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Establishment Republicans Trashing Trump Is Not Stunning or Brave

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

In the post-Trump era, a peculiar breed of establishment Republican politician has emerged out of the ruins that the 45th president made of the Bush-era neocon party: the so-called “Never Trumper,” a moniker used to describe politicians allegedly of a moral core too strong to abide Trump, with principles too lofty as to be violable by the filthy MAGA rabble.

The establishment, of course, celebrates these people as if they are divine beings descended from the heavens astride white horses.

You know who they are because they have made (in some cases resurrected) their careers posturing in this vein: Liz Cheney, Chris Christie, Mitt Romney, et al.

Cheney, daughter of (once upon a time) nearly universally reviled neocon Dick Cheney, led the Trump impeachment inquiry and in return rose like a phoenix to become an MSNBC Slay Queen celebrity overnight.

Here is Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) singing her praises, lauding her as “courageous” and “patriotic” for her efforts.

Ultra-progressive Social Justice™ rag Mother Jones offered a similar endorsement in an article titled simply “Hero: Liz Cheney” (emphasis added):

Cheney became the only member of the House GOP leadership to refuse to sign an amicus brief in support of the ridiculous lawsuit filed by Texas’ pro-Trump attorney general asking the Supreme Court to overturn the election in a handful of swing states. According to ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, Cheney privately lobbied her colleagues to reject Trump’s demands that they endorse the brief. And as the weeks went on and January 6 approached, Cheney continued to sound alarm bells. When Trump was recorded pressuring Georgia’s secretary of state to change the election results, Cheney called the president’s actions “deeply troubling.” She also drafted a lengthy memo warning that efforts to challenge the Electoral College vote in Congress would “set an exceptionally dangerous precedent” that would be “directly at odds with the Constitution’s clear text.”…

Cheney’s insistence on pursuing that truth in the face of Trump’s lies will probably put an end to her time in Congress. The courage she has displayed over the last 13 months certainly doesn’t undo the damage she has caused around the world throughout her career; no amount of never-Trumpism can paper over the disastrous legacies of the Bush foreign policy chorus. It doesn’t have to. Cheney is not a life-long hero. But she is a hero of 2021.

This is a common talking point of the corporate state media and leftist media regarding people like Cheney and their alleged braveness and stunningness: they sacrificed so much to save Democracy™!

Related: Chris Christie Claims He Made a ‘Great Sacrifice’ to Become a Career Politician

Never mind that most of the “Never Trumpers” were once his most submissive, deferential servants on the campaign trail, dutifully standing behind him on stage and taking orders like good boys and girls when it served them politically (in their own estimations) to do so. All of a sudden, though, they find their moral centers at the age of 50-something or, in the case of Romney, 70-something.

The most salient point is that none of these heel-turns were made out of any kind of sincere commitment to principle, rule of law, or Democracy™. Politicians don’t have principles as a general rule, and the ones who do tend not to make it on CNN for fawning interviews. These were cynical career moves to rebrand themselves as the honorable opposition to fascism or whatever in service of the Deep State.

The intelligence agencies oppose Trump because he won’t go along enthusiastically enough with forever wars. The international NGOs hate Trump because he threatens to destabilize the precious “liberal world order” and therefore the gravy train of “humanitarian aid” to “developing countries” that they feed off of. Wall Street opposes Trump because he is viewed as too unpredictable to keep their market speculations viable. Multinational corporations despise Trump because he won’t blanketly endorse “free trade” deals that benefit them at the expense of the American working and middle classes. The corporate state media hates Trump because it’s great for ratings.

All of the power centers that run the U.S. state oppose Trump. Remaining in solidarity with him would be the dangerous, risky, self-sacrificial long-term career move for Washington insiders — not denouncing him.

All of these “Never Trumpers” will be richly rewarded following their “public service” with lucrative cable news channel contributor contracts, neoliberal think tank appointments at the Cato Institute, and board positions on Walmart, Raytheon, the unending adoration by their peers at Beltway cocktail parties, etc. These are craven creatures of the Swamp who deserve nothing but derision and mockery — not praise.

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