In a stunning op-ed for USA Today, Kurt Bardella, a Republican spokesperson for Reps. Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Breitbart News scorched his party and effectively tendered his resignation.
“I have spent the better part of my adult life working with and for Republicans at every level of government. I’ve worked at City Hall, for members of the California state legislature, members of the House and Senate, a congressional committee, moderates and conservatives. From Olympia Snowe to Breitbart News, I’ve traveled throughout the entire spectrum of the Republican Party.”
Bardella, who rose through the ranks during George W. Bush’s tenure, explains how his notion of the Republican Party was shaped by “compassionate conservatism.” While he remained – and thrived as – a Republican throughout the last decade, it wasn’t until Trump’s presidency that his party began to lose its identity.
“For the first time since I was in high school, I was free from any professional loyalties. It was liberating at first, then very sobering and ultimately just disappointing. I couldn’t understand how so many in the GOP could stand by, silently, as Donald Trump and Steve Bannon remade and redefined the Republican Party. An unrelenting assault on the Constitution, the free press and freedom of expression while Republican ‘leaders’ do nothing. Ignoring legitimate issues about race relations in America, environmental policy, gun reform and equality to instead pander to a lunatic fringe that subscribes to an ideology of hate and fear.”
But Bardella’s decision to leave his party altogether coincided with the rise of Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race.
“President Trump and the Republican National Committee are endorsing, supporting and funding Moore because they would rather elect a sexual predator who preys on underage teenagers at the local mall, than a crime-fighting prosecutor who happens to be a Democrat.
This is not a party I want to be associated with any longer.
This is not a party that is trustworthy enough to protect innocent children from sexual predators.”
Per a bombshell Washington Post report, four women – a number that has since grown precipitously – have stepped forward to accuse Roy Moore, at the time a District Attorney in his 30s, of engaging in sexual behavior while they were between the ages of 14- and 18-years-old. The story was corroborated by over 30 sources.
Despite these disturbing revelations, Trump and the Republican National Committee have continued to support Moore, both financially and with full-throated endorsements. In effect, the GOP has declared that an accused child molester and pedophile is more deserving of a seat in the United States Senate than a crime-fighting Democrat.
Bardella, however, refused to sit idly by.
“The embrace of Moore by the Republican Party’s top “leadership” is all the proof you need to know that this is a party that no longer stands for anything.
The more time I spent on my own, with no clients to defend, the more I came to realize that Republican positions on the most pressing challenges facing our society were out of alignment with what I believed. This is a party that constantly buries its head in the sand on climate change, racial profiling, guns, LGBTQ equality, income inequality, food insecurity, paid family leave and the treatment of women.
I am throwing in with the Democratic Party because at the end of the day, I believe its portrait of America is better than the one being painted by today’s Republican Party. And I want to be a part of it.”