Up to 70 members of the Republican Party have tendered their resignation, with dozens of them believed to have been former officials of the Bush administration.
This exodus comes after reports of discontent throughout the party, with many senior Republicans “dismayed” by the failure of Senate and House Republicans to disavow former President Trump after the Capitol Hill riots.
It is believed that many of the former Bush officials hoped that the defeat of Donald Trump in the election would lead to the party moving on from his philosophy and denounce his claims of election fraud, even after he gained the second-highest vote count in American history.
Why are they leaving?
Many of the officials who worked for the Bush administration have started to allow their memberships with the GOP to expire, while others have begun to register as independents, according to a Reuters report, who spoke with many of these officials.
Dozens of these officials have stated that they no longer recognize the party that they once served, citing Trump as the sole reason for this occurrence.
The undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the Bush administration, Jimmy Gurulé, stated that the “Republican Party as I knew it no longer exists”, labelling the party as a “Trump cult”.
Many Republicans, with the majority being from the Bush administration, share this exact sentiment with Gurulé.
Kristopher Purcell, who worked for six years in the communications office of the Bush White House, stated the number of Republicans leaving the party grows every day, with the party currently split between the moderates and the fiercely loyal Trump base.
The RNC referred Reuters to an interview given by chair Ronna McDaniel, who stated the Republican party will eventually band together in order to put pressure on and defeat President Joe Biden in 2022 and 2024.
But what was the root cause of all this discontent?
Eight senators and 139 House representatives, which makes up more than half of all Republicans in Congress, voted to block the certification of the 2020 election, just hours after the riots at Capitol Hill, with the majority of Senate Republicans stating that they will not support the “unconstitutional” impeachment of the former President Trump.
These statements, coupled with only five Republican Senators voting alongside the Democrats last weeks, was the final straw for many of Bush’s officials, who turn their backs on a party fuelled by Trump’s influence.
One of these members includes Suzy DeFrancis, a long-time member of the party who served in the administrations of Richard Nixon and George W Bush.
She stated that she voted for Joe Biden in the November election, however, she stated that a split in the party will only benefit the Democrats.
She believes that it is important that Republicans unify on the beliefs that they all share, whilst recognizing why many would share the same frustrations that she has, and be tempted to leave the party.
In order to take back the House and the Senate in the midterms, the Republican party needs to remain as one in order to fight against a strong Biden base.
The way to do this is to appeal to the Trump base and all of the positive actions that the Trump administration took, whilst not bringing the former President back into the fold.