Donald Trump might be able to make vague, grandiose promises and make a room full of impressionable racists cheer, but seasoned conservatives are not amused by the orange clown’s unconstitutional antics.
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George F. Will is one such conservative who recently penned a lengthy op-ed for the Washington Post telling fellow registered Republicans to vote for Democrats in Congress this November:
“The principle: The congressional Republican caucuses must be substantially reduced. So substantially that their remnants, reduced to minorities, will be stripped of the Constitution’s Article I powers that they have been too invertebrate to use against the current wielder of Article II powers.”
Will has long been a moderate Republican and has been known to criticize his party’s presidents in the past. He was especially critical of Bush’s Iraq policies and was particularly flummoxed by McCain’s insane choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate back in 2008.
Even though he has been willing to critique members of his own party in the past, he does not often advocate voting against them. Trump changes things, he says, and the storied conservative has taken a very strong stance against his party as a whole, which he elaborates further in the piece:
“Congressional Republicans… have no higher ambition than to placate this president. By leaving dormant the powers inherent in their institution, they vitiate the Constitution’s vital principle: the separation of powers.”
Will goes on to praise retiring Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican who tried to stand up to the president and gain back some power from the executive branch. Corker drafted a measure that would have required Congress to vote to approve any trade restrictions imposed in the name of “national security.”
After pointing out that the move was “sound governance,” he blasted the rest of the Republicans in the Senate for choosing not to vote on what would have only been the “the second amendment voted on this year.“
Will acknowledges that Trump likes to wield his powers unilaterally, as aspiring dictators do, so to restrict his ability to do so would have angered the president. He explains that is why every Republican except for Corker held their tongue.
That impotence, he says, makes Republican Congressional control “unimportant.”
Certainly, the strangest part of Trump’s presidency has been the unexpected camaraderie of former enemies, like Senator John McCain who effectively saved Obamacare last year after railing against it for 44’s entire presidency. But that is the most interesting part of Will’s piece – he doesn’t side with Democrats in the slightest.
In fact, he co-opts Hillary Clinton’s term for Trump supporters in the run-up to the election, calling a Democratic-controlled Congress “a basket of deplorables,” but assures his fellow conservatives that Republicans still present in the Senate would help balance that power, returning the country back to regular order.
Though he hasn’t actually come to his senses and abandoned Republicans all together, at least he acknowledges what his party’s quest for total government control as always been: judge appointments. Even those, he says, aren’t important enough to let Trump keep stomping around Washington:
“And to those who say, “But the judges, the judges!” the answer is: Article III institutions are not more important than those of Articles I and II combined.”
If Will truly stands behind this op-ed, he should utilize his platform to advocate for this as often as he can. Perhaps there are some moderates like himself out there who wish to see Trump reigned in — but fear the backlash from his unstable base — who just need a little nudge from someone of his influence.
The blue wave might be anticipated this fall, but it never hurts to have a little extra help.