Party Boundaries Blur as Threat to the Republic, and a Livable World, Becomes Clear

May 25, 2018


WASHINGTON — Since Donald J. Trump began dominating American politics more than two years ago, Democrats concerned about his policies and behavior have taken solace in a group of influential Republicans who have consistently assailed the president as anathema to the values of their party, and the country more broadly.

In the past year, however, influential liberal donors and operatives have gone from cheering these so-called Never Trump Republicans to quietly working with — and even funding — them. Through invitation-only emails and private, off-the-record meetings, they have formed a loose network of cross-partisan alliances aimed at helping neutralize President Trump, and preventing others from capitalizing on weaknesses in the political system that they say he has exploited.

“If you’re a Republican who is concerned about the health of the liberal order and alarmed over the destruction of the norms of American democracy, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be willing to work with a Democrat who is equally concerned about those same matters,” said Jerry Taylor, a Republican who is president of the Niskanen Center, a moderate think tank that grew out of the libertarian Cato Institute.

While a slew of initiatives raised big money for cross-partisan bridge-building and even presidential campaigns in 2012, the current effort is different. It involves more players who are more actively involved in politics from across the spectrum, many of whom bring their own constituencies, making it less centralized and, in some ways, less organized.

Yet they are arguably more united than past efforts by their concern over threats to democracy they contend are embodied by a single politician: Mr. Trump.

It’s an amorphous, somewhat secretive effort, partly because some participants fear Mr. Trump and his allies would brand Never Trump Republicans as pawns of Democrats. Meeting locations, agendas and attendees are mostly kept quiet, while political intelligence is privately shared between participants on opposite sides of the political spectrum.

But some of the collaboration is becoming more overt.

Over the last couple of months, network members filed amicus briefs accusing Mr. Trump of overstepping his authority on matters ranging from immigration to his administration’s efforts to block a mergerbetween AT&T and Time Warner. And last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill to protect the special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, for which network members had lobbied.

4 Responses to “Party Boundaries Blur as Threat to the Republic, and a Livable World, Becomes Clear”

  1. Sir Charles Says:

    The EPA has expanded the opportunity for critics to comment on a controversial plan that would restrict the scientific research the agency can use when writing regulations. The policy by EPA chief Scott Pruitt is largely aimed at restricting EPA’s use of well-established epidemiological studies, which underpin regulations on smog and soot from the burning of fossil fuels.

    => Pruitt ‘Secret Science’ Rule: Public Gets More Time for Say as Criticism Grows

    • lracine Says:

      “The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.”

      ― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

  2. lracine Says:

    Nice work on the video with Jerry Taylor.

    But I have to take issue with his closing statement that “markets and the invisible hand” are going to be effective tools at stopping catastrophic climate change.

    During the push to defeat Germany during WWII, markets and the invisible hand played no part in that …. Something that did play a large roll was the significant and DRASTIC curtailment of consumerism…. just the opposite of that statement.

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