Thursday, July 02, 2020

Trumpism's Achilles Heel -- Disaffected Republicans

The 30-second ad below will run on Fox News on Saturday during Trump's July 4th Salute to America. It features the face of former NC House member and Matthews, NC mayor, Shawn LeMond, saying, “The Republican Party that I knew and loved was an honorable party. What’s taken over our party is wrong. And as a Republican, as a Christian, we simply cannot allow this man to be re-elected.” (SORRY! Every attempt to embed the ad into this post screwed the hell out of the text. See the ad here.)

The ad was produced by a group calling itself Republican Voters Against Trump (RVAT). Their website is not forthcoming about who they are -- the names of individuals leading this effort -- but it contains a calvacade -- dozens and freakin' dozens -- of Republican testimonials about loss of faith in Trump, from all over the country. A bracing stew of discontent.

RVAT was founded in May 2020 as an auxillary PAC to Defending America, the brainchild of Bill Kristol and a small group of oher disaffected conservatives (Mona Charen, Linda Chavez, et al.) and veteran Republican campaign operatives (Sarah Longwell, Tim Miller). RVAT appears to have been created to target specifically North Carolina, along with Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, and Florida, with anti-Trump ads aimed at white college-educated suburban voters (Wikipedia).

Meanwhile, other conservative Republicans have been organizing other expressions of disgust, including Judge Bob Orr in North Carolina who helped launch a whole new would-be National Republican Party in the fall of 2019. Republicans for the Rule of Law and The Lincoln Project also sprang up.Yet another group, Republicans for a New President, plans to bring all the disaffected together in Charlotte for "an alternate convention" to Trump's renomination in Jacksonville. The website for Republicans for a New President also does not list its members, the names of its organizers, but says it's "A Project of Stand Up Republic." Stand Up Republic is a 501(c)(4) launched in January 2017 by Evan McMillan, a 2016 independent candidate for president.

Anyway, all these guys and gals are planning to get together August 24-27 in Charlotte for "The Convention on Founding Principles," a convocation of all the #NeverTrumpers, the location obviously chosen because the Republican National Convention was supposed to be there. After Roy Cooper pissed off Donald Trump, and the RNC moved itself to Jacksonville, Republicans for a New President didn't move. They stuck with Charlotte (though much of their "convention" is now likely to be "virtual"). The question: Can they get noticed enough? Get out a message? Present a salutary contrast to Trump's mob on the issue of COVID-prevention. Influence the election?

Trump continues to say (believe?) that 95% of Republicans love his ass, but the truth is he's been shedding Republican support at an accelerating pace. While early in the year some polls found Trump with 90% support among registered Republicans, by May a Rasmussen poll could find only 70% of Republicans enthusiastic about Trump's reelection. Some 23% explicitly wanted someone else to run for president. A Pew Research poll this week gives Trump 78% of the Republican Vote, down from 85% in March. (For comparison, George W. Bush was down to 75% support among Republicans by the end of his term.)

GOP strategist Larry Shaheen of Mecklenburg County said that ads like the one above are "not designed to move Republicans. They're designed to make the Unaffiliateds in urban areas more comfortable not voting for Trump and voting for Biden." That's Trumpism's Achilles heel, the independents.


Mike said...

All this Republican activity is having absolutely no influence on Republican elected members of House or Senate. Why is that?
I think it's because they still fear the radical right base.
There does not seem to be any sympathy for this kind of "old-style" "Christian" Republican among Watauga County Republicans. Why is that?

I don't think they can be believed, any of them.

The only way to make any change among Republicans is to destroy them in the upcoming election--I mean destroy them utterly.

PJ said...

Lots of good content (video/ads) coming out of this disaffected segment; if you've not had a chance, the Lincoln Project's ads are wonderful - wonderfully savage, that is. Good stuff, hard-hitting. In some ways they seem to put more energy into this work than the Dem party mainstream is...

Red Hornet said...

Watched the Rushmore event. Hot out there and only park employees wearing masks.
Crowd was tightly herded together. About 5 military aircraft flyovers. Mostly canned music (some inappropriate) and a pitiful Air Force band. Christy Noem gave a Sarah Palin plagiarism. Trump found 50 ways to threaten leftist dissent. A cram it down their throats program only a MAGAT could swallow. Not gonna help come Nov. 3. Not having the benefit of wilderness isolation the DC celebration Saturday could be even more tawdry. I didn't stay up for the fireworks.