It all started when Donald Trump became a serious threat to win the Republican presidential nomination. That was when the NeverTrump movement effectively commenced, attracting an informal coalition of establishment war hawks and right-leaning intellectuals and party hacks appalled at the prospect of a vulgarian like Trump seizing control of their party.
You might have thought these people would come to their senses once the choice was narrowed to Trump and Hillary Clinton. But you would be wrong. The anti-Trump venom from this narrow sliver of the right has continued almost unabated through the first 18 months of his presidency.
Never mind that Trump denied the left their dream of a fundamentally transformed America, saved the Supreme Court from leftist control, and vanquished the Clinton dynasty once and for all. Never mind that he has pushed through the first serious tax reform in more than a generation, and ordered massive deregulation – two items always at the top of the conservative agenda. Never mind that this President may well be on track to stabilize the Korean peninsula, or that he forced NATO allies to raise the ante in their own defense, or that he is pushing the envelope hard on getting trade deals more favorable to America. Never mind that the economy is roaring, and jobs abound.
No, none of that matters because Trump’s style is repulsive to the calcified Republicans and conservatives who have looked this gift horse straight in the mouth.
All About Control
It makes one believe that what these NeverTrumpers have really wanted all along is not what they have claimed – the power to effect consequential change in a nation heading for socialism. No, their behavior suggests that all they want is to protect their brand from this declasse interloper – even if it means turning the White House – and the country – over to the left.
Thus it should not be surprising that the de facto leader of the NeverTrump movement, the one-time Editor-in-Chief of the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol, is reportedly well along in deciding to challenge President Trump for the 2020 GOP presidential nomination. Seriously. Rumors of his potential candidacy surfaced as early as March of this year, when he attended a “a must-show event for potential presidential contenders” in New Hampshire. He provided the first hints of a candidacy when he told the New York Times in August of 2017, “We need to take one shot at liberating the Republican Party from Trump, and conservatism from Trumpism.”
But Kristol has not stopped at actively considering a run for president. He actually appeared this week on CNN – the home base for NeverTrump Republicans – and offered advice for the Democrats on how to win the upcoming midterm elections. He said they should play up the border separation issue:
“Democrats, in my opinion, should keep the focus on those children, on the families. Our policy change the president ordered that was irresponsible and I think is, you know, wrong, and then also incompetently executed… this is totally irresponsible and reckless governance by the president”
Of course, given that Kristol has become legendary around the DC swamp for his consistently wrong predictions and poor political judgment, we might only hope the Democrats follow his advice.
You may recall that after Trump secured the GOP nomination in 2016, Kristol became a laughingstock when he promised to produce a “serious” challenger to Trump in the general election. But the only possible candidate who materialized was an obscure conservative writer, David French, who ultimately decided not to enter the race anyway. But now, Kristol has somehow convinced himself that Republicans will choose him over the 45th President. That may be even funnier than David French for President.
Perhaps Mr. Kristol, who recently stated that Trump has brought out his own “inner socialist,” just thinks that simply by running for president, he’ll be a hero to his fellow NeverTrump travelers – and the left. Certainly, he would receive all the political advice he needs from washed-up, radical NeverTrump GOP strategists like Ana Navaro, Steve Schmidt and Rick Wilson, whose acid-tongued denunciations of Trump on TV are just as unhinged as anyone on the left.
Ultimately, Mr. Kristol must be delusional, masochistic, or a primary victim of TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome), for when Trump is done with him, he will be shrunken to the size of a midget (if he isn’t already), same as “low energy” Jeb Bush, “little” Marco Rubio, “lyin’” Ted Cruz and the other career politicians who were ridiculed, pulverized and dismissed from the stage by the bombastic billionaire.
Now, it may sound ludicrous that a president enjoying near 90% approval from the voters in his own party – higher even than Ronald Reagan – would be challenged in a primary, but then, sanity has never been one of the hallmarks of the NeverTrump movement.
What many have forgotten is that neoconservatives, led by Mr. Kristol, themselves seized control of the Republican party from traditional paleo-conservatives at the turn of this century, and severely degraded the GOP brand by convincing President George W. Bush to engage in the disastrous Iraq War. That gave us eight years of Barack Obama. And now we are supposed to listen to these people when they effectively align themselves with The Resistance by howling into the darkness about the horrors of Donald Trump?
But as the ad says, wait, that’s not all. It seems others are considering a challenge to Trump for the GOP nomination, including Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), acclaimed author Brad Thor – and yes, even the loser in the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney. Heck, why not run George Will out there as well? The once-respected conservative scold would certainly receive favorable coverage from his new BFFs on MSNBC and the left. And come to think of it, why not Jennifer Rubin, the insufferable “conservative” columnist for the Washington Post whose voice – and entire countenance – is akin to fingernails on the chalkboard.
There has been much talk of the almost sociopathic rage against Trump on the left. But at least leftists have sound ideological reasons for opposing this President. Not so with NeverTrump Republicans and conservatives, whose thirst to wall off their party from the deplorables has unmasked them as nothing more than control freaks and ingrates enamored of their own vanishing importance.