Massachusetts’s Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, “cannot support Donald Trump for president” but doesn’t say who he will support.
Maryland’s Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, didn’t vote for Trump, instead saying he “voted for Ronald Reagan.”
Nebraska’s Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican, slammed Trump on a constituent call, noting his strong disagreements are “why I didn’t agree to be on his re-election committee, and it’s why I’m not campaigning for him.”
These are cowardly positions and do not take a stand against Trump’s real harm or against greater Trumpism. Say what you will about The Lincoln Project, but that group of former Republicans seem to understand the need — and be willing to — blow up Republicanism to defeat Trumpism.
No, Baker’s and Hogan’s and Sasse’s stances are all cowardly attempts to retain political power for Republicans.
The tell in all of this, whether it’s a voting for a dead man who, even if resurrected, is ineligible to serve as president or an unwillingness to openly endorse the only other presidential candidate who has a chance of beating Trump, is that Sasse’s concern that the president’s recklessness could lead to a “Republican blood bath.”
Democrats need sane conservative opposition to keep them honest, and they haven’t had that in a long time. Republicans haven’t, apparently, needed to be sane to win and wield power.
But Republicans are clinging to this fantasy that they can defeat Trumpism and save conservativism. But they miss that, right now, they can’t defeat former without burning down the latter.
In the run up to the election we can expect other Republicans to jump ship. Here are some who are open about not supporting Trump, but squeamish about offer support to Joe Biden, who is, you’ll recall, the only candidate on the ballot who can defeat Trump.
Utah’s Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican, did not vote for Trump, but says who he did vote for is “something I’m keeping private at this stage.”