Jay Cost responds to former GOP strategist’s call to burn Trump’s Republican party to the ground

This is a bit of a lengthy thread from the American Enterprise Institute’s Jay Cost, but it’s well worth reading. As much fun as it is to watch the Democratic Party split between establishment figures like Rep. Nancy Pelosi and socialists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it’s less fun for us to see the GOP split between Never Trumpers who are encouraging Republicans to vote Democrat these midterms and the MAGA crowd who are holding fast.

Oh, and the Republicans Against Putin — Democrats welcome!

We’ve launched a new group, Republicans Against Putin. Those Republicans who, unlike our president, haven’t fallen under the KGB operative’s sway, can sign a petition here. And friendly independents and Democrats won’t be barred! https://t.co/cMOP5Y4HaQ

— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 17, 2018

Yeah, that’s from Bill Kristol, who tweeted that it “would be kind of great if Michelle Obama ran in 2020 and crushed Trump.”

So, is the solution, as former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt suggested on MSNBC, to let Trump Republicanism “burn to the ground”? Real Clear Politics has video and the excerpt from Schmidt’s appearance:

That’s not to mention the baby internment camps, the indecency, the cruelty, the meanness, the lying, the complicit nature of this Republican majority with an attack on the country that’s launched by the Russian Federation. So the Republican party of Teddy Roosevelt and John McCain and Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush is dead. It’s over. It doesn’t exist anymore. It has been taken over, lock, stock, and barrel. For there to be any redemption of a right of center conservative party in the United States of America means the party of Trump must be destroyed politically.

How about no. “Baby internment camps.”

This is the kind of argument you get from somebody with no skin in the game. https://t.co/qHEBVh8A18

— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) August 11, 2018

I criticized this “Burn It Down” ethos when the Tea Party types made it ca 2011. And I criticize it now.

— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) August 11, 2018

If you “burn down” the GOP, you create a vacuum that the left will fill.

— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) August 11, 2018


And so the only people who argue “Burn it down” either don’t get that very rudimentary fact, or do not really care.

— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) August 11, 2018

Trump has injected a shockingly low tone into our politics, and it is deeply lamentable to see the GOP follow along with him, BUT …

— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) August 11, 2018

… the left is still the left. And “burning down” the GOP will only advance the progressive agenda. I cannot get behind that.

— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) August 11, 2018

This is a real quandary that conservatives who do not regularly appear on MSNBC or CNN recognize admits of no easy answers.

— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) August 11, 2018

And yes this is a subtweet. A massive one.

Between the NeverTrump dead-enders and the MAGA MAGA RAWR crowd, I’ve taken to calling myself a Madisonian because being a “conservative” is just too danged embarrassing these days. https://t.co/2yG0RpV9ZV

— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) August 11, 2018

And BTW the notion that the GOP must lose to change is historically inaccurate. The GOP changed from Gingrich to Dubya WITHOUT losing any power.

— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) August 11, 2018

If “conservative” TV pundits were serious about fixing the GOP, they’d be focusing on the presidential nomination rules that produced Trump in the first place, rather than encouraging voters to elect congressional Democrats.

— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) August 11, 2018

You fix the party by getting a better nominee. A necessary condition for a better nominee? REFORM OF THE PARTY RULES.

— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) August 11, 2018

Trump won the nomination with only 45% of the vote, and even that was inflated by the lack of contests in the final month.

There is an INSTITUTIONAL defect here—namely, a plurality candidate can remake an entire American political party in his image.https://t.co/5cfItl1pOD

— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) August 11, 2018

This problem admits of multiple solutions, but one of them is ASSUREDLY NOT “elect congressional Democrats.”

— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) August 11, 2018

Amen thread. https://t.co/SurFvCG4Ud

— ConservativeBlackMan 🇯🇲🇺🇸 (@NevilleD35) August 11, 2018

This thread! Every bit of it! https://t.co/ivmL4x172m

— Fusilli Spock (@awstar11) August 11, 2018

Good thread, and also a call to vote this November. https://t.co/pZKiEAO7Hv

— GOP Pouncer (@Mellecon) August 11, 2018

Pretty much sums up my view on things: Trump and Trumpism present massive problems to me, but the Dems are even worse – so there’s no chance the Dems are gonna get my vote. https://t.co/KvxKnYeaQ8

— FlorbFnarb (@FlorbFnarb) August 11, 2018

This seems exactly right, and why I just can’t get behind supporting national Democrats in an effort to punish or fix the GOP. https://t.co/1x3lMIELXy

— Michael Brown (@mdavidbrown) August 11, 2018

I’d love to know what Schmidt’s new GOP would look like.

Big spending, free trade, lots of immigration, But Judges!

And that’s different from the old one that led to Trump how? https://t.co/GVZqUnOgsT

— Drew McCoy (@_Drew_McCoy_) August 11, 2018

The bigger take home point:

This is why Steve Schmidt has the same amount of weight in the GOP as, say, Joe Lieberman has in the DNC.

Which is to say…ZERO. https://t.co/KO51g55vd3

— Pradheep J. Shanker, M.D., M.S. (@Neoavatara) August 11, 2018

I really don’t understand why anyone cares what Steve Schmidt thinks. https://t.co/37nhm69U9A

— Klete Blakeman (@KleteBlakeman) August 11, 2018

What constitutes skin in the game? At some point it is possible to be worse than just being left. If there are no standards you aren’t a check to anything

— Marcus Whaley (@MarcusWhaley1) August 11, 2018

Not quite. pic.twitter.com/ytU5MNOcak

— cabbieBot (@cabbieBot) August 11, 2018


Hot take from WaPo and Vox: Republicans critical of Trump should vote Democrat to rein him in https://t.co/87StqACtzX

— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) April 25, 2018

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