February 19, 2021

Another Republican lawmaker has "had enough" after the insurrection of January 6.

Jim Hendren, State Senator from Arkansas, announced Thursday that he is leaving the Republican Party and...wait for it...becoming an independent.

Pardon me if I don't organize a parade and break out the noisemakers.

Sure, Hendren is morally superior to the ride-or-die Trumpers in the Republican Party. But if you sat silent for the Trump years only to find that the overthrow of the US Capitol by Proud Boy Trumpist types is a bridge too far...

AND you're becoming an "independent constitutional conservative who never like the tweeting (TM)"...

AND you're forming some sort of branding coalition (in this case "Common Sense Arkansas" give me a break) based on the principles of Ronald Reagan? What?!?

We're likely to see a lot of this in the next few years, as predicted many times on The Professional Left Podcast. These are the lifeboat builders, Republicans who want to sail away from Trump and still cling to "fiscal responsibility and a strong national defense" and by the way, never mention George W. Bush lying us into war and his tax cuts for billionaires and the 2008 financial crisis and The Federalist Society's/Mitch McConnell's stealing of the Supreme Court.

And while Hendren is much more "liberal" on health insurance for Arkansas than some, he votes against women's rights to bodily autonomy, and for voter ID and concealed carry for university staff (?) just like a Republican would.

Of course Evan McMullin of the "let's create a new conservative party that doesn't like Trump but embraces conservative values" tweets about the tremendous courage of Hendren. And maybe Hendren is putting his political career on the line, if not his very life given the disinformed violent mob the Republican Party has become.

Let me put it this way, I wouldn't trust Jim Hendren with the future of my reproductive and voting rights.

And adding a branding exercise to distance yourself from a dying racist mob of a party doesn't make you a hero.

Burn the lifeboats. No Republican rebranding.

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