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Not My Party: Long Live The Moderate Kings

This is not Rep. Anthony Gonzalez's party, either.
September 23, 2021
Tim Miller: Long Live Moderate Kings

[Editor’s note: Watch Not My Party every week on Snapchat.]

This is Not My Party, brought to you by The Bulwark. So we’ve been doing this show for a year now. Over a hundred thousand of you are subscribed on Snap, and it’s amazing.

I love hearing from the zoomers who don’t think they’re being represented by the partisan political media, and feel seen by our no-B.S., normy, moderate king sh*t.

But I have to admit, not all the feedback has been positive. After most episodes, I get DMs from MAGA Bros, who think I’m a soy-boy, beta f*g who’s just intimidated by the former guy’s big Chad energy.

Wait, y’all talking about this guy?

But as for my soft boy tendencies, they’re right, I am a little. But this week, some ominous political news reinforces why else moderate kings are needed. It proved that people who are anti-Trump, but are also worried about the far left, are in fact politically homeless. And it’s not just because we’re betas.

Meet alpha bro, Anthony Gonzalez. A Republican congressman from Ohio, Gonzalez first came on the scene as a star wide receiver at Ohio State, and was a first-round draft pick for the Indianapolis Colts. The guy had a reputation for making the tough catches and taking the big hits without blinking. Check ’em out.

When he left the pros, he went to Stanford, got his MBA, and then came home and ran for Congress on the conservative platform—and voted with Trump 88 percent of the time on everything from immigration to taxes. And up until the insurrection, he only really opposed Trump on a few foreign policy issues, where Gonzalez wanted to be more aggressive overseas than the nationalist Trump.

In normal times, he’d be on magazine covers as the Next Great Republican Hope, but instead, he’s retiring, at age 36, for one reason: Because he voted to impeach the coral-crusted Cro-Magnon, after he attempted a coup that would have ended American democracy.

No, seriously, the newest craziness is this report, showing how a conservative lawyer advised Trump on how Pence could overturn the election results.

And because Gonzalez opposed Trump’s plot, this high-T conservative golden boy started getting death threats from MAGA Bros, and needed security just to get through the airport with his young kids.

Then he drew a primary challenge from a girlfriend-beating, trust-fund douche, who’s probably gonna be the next congressman, even though he’s done literally nothing to earn it besides kiss Trump’s butt. And I’m sure that will delight the MAGA incels posting to Reddit and sliding into my DMs. But for the rest of us, it should be pretty scary. Gonzalez learned the modern GOP is not his party.

This should be a wake up call, to anyone vaguely conservative, who doesn’t like Trump, but is holding out hope that the Republicans will eventually let them back in the fold. They won’t.

So it’s time for the rest of us to figure out how to work with other reasonable people—even those who might not agree with us on a few policy issues—to oppose these fake tough guys who have no qualms about trying to end our democracy.

Tim Miller

Tim Miller is The Bulwark’s writer-at-large and the author of the best-selling book Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell. He was previously political director for Republican Voters Against Trump and communications director for Jeb Bush 2016.