Normally a story like this would be a five-alarm fire in grassroots conservative media, evidence that the RINO rat bastards in Washington were preparing for the ultimate back-stabbing. This time, though, per the #NeverTrump rallying cry, even some conservatives think the stabbing is justified. It’s highly likely come October that one of the hottest topics in righty media will be whether opposition to Trump must be limited to staying home or voting third-party or whether it can possibly justify a vote for — shudder — her.
And yes, I say that knowing full well that 90 percent of conservatives will turn out and vote for Trump as the nominee.
Anyway. Some Beltway Republicans, never far from casting a ballot for Democrats anyway, are already prepared to pull the lever for Hillary before Florida and Ohio have even held their primaries. Let the schism begin!
Fox News Channel anchor Bret Baier said it’s possible that some Republicans will vote for Hillary Clinton just to stop Donald Trump from taking over the party.
“Listen, there are Republicans in Washington who are privately saying that already,” Baier told TheWrap on Monday. “Maybe some don’t publicly say it, but I think there are some who are that adamant about it who would.”
Undoubtedly, and not just in Washington. This intriguing detail was tucked away in a Politico story yesterday about Bernie Sanders trying to find a way to make the primaries more competitive:
Now, Sanders has a difficult path to the nomination and no apparent eagerness to drop out. His top aides and supporters began making a new argument to justify the long slog: It’s great for Clinton.
It’s not an opinion necessarily shared in her circles. Clinton insiders are eager to begin recruiting to their cause Republicans turned off by the prospect of Donald Trump — and the threat of Sanders sticking it out until June makes the general election pivot more difficult.
Uh, which Republicans? And recruit them how? Even a Trump-hating maverick like Lindsey Graham would think twice about backing a Democrat for president publicly, especially since his home state gave Trump arguably his biggest win of the primaries. As for voters, what sort of ads could Hillary feasibly run that would convince an anti-Trump Republican to prefer her to him? The only angle I can think of is foreign policy. Robert Kagan, a famous hawk allied with Republican interventionists (but who calls himself a “former Republican”), declared in an op-ed a few weeks ago that if the GOP nominates Trump, he’ll vote Hillary. Which makes sense: If your top priority in a president is an interventionist foreign policy more so than it is domestic issues, obviously Hillary’s a better fit than the Jacksonian Trump. Just within the past week, dozens of Republican natsec analysts signed an open letter saying they won’t support Trump as nominee; others have told the media in interviews that they won’t be able to support him. Whether they go the whole nine yards and switch to Hillary instead depends, I’d guess, purely on whether she needs their votes or not. If she’s running away with the election in November, they’ll stay home. If it’s tight, they’ll bite the bullet and vote Democrat. There are, I’m sure, some hawkish rank-and-file GOP voters who’ll do the same, although I’m trying to imagine what Hillary’s pitch to them would look like. “Make Nation-Building Great Again”? Gonna be a hard sell.
By the way, Baier’s not the only reporter hearing supposedly surprising things being uttered by Beltway Republicans these days. I’ll leave you with this from Luke Russert, the latest bit of evidence that establishment GOPers are desperate to see the populists in their own base demoralized. Can you believe it, asks Russert. You know what? I think I can.
Believe or not, there are #GOP on the Hill that want to get destroyed this elex to finally "break the fever" of far right & moderate in '20
— Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) March 6, 2016