Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
The media is gleefully touting the defection of Republicans to the Hillary camp. In reality, the Republicans who are defecting were never Republicans at all.
Take Congressman Richard Hanna. Please.
Hanna has announced that he’ll be backing Hillary Clinton. This isn’t so much a change as an admission.
Hanna is a retiring lame duck whose Republican credentials are up there with those of fellow Hillary endorsee Michael Bloomberg. Both men are New York politicians who ran as Republicans because of pure political opportunism. No one seriously believed that Bloomberg was a Republican.
Hanna’s Republican credentials are an even bigger joke.
He opposed ending funding for Planned Parenthood and he’s a Global Warmunist. His credentials on most other Republican issues are extremely shaky at best.
Congressman Hanna, like most of the fake Republicans, blames his defection on Trump. But in the last election, when Trump was not an issue, he was telling attendees at an ERA rally to give money to Democrats “because the other side — my side — has a lot of it.”
Hanna’s hiccup was telling. He viewed Republicans as “the other side.” He’s a Democrat in all but name. Soon he’ll be a Democrat in name as well. His defection was not about Trump. Not when he was urging donations to Democrats in the last election. Trump is just an excuse that fake Republicans like Hanna are using to let their donkey flag fly freely.
Four years ago, Hanna was whining that, “I would say that the friends I have in the Democratic Party I find ... much more congenial — a little less anger.”
No doubt. Because Hanna was one of them.
A year later, he responded to Obama’s State of the Union address by saying that he “agreed with much of it” and during the investigation of Benghazi, he had insisted that, “a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people and an individual: Hillary Clinton.”
The media will pretend that Congressman Hanna’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton is a shocking development, when it’s really an inevitable one. Hanna found it convenient to play Republican. Now that he’s retiring, he no longer needs to. The fake Republican can tell the truth for the first time.
Then there’s Sally Bradshaw, the close Jeb Bush adviser who was the media’s other big “Republicans for Hillary” catch. Bradshaw’s candidate lost and she has moved on to opening a bookstore. This may or may not be a step up from her chicken farm with the world’s most expensive chickens whose eggs go for $100 a piece. Meanwhile her husband’s Southern Strategy Group lobbyists, closely integrated with Jeb Bush, represented clients like Disney and Apple. But that’s just politics as usual.
Sally Bradshaw was the force behind the Jeb Bush campaign. And her vision proved to be utterly wrong.
Bradshaw had co-authored the GOP post-election autopsy which backed illegal alien amnesty. It complained that conservatism was an “ideological cul-de-sac” still clinging to Reagan. It insisted that Republicans had to “make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view” by evolving and reforming on social issues.
Republicans had to be “inclusive,” “welcoming” and tolerant.” Illegal alien amnesty was “consistent with Republican economic policies that promote job growth and opportunity for all.” Republicans had to be angry at CEOs and stand for entitlements. They had to stop being so conservative and focus on diversity training. They had to carefully watch their language and avoid saying anything politically incorrect.
While some of the report’s proposals had merit, its overall tone predicted Republican decline and insisted that the GOP had to become more liberal to survive. It was full of tidbits such as, “On messaging, we must change our tone — especially on certain social issues that are turning off young voters” or “the importance of a welcoming, inclusive message in particular when discussing issues that relate directly to a minority group.” There was little in it that Democrats would have opposed.
The campaign process proved Bradshaw wrong. Her defection to Team Hillary is the outcome of a process which disproved her message. Team Hillary follows the GOP autopsy program.
But Bradshaw’s defeatist program didn’t work for Jeb Bush. It didn’t work for the GOP. It wasn’t conservative. It assumed that conservatism had lost. And Bradshaw’s defection is an open admission of that assumption. If the GOP is doomed, she might as well switch to Team Hillary which is very tolerant, inclusive and welcoming to illegal aliens.
So that is what she did.
Then there’s Meg Whitman who became a Republican when convenient, despite not having voted in decades. After wasting massive amounts of Republican resources on a failed bid in California against Jerry Brown, Meg has announced that she is now backing Hillary Clinton as a “proud Republican.”
“Secretary Clinton’s temperament, global experience and commitment to America’s bedrock national values make her the far better choice in 2016 for President of the United States,” Whitman insisted.
Because if there’s anything Hillary Clinton embodies it’s a commitment to American values.
But that says more about Whitman’s values than it does about American values. Meg Whitman backed illegal alien amnesty, she’s for abortion, gay marriage and marijuana legalization. Before backing Hillary, Whitman had served on Friends of Boxer to help elect Barbara Boxer. And she believes in global warming.
Like the rest of the fake Republicans, Meg Whitman was never conservative in any sense of the word. She was a political opportunist who found it convenient to use the Republican elephant as a platform for her political ambitions. And then, when the going got tough, she defected back just as quickly.
Fake Republicans have always been easy to spot. Like Whitman, they speak in generalities about our values, but when it comes to the details they lean to the left. They have no conservative program. Their only linkage to the GOP is a weak attachment to fiscal conservatism. But this fiscal conservatism, shared by fake Republicans like Michael Bloomberg and Meg Whitman does not trump their left-wing positions on social issues. The only kind of Republicanism that they are comfortable with is one that adopts the positions of the left on everything except the economy. And that is a doomed proposition.
“The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country,” Thomas Paine wrote. The GOP had more than its share of sunshine patriots and summer candidates who are eager to play Republican when it’s convenient for them, but who have no commitment to a conservative cause. Their defections are not a loss, but a benefit.
Meg Whitman blocked conservative candidates. The departure of fake Republicans clears the way for a more conservative party that will be able to truly articulate conservative ideas because it believes in them. Hillary can have Whitman, Bradshaw and Hanna. Conservatives will take the GOP.