News & Politics

Here Are 5 Right-Wing Republicans or Ex-Republicans Who Are Openly Cheering for a Massive Democratic Wave in November

Trump has been so toxic for the Republican Party that some conservatives believe it needs a giant wake-up.

Photo Credit: MSNBC (via YouTube)

Fox News isn’t the best place to go if one is interested in hearing a variety of right-wing views in 2018. Being a relentless cheerleader for President Donald Trump is now part of the job description at Fox News, where Republicans and right-wingers who are critical of Trump’s presidency are hard to find. But anti-Trump Republicans are featured on MSNBC and CNN frequently, and some of them are not only predicting that Democrats will perform well in the November midterms—they are openly cheering for it. As former congressman David Jolly and other anti-Trump conservatives see it, Trump has been so toxic for the Republican Party that it needs a giant wake-up call in the form of severe losses in November.

Here are five right-wing Republicans or ex-Republicans who are openly cheering for Democrats to win back the House of Representatives and the Senate this year.

1. Peter Wehner 

Speaking to Democracy Journal recently, Pete Wehner (former deputy speechwriter for President George W. Bush) described Trump as “by light-years more ignorant than anyone who’s ever run for the presidency” and explained why he is hoping for major Republican losses in November. With establishment Republicans, Wehner asserted, “appeals to moral conscience” aren’t working—and the only way to encourage them to abandon Trumpism will be to appeal to “naked self-interest” and vote as many Democrats as possible into office in November. Wehner told Democracy Journal, “The only thing that will motivate Republican lawmakers to disengage from Trump or even take him on is if they feel that staying attached to him has an immediate and real political cost. If Trump’s grip is going to be weakened, Republicans are going to have to suffer political defeat.”

2. Steve Schmidt

In June, GOP strategist Steve Schmidt (a presidential campaign advisor for George W. Bush in 2004 and Sen. John McCain in 2008) announced that he was leaving the GOP after 29 years because of his disdain for Trump—and he is hoping for Democrats to regain the Senate and the House in November because, in his view, a thorough repudiation of Trumpism is necessary. Schmidt posted on Twitter, “The first step to a season of renewal in our land is the absolute and utter repudiation of Trump and his vile enablers in the 2018 election by electing Democratic majorities. I do not say this as an advocate of a progressive agenda; I say it as someone who retains belief in democracy and decency.”

3. John Ziegler

Right-wing journalist John Ziegler has been critical of both Democrats and Republicans—Democrats for being “so politically inept,” Republicans for allying themselves with Trump (who he has criticized for everything from trade policy to foreign policy). And the only way to rid the GOP of Trumpism, according to Ziegler, is for Democrats to regain both houses of Congress. In a June 14 commentary for Mediaite, Ziegler asserted, “Seeing Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in power again would literally pain me…. However, that price would likely be smaller than the long-term risk of allowing Trump and his movement to fundamentally and forever alter not just the GOP, but our international alliances and the nature of our politics/culture.”

4. David Jolly

As David Jolly (who represented Florida in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2014-2017) sees it, losing both the House and the Senate to Democrats would be the best thing that could happen to the GOP in November. Jolly believes that under Trump, Republicans have “abandoned who we are a party”—and losing both houses of Congress, according to Jolly, would bring about the “hard reset” the GOP desperately needs at this point. The former congressman, on August 7, told MSNBC’s Brian Williams that although Trump has “the Midas touch” in GOP primaries, he is toxic among non-Republicans and is causing Democratic candidates to “overperform” while Republican candidates “underperform”—and unless this changes, Jolly stressed to Williams, Republicans will lose the House in November.

5. Max Boot 

Neocon columnist Max Boot was a major supporter of President George W. Bush and was a foreign policy advisor on the presidential campaigns of Sen. John McCain in 2008, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012 and Sen. Marco Rubio in 2016. But Boot has nothing but disdain for Trump, who in 2016, he denounced as “an ignorant demagogue who traffics in racist and misogynistic slurs and crazy conspiracy theories.” And Boot’s contempt for Trump has only increased since then. Boot believes that under Trump, the GOP has become “a white-nationalist party with a conservative fringe”—and the worse its losses are in November, Boot stressed, the better it will be for the party. “Like postwar Germany and Japan,” Boot has declared, “the Republican Party must be destroyed before it can be rebuilt.”

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Alex Henderson is a news writer at AlterNet and veteran political journalist. His work has also appeared in Salon, Raw Story, Truthdig, National Memo, Philadelphia Weekly, Democratic Underground, L.A. Weekly, MintPress News and many other publications. Follow him on Twitter @alexvhenderson.