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Hurd and Graham Illustrate the Moral Collapse of Republicans Under Trump

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“The Grand Old Party is now unrecognizable as anything but a personality cult headed towards disaster.”

As Donald Trump barnstormed the country again with racist rants and lies about immigrants aimed at pitting Americans against Americans, the moral collapse of the Republican Party came into sharper focus yesterday with two key developments. Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) announced he would not run for reelection, signaling the GOP’s growing troubles, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) put on a stunning performance in the Judiciary Committee he chairs, ramming through a bill for President Trump to gut America’s asylum system and allowing children to be held for longer periods of time in horrifying conditions.

The following is a statement from Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communications for America’s Voice: 

The moral collapse of the Republican Party is on full display, with the President coldly lying about immigration and murderous immigrants, attacking American cities and our most populous state, and gloating about his own racist divisiveness in Cincinnatti. If you are still a Republican, you can either walk away like Rep. Hurd or double-down like Sen. Graham, but the bottom line is that the Grand Old Party is now unrecognizable as anything but a personality cult headed towards disaster.

Rep. Hurd is the only African-American Republican and the only remaining southern border Republican in the House. His announcement made it clear that his position in the GOP is untenable. As anti-immigrant populists consolidate their control of the GOP, principled conservatives are driven out, especially if they hold nuanced or realistic views on immigrants and the border. The implications for Republicans to be competitive in swing House districts nationwide in 2020 is clear and Hurd saw the writing on the wall.  

Sen. Graham, once a champion of immigration reform and legal immigration, looked sad and dejected as he fought with one-time allies like Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to do the President’s bidding on border and asylum policy. At times he looked like he was starring in a hostage video, preventing Democrats from even offering amendments in what was billed as a legislative markup — all to carry the water of a Party and a President determined to lock children up indefinitely. It was ugly and embarrassing for Graham and an indication that he feels his only path forward as a GOP leader is to capitulate to the President’s agenda of xenophobia and cruelty.