*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
Although it is more symbolic than anything, another long-time Republican official came out and announced that for the first time in 40 years of voting he will be supporting a Democrat for the presidency. It is important to note that a few big-name Republicans rejecting Donald Trump over who knows what reason is not going to convince even one die-hard Republican that their fascist hero Trump deserves to lose, but it is entertaining for Democrats.
That remark, that Trump “deserves to lose,” is the opinion of Frank Lavin, a died-in-the-wool Republican who worked for three of the last Republican presidents. Lavin was Ronald Reagan’s political director, worked for George H.W. Bush’s Commerce Department, and then as George W. Bush’s undersecretary of Commerce for international trade. Lavin joins a growing list of Republicans rejecting Trump such as Representatives Scott Rigell (R-VA) and Richard Hanna (R-NY) and former gubernatorial candidate and current HP CEO Meg Whitman, among many others.
In an op-ed for CNN, Mr. Lavin wrote:
“It might not be entirely clear that Hillary Clinton deserves to win the presidency, but it is thunderingly clear that Donald Trump deserves to lose.
From this premise, I will do something that I have not done in 40 years of voting: I will vote for the Democratic nominee for president. The depressing truth of the Republican nominee is that Donald Trump talks a great game but he is the emperor who wears no clothes.”
Although Lavin noted that Trump’s attack on the parents of a slain US soldier, coupled with the hotel magnate’s lack of character and childish behavior, disqualify him as worthy of his support, he actually cited one major flaw that should be a major issue for establishment Republicans and the base. Of course Mr. Lavin noted Trump’s various “crippling defects,” such as being “a bigot, a bully, and devoid of grace or magnanimity,” qualities that “ensure he would fail in office,” it was his business failures that disqualify him as a Republican candidate.
Lavin believes that the real story that should resonate with Republicans is his four business bankruptcies. It is actually six bankruptcies according to Pulitzer prize-winning Politifact, but compared to most Americans who never default on their debts, any more than one bankruptcy informs bad business and bad ethics.
Lavin said Trump’s business failures should certainly be:
“More than a trivial matter for a party that prides itself on thrift, sound money, and prudential management.
The bankruptcies reflect a man who either lacks reasonable business judgment or reasonable business ethics. Four bankruptcies are pretty bad, but four bankruptcies and a private jet is deplorable. How can everyone lose money in the collapse of a project yet Trump flies away again and again?”
It is a valid question, but one Republicans never posed to Willard Romney any more than they do Trump. Remember, Romney’s company made a fortune saddling companies with crushing debt and then bankrupting them after taking all the liquidity and cash for his personal profits. Of course, although Romney was every bit as bigoted, a bully, and lied as often as Trump, he never expressed the exact same worldview as Donald Trump or establishment Republicans while on the campaign trail; otherwise, there is little difference between Trump, Romney or any establishment Republican. It is why very few currently-serving Republicans are openly rejecting Trump.
These announcements from Republican operatives and former politicians excite Democrats to no end, but it is telling that they are either operatives or former politicians. And, it is noteworthy that every time a “former” this or “operative” that criticizes Donald Trump, no matter the reason, his base circles the wagons and embraces the narrative that everyone is out to get their hero.
It may be important for “former” Republican officials to bail on the Party standard bearer, but it is unlikely their exodus will have much effect on Trump or the election. There is a damn good reason most current Republican officials are not openly condemning Donald Trump; they need his supporters’ votes in November. When Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, or any leading Republican announces that “it is thunderingly clear that Donald Trump deserves to lose,” it may have an effect on the outcome of the election and it will mean the end of a career for whoever condemns Trump.
Most Republicans have stayed quiet about Trump being unqualified because besides agreeing in principle with everything he says, the last thing they want to do is anger their base, something Mr. Lavin or Meg Whitman or former Republican officials don’t have to worry about because they aren’t running for office.