Here’s the debate: Are these onetime Republicans so blinded by what I call Trump Trauma that they’re running into the arms of the opposition party? Or is this a one-off, a temporary defection to restrain a president they think is damaging the country?
These people deserve to be taken seriously. But it doesn’t invalidate their arguments to say that there are certain rewards in the media culture for conservatives who break with their side. Favorable publicity. MSNBC contracts. New respect from the left for their independence. (Flip the script for a moment and think about how the few Democratic pundits who broke with Barack Obama were denigrated or dismissed.)
Some big-name, anti-Trump conservatives, such as Bill Kristol, argue that it’s better to stay and fight for a better GOP, which they define as veering away from the president’s most controversial policies.
But for others, the Democrats that they’ve spent their lives battling suddenly look like they’re worth dating, if not marrying.