A Republican walks away from his party, but what does that accomplish?
Fed up with President Trump's craziness and policies, a former town council member in Trumbull, Michael London, who also has been a member of the Republican committee there, announced in a newspaper essay the other day that he has resigned from the party and become unaffiliated. Of course London is entitled to his disgust but it's hard to see anything good coming from his gesture.
For London has mainly just disenfranchised himself. Being unaffiliated, he no longer can participate in nominating candidates for office. While he continues to profess "true Republican" principles − "smaller government, tight budgets, and lower taxes" − his departure from the party would leave Connecticut to the Democrats, who stand for the opposite.
The question with the Republican Party now is the same as with the Catholic Church, which again is mired in a sexual abuse scandal. That is: Is it worth fighting for? Since there are other Christian denominations, Catholics have alternatives. But where else can adherents of limited and accountable government go in Connecticut?
Unfit as Trump is, the United States and Connecticut have faced similar situations before. A Democratic president, Lyndon B. Johnson, waged a stupid imperial war in Vietnam for four years and turned the national security apparatus against those who opposed it. But Democrats against the war stuck with their party, challenged the president for renomination, and, much to everyone's surprise, including their own, forced him to retire.
In Connecticut a popular Republican governor, John G. Rowland, was caught by the press taking bribes. He tried to tough it out but members of the Republican minority in the General Assembly bravely took the lead in an impeachment investigation that compelled his resignation. Remarkably, Rowland's lieutenant governor and successor, also a Republican, won the next gubernatorial election.
More than his policies and his low character, Trump's mental instability is his greatest danger to the country and indeed the world. Most Republican officeholders themselves see this though they have cowered from it. But it is getting worse and provoking similar mental instability in the Democratic opposition, as was demonstrated this week at the Senate hearing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.
The Democrats will be dismissed as reflexively partisan against Trump because they are.
The major news organizations will be dismissed as reflexively partisan because most have become so. They overlook Democratic lies and hypocrisy.
On Tuesday the CBS Evening News actually led its broadcast with a report about Bob Woodward's disparaging if plausible book about Trump, "Fear." Conveniently, the book is being published by a CBS subsidiary, Simon and Schuster.
On Wednesday The New York Times published an anonymous essay purportedly written by a Trump White House official disparaging the president. The essay also was plausible enough but publishing anonymous disparagement long had come to be considered unethical in American journalism. Now anything that knocks Trump seems to be considered fair.
The country's worsening crackup obliges Republicans to stop cowering and to let the president know that he will either have to calm down or resign or face impeachment without assurance of support from his own party. Walking away from the party only makes it easier for Trump and worse for the country.
Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester
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