Vichy Republicans

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By Bill Maher

Like most start-ups, the “Never Trump” movement was barely out of the design phase when it folded. This week brought us two more examples of Republicans who had warned that giving Trump the powers of the presidency would be dangerously irresponsible, and are now urging the public to vote for Trump and revel in their dangerous irresponsibility.  

They remind me of Charlie Sheen at the end of Platoon, when he accepts that he’s likely going to die and starts shooting everyone he can see while screaming “It’s fucking beautiful!!” But these people need special attention. I’m not saying I’m compiling a list of Republicans who need to be called to account at some point in the future, but …yeah, kind of. Because these are basically Vichy Republicans. They should have done something. They should have spoken out. Instead, they couldn’t resist their primal urge to suck up to power.

Longtime GOP strategist Alex Castellanos once said, “If President Trump blows up our relationship with Russia he could start World War III.” Also that “Donald Trump is a strongman. But he is not the man for this moment. He is not a Republican or a conservative. If we want to keep our future in our hands, we shouldn’t put it in his.” 

…And now he’s on board. He’s working for a pro-Trump super PAC.  

And then there’s Ben Stein. Who told The Guardian, “I don’t think Trump knows a goddamn thing about economics,” and “He is not a great businessman.” When asked about his reaction to Trump winning the nomination: “I am open-mouthed, gasping, unbelievable. …There must be something people like about him. I don’t get him but there must be something people like.”  

…And you know what’s coming: “I’ll vote for him because I think he does personify a kind of national pride which I think has been lacking in the Obama days.” Yes, an unstable strongman who personifies a kind of national pride the nation’s been lacking lately. For a Jew, what’s not to like? 

The list of Vichy Republicans is getting long. Marco Rubio, Lindsay Graham, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan. Who will fall next?