In recent weeks, a variety of Republicans have faced growing pressure: denounce Donald Trump before Election Day, the message said, or forever hold your peace.
On the last possible day, some met the challenge. NBC News reported yesterday afternoon, for example, on a Trump-era Republican National Committee communications director who publicly announced his support for Joe Biden.
Ryan Mahoney, a former RNC communications director, tweeted a photo of his ballot. Mahoney said he was "proud to vote country over party" and "proud to vote" for Joe Biden. Mahoney served as communications director during the 2018 midterms after working for the Committee in 2016, 2014, and 2012.
While I realize that Ryan Mahoney is probably not a household name, it's worth emphasizing that he's not some long-ago aide. At this time two years ago, as Trump was rallying support for Republican candidates in the midterm elections, Mahoney and the president were on the same side, with Mahoney helping lead the RNC as a top official.
Two years later, however, he apparently feels compelled to not only reject the president, but to do so publicly. What's more, as The Hill reported, others who've held Mahoney's job also decided they simply couldn't cast a ballot for their own party's incumbent.
Doug Heye, who directed communications for the RNC in the first years of the Obama administration, said Monday on Twitter he had written in Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), the party's nominee in 2012. Trevor Francis, Heye's predecessor, told The Hill he voted for Biden. And Lisa Miller, who ran the communications shop during former President George W. Bush's administration, said in an email Monday she had cast her ballot for Biden.
Miller, echoing Mahoney, said she "chose country over party."
Their announcements came one day after Steve Duprey, a former two-term chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party, also endorsed Biden.
Duprey's announcement came just a few days after 20 Republican former U.S. attorneys called Donald Trump "a threat to the rule of law in our country," and urged voters to support Biden.
As we discussed last week, the pattern is unlike anything Americans have seen in modern political history. Former Republican National Committee chairs are backing Biden. Former Republican cabinet secretaries have also endorsed Biden. Some Republicans who worked as members of Trump's own team have announced their support for Biden.
The list includes former GOP governors, former GOP senators, former GOP House members, and several dozen Republican national security officials -- from the Reagan, Bush/Quayle, and Bush/Cheney administrations -- who've all endorsed Biden.
We'll see soon enough whether the mainstream electorate takes note and acts accordingly.