smiley:

I’m still stuck on the Chief Justice of a state talking about politics and her personal partisan affiliation.

Doesn’t happen in Canada.

…mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits… :smiley:

Well, at least in the case of the person who inspired the thread, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, she’s done quite a bit to stand up to the Republican Party and its onslaught on personal rights. As Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, she told ICE to stay the hell away from California courts when looking to detain suspected improperly present in the country persons. She’s worked to reform bail practices, and decriminalize various traffic offenses. I believe that her opinions on the Court have not been particularly “conservative” in orientation, and under her leadership, the California Supreme Court has not been trending particularly conservative, either.

And they’re doing so just at the time when a large part of the Democrats’ base is calling for a *more *leftist/progressive position, as opposed to a swing to center. Fun times.
But anyway, yeah, I’m not sure that we should hold it against them that they continued to identify under the name “Republican” until the wheels came off. I mean, Joe Manchin keeps claiming he’s a Democrat.

The republicans got 50 million votes for the house in the 2018 midterm. The republicans have done nothing but tried to cover up Trump’s crimes.

The vast, vast majority of republican voters are fine with this behavior.

I expect most of the Republicans with major disagreements with the current direction of the party simply become independents.

Independents who still vote republican.

I phrased the OP title poorly. It’s the intellectual framework of the GOP that is dissolving; the leaders and philosophers are deserting. Both then-living GOP Presidents — Bush and Bush — opposed Trump. The intelligent pro-America opinion-makers (Will and Boot, but of course not jackals like Hannity and Limbaugh) are fleeing the sinking ship.

What’s left is flocks of voters trying to hold on to a crumbling core, hallucinating that the abyss engulfing them is a magic highway to Make America Great Again. Without leaders that want to serve America, these voters are at the mercy of grifters and flim-flam artists. Sad.