Bruce Bartlett has serious conservative bona fides, as he formerly served as Republican President Ronald Reagan’s advisor. However, his connection with the party has not discouraged him from criticizing the Republicans when he feels that they deserve it. In 2015, Bartlett wrote an article, intended as satire, that urged Republicans to make Donald Trump their nominee so that they would get destroyed by Hillary Clinton and finally convince the party to abandon its most marginal, extreme-right characters.
Referencing that column, Bartlett just wrote that Trump’s presidency is like the fake musical Springtime for Hitler in Mel Brooks’ movie and musical The Producers.
Wrote Bruce, “Trump was a guaranteed loser, I thought. Needless to say, I was as dumbfounded by the election results as Max Bialystock was by the success of Springtime for Hitler. Almost everything that has happened since November 8 has been the inverse of what I’d imagined. Trump didn’t lose; he won. The Republican Party isn’t undergoing some sort of reckoning over what it believes; his branch of the Republican Party has taken control.” He added that Trump’s presidency has been “far, far worse than I imagined. He has instituted policies so right wing they make Ronald Reagan, for whom I worked, look like a liberal Democrat. He has appointed staff people far to the right of the Republican mainstream in many positions, and they are instituting policies that are frighteningly extreme.”
Criticized Bartlett, “He’s voiced not only skepticism of NATO, but outright hostility to it. He’s pulled America back from its role as an international advocate for human rights. He’s attacked the notion of an independent judiciary. He personally intervened to request the FBI to ease up on its investigation of a former adviser of his, then fired FBI Director James Comey and freely admitted he did so to alleviate the pressure he felt from Comey’s investigation. For those conservatives who were tempted to embrace a ‘wait-and-see’ approach to Trump, what they’ve seen, time and again, is almost unimaginable.” Bruce also delivered a sweeping condemnation of the entire Republican party, saying, “Trump is what happens when a political party abandons ideas, demonizes intellectuals, degrades politics and simply pursues power for the sake of power.” Is Bartlett right?