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NeverTrump Pundits Sing Hillary’s Tune

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If you need an example of what The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway described as “panic and fear out there in official D.C. in response to dramatic lack of substance underlying Trump-Russia collusion,” look no further than the latest propaganda coming from the cabal of anti-Trump commentators on the Right.

After 18 months of helping the media and Democrats frantically sell every tweet, phone call, meeting, email, and sideways glance between Trump and his team and any person with a Russian last name as proof of election collusion, they are getting desperate. Self-righteous pundits who have staked their credibility and their careers on the failure of Trump’s presidency are slowly realizing they are on the losing end of this gambit.

Not only did Trump not destroy the Republican Party as they predicted, he galvanized the party during a surprisingly active and successful first year—cutting taxes, eliminating federal regulations, appointing conservative judges, and strengthening America’s hand abroad. Each day, a company announces its plans to raise wages or give bonuses due to the dramatic drop in the corporate tax rate, subsequently exposing the modern-day Democratic party’s contempt for the working class as party leaders mock those windfalls as “crumbs.” Hell, he even brought Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to his knees and guided the GOP to its first government shutdown victory since the invention of shutdowns.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has yet to produce any meaningful charges and is bordering on farcical. (The latest big news is that  Mueller’s staff recently interviewed “at least one member of a Facebook team” associated with the Trump campaign. Maybe they’ll interrogate the yard-sign coordinator next.) In an unexpected twist, it is now evident that the DNC, Clinton campaign and possibly top officials in the Obama Administration conspired to orchestrate the Trump-Russia scheme starting in April 2016. As new evidence to support this shocking prospect emerges on a near-daily basis, Republicans—and even non-political Americans—have responded, as Hemingway said on Fox News, in an “appropriate range of reaction [from] calm determination to get to the bottom of this, to absolute outrage about what has happened at the FBI.”

But the reaction from the entrenched and now wholly-exposed as dishonest pundit class of the anti-Trump Right is that we are the insane ones. The latest mantra from this crowd is that top Republican lawmakers, Fox News, and talk radio are pushing a phony conspiracy about a “secret society” at the FBI to distract from the Mueller probe. In the process, they are intentionally distorting comments made last week by Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the chairman of the Homeland Security committee, about a reference to a “secret society” found in recently-disclosed texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page (whose roles are also being misrepresented by the anti-Trumpers.)

Jonah Goldberg got the ball rolling last week (as I wrote here). Others have eagerly taken his cue. In a column so disingenuous and filled with irony that it’s nearly laughable, New York Times “conservative” Bret Stephens mocked Johnson’s comments as “only of a piece with other paranoid G.O.P. effusions” about potential corruption at the highest level of the FBI. Stephens writes, without proof, that the text was “an office in-joke between two colleagues having an affair,” (also a popular line by the media and Democrats) and warns that “liberals observing the awful spectacle might be forgiven for taking quiet satisfaction in this G.O.P. bonfire of the sanities. They should take care it doesn’t infect them as well.”

He blatantly mischaracterizes who Peter Strzok is—calls him a “third-tier F.B.I. agent in Washington who doesn’t like the president”—when Strzok was chief of the FBI’s Counterespionage Section and lead investigator into the Hillary Clinton email case, who was then selected by James Comey in July 2016 to supervise the Bureau’s nascent Trump-Russia probe. Now, either Stephens is a complete ignoramus who doesn’t know basic facts about Strzok’s role at the FBI or he is deliberately mischaracterizing it.

Without any sense of irony, Stephens sniffs that the “principal lesson of paranoia is the ease with which politically aroused people can mistake errors for deceptions, coincidences for patterns, bumbling for dereliction, and secrecy for treachery. True conspiracies are rare but stupidity is nearly universal. America already has one party that’s lost its mind. We don’t need another.” Here, he is referring first to the Republican Party, not the Democrats who have turned the country upside down in their perfidious attempt to destroy the Trump presidency.

Over at the  Weekly Standard, Stephen Hayes alleges “many Republicans and Trump-supporting commentators have embarrassed themselves in recent weeks with their wild-eyed and absurd conspiracy theories about the ‘deep state.’” He joins Stephens in willfully mischaracterizing Strzok and Page as “two text-happy, anti-Trump FBI officials,” and later on says only that Strzok “worked” on the Clinton email probe and Mueller investigation. (Also, no mention of Strzok being pulled from the Mueller team.) Hayes also twists Johnson’s comments to make it look like his charge of “corruption at the highest level” was referring to the secret society text, when in reality, Johnson was discussing Page’s text about Loretta Lynch.

Hayes oddly writes that, “one of the driving forces of the Republican conspiracy-mongering was that five months of the texts between Strzok and Page had not been preserved by the FBI due to what DoJ described as a technical error.” Is he not aware of the Obama administration’s pattern of destroying communications and data? Perhaps Hayes can Google “IRS,” “EPA,” and “NOAA” for a little history lesson.

While Hayes at least points out a few reasons why Republicans should suspect the “politicization” of the Clinton email investigation, he thinks the so-called conspiracy theories are not a genuine attempt to get to the bottom of what could potentially be among greatest political scandals in U.S. history, but merely “part of the effort to undermine the FBI and Mueller’s investigation. The Republicans who eagerly propagate these theories are no doubt doing so in order to protect Donald Trump.”

Mona Charen also chimed in (she and Stephens both cite Richard Hofstadter’s The Paranoid Style in American Politics, so that must be in somebody’s talking points):

Many conservative outlets are red-faced with indignation about a supposed conspiracy within the FBI and the “deep state” to destroy Donald Trump. The evidence? Justice Department officials may have relied, in part, on the “Democrat funded” Steele dossier to get a FISA warrant on Carter Page. A Republican FBI deputy director is married to a Democrat. An FBI agent (whom Mueller fired) expressed dismay about Trump’s election and joked with his mistress about a “secret society.” This is partisan hysteria.

Charen is either lying or lazy. Either way, her’s is a deceitful portrayal of the facts of the case—which she ought to know if she bothers to read  the diligent, fact-based work of her colleague Andrew McCarthy.

All of this ironically coincides with the 20-year anniversary of Hillary Clinton’s famous “right-wing conspiracy” comment. Here’s the exchange between NBC’s (now disgraced) Matt Lauer and Clinton on January 27, 1998:

Matt Lauer: “You have said, I understand, to some close friends, that this is the last great battle, and that one side or the other is going down here.”

Hillary Clinton: “Well, I don’t know if I’ve been that dramatic. But I do believe that this is a battle. This is—the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.”

If talk of a “vast right wing conspiracy” sounds familiar today, that’s because it is. Except now, people like Goldberg, Stephens, Hayes, and Charen are all about advancing it, not only to prove they have been right about Trump, but in order (they hope) to see him fail, or worse, be taken down. To cover for themselves, they’re happy to peddle their own version of “right-wing conspiracy” attacks. . But the American public, who have watched this unfold in real-time, won’t buy it. Yes, one side will go down. My guess is, it will be theirs.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

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66 replies
  1. Bo Grimes
    Bo Grimes says:

    Stephen Hayes alleges “many Republicans and Trump-supporting commentators have embarrassed
    themselves in recent weeks with their wild-eyed and absurd conspiracy theories about the ‘deep state.’”

    This is the way the GOPe, Conservative, Inc. try to keep the deep state going, make every real story of corruption out like its contrails, black helicopters, and false flag nutjobbery.

    he thinks the so-called conspiracy theories are not a genuine attempt to get to the bottom of what could potentially be among greatest political scandals in U.S. history, but merely “part of the effort to undermine the FBI and Mueller’s investigation. The Republicans who eagerly propagate these theories are no doubt doing so in order to protect Donald Trump.”

    And not one of the anti-Trump stooges on the Left or Right offers an explanation as to why Republicans who were shocked and dismayed at Trump’s victory in the primary and general (like Ryan and McConnell) are suddenly so loyal to him they would sacrifice all integrity to defend him.

    Secrecy, unaccountability, and power are a toxic mix that always yields corruption. The Founders knew this well, and conservatives used to. But somewhere along the way Conservatism, Inc. grew so enamored of the establishment, especially its law and order, national security, and defense apparatus that they forgot it.

    I am tired of hearing about all the professionals of high integrity and patriotism in the deep state. Men are not angels, never will be. That’s why you divide and distribute power, make it accountable, and keep it in the light.

    It’s also very annoying to me that no one seems alarmed in the slightest that the head of Counterintelligence was having an affair. How did he get a security clearance? He had to have lied about it, which means he should be fired, period.

    • Catherine
      Catherine says:

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  2. SmartProf
    SmartProf says:

    “Charen is either lying or lazy…”
    Actually, Mona Charen is BOTH lazy and a liar. Plus stupid.
    Mona Charen is the last one to lecture about politics, given her record of being laughably wrong on almost everything.
    “Trump couldn’t help the Democrats more if he were trying. Wait, maybe he is…” (Dec. 8, 2015) Oops!
    “Trump is overwhelmingly likely to lose to Hillary Clinton if he’s the Republican nominee” (March 21, 2016) Oops!
    “If he won [the presidency], he could cause catastrophic damage to the country.” (March 21, 2016) Last time I looked, the economy is roaring and ISIS is being defeated.
    “Trump is no conservative–he’s simply playing one in the primaries” (Jan. 22, 2016) Mona, it seems outside the Beltway conservatives disagree with you
    “Trumps nomination represents the GOP’s “full-on suicide…[Trump] will destroy the party… RIP GOP.” (Aug. 5, 2016)
    Mona refused to vote for Trump in the general election.
    In the primaries? Consider this gem from Mona: “Rubio is the most articulate, thoughtful, inspiring and consistently conservative of any Republican running.” Republican and conservative voters who don’t live in Beltway mansions (like Charen does) disagreed.
    “[Trump represents] the Republican Party’s suicidal decision to nominate and support

    • Sunshine
      Sunshine says:

      Wished I could give you hundreds of likes on your comment! Mona should be dubbed “Moana Barren-a-Clue”!

      • Carolinatarheel
        Carolinatarheel says:

        President Trump stands behind what’s good for America and we should stand behind him!

        Thank God for keeping Crooked Hillary out of our Oval Office!

        America First!

    • cheeflo
      cheeflo says:

      I had many of these concerns early on. But, after his election and in light of his performance and accomplishments, I realize I was mistaken about him. There is still plenty of room for criticism, but I am flabbergasted at the NeverTrump right in its willful stupidity. The man delivered the presidency to the Republicans in an election that was thought to be a sure thing for the Democrats, has implemented the most conservative agenda in generations, and they still wish that Hillary had won.

      The hallmark of a truly open mind is to reconsider one’s thinking when new information becomes available. I used to have respect for these people. Another mistake I am willing to admit.

    • watcher104
      watcher104 says:

      My problem with the NeverTrump right is that they were all talk during the election, but they had no real strategy except for retreading the same lame memes from McCain and Romney’s lame campaigns.

      • TooTall7
        TooTall7 says:

        They’ve never had any strategy other than the examples found in those two utterly lackluster campaigns. Furthermore you can see how far it got us eh. The dems did a toe dance on both. Furthermore they were fixing to do another one only the nominee we ultimately presented proved quite a different animal than the dems were used to.

    • RCPreader
      RCPreader says:

      No, they’re not the Vichy Right. They are not, and most of them never were, the “Right” at all, if by “Right is meant conservative. Most of this crowd were (are) neocons, closeted semi-leftists who duped many people into confusing hawkishness with conservatism. They were happy to become associated with the GOP and the “conservative movement” only when that meant that they could control/manipulate them; now, they’re desperate to get that control back.

  3. BurkeanMama
    BurkeanMama says:

    Conservatism Inc. doesn’t want to achieve conservative goals. They want to fund raise on how horrible the left is without ever actually defeating the left. How are they going to get you to give them money to run their think tanks and magazines if the left wing boogieman is being taken down by a alpha male from Queens? They only care about their bottom line, they are despicable.

  4. LudicrousSextus
    LudicrousSextus says:

    I’d encourage everyone to read Judicial Watch’s revelations regarding Mueller. This would be the imbecile who ‘ordered US law enforcement nationwide to cease surveillance and purge collected data on domestic Islamic terrorism threats’.

    If anybody belongs in a cell (next to Hillary) – it’s Mueller.

  5. 1crappie2
    1crappie2 says:

    The only reason they might object is that they and their democrat friends are deeply wrapped up in this most massive corruption of our freedom ever.
    At least Caesar had only one Brutus–Constitution-loving Americans have multitudes and they pretend to be with us.

  6. And How to Get It
    And How to Get It says:

    Great article Julie! Please, please don’t stop hammering these perfidious bastards. They can’t be allowed to crawl back to respectability.

  7. Not Chicken Little
    Not Chicken Little says:

    It is passing strange how it seems there are always Republican turncoats and traitors who side with the Democrats, but never any Democrats who side with Republicans…

  8. 57nomad
    57nomad says:

    The waiting is almost over. All the news will be out by Easter. This is the end of this iteration of the democrat party. Because of Donaldnomics and especially the revival of inner-city employment, the democrats will lose seats in both houses and, until they lose the marxists in their midst, will be consigned to their coastal enclaves.

  9. Sunshine
    Sunshine says:

    With the “Chief Never Trumper” at Fox, Chris Wallace, rallying the cry yesterday. Pathetic man!! Along with his groveling sycophant, Juan Williams, babbling his incessant drivel.

  10. mrboz
    mrboz says:

    At least we now have some insight into how the Clintons and Obamas managed to undermine the Constitution, while wagging their fingers at us rubes in the hinterlands. The folks who wore the garments of conservativism in the MSM refused to engage the battle to expose them. Please offer a time that the likes of Goldberg, Stephens, Charen, and Hayes sustained their teeth gnashing against the skullduggery of dems with remotely the same veracity they attack Trump over unsubstantiated allegations made by the left. Its very telling that these eunuchs would rather piously “tut-tut” the corruption of democrats while they attend the DC cocktail parties, as part of the “thoughtful” minority.

  11. Bud Black
    Bud Black says:

    Goldberg and Hayes are being paid by an undisclosed neocon financing group to spout the same anti-Trump venom, and to side with the FBI and Rosenstein against Trump. Neither of those worthies is supported by enough readers for National Review and TWS, respectively, to pay them what it takes to live.

  12. UNCLE
    UNCLE says:

    These Historybuff “Republicans” are nothing but statist traitors.
    They are being exposed on a daily basis.

  13. bscook111
    bscook111 says:

    Who the hell is left in the Never Trump punditocracy? I see below there are a few febrile souls left including at least one wild eyed female eunuch wingnut.

    • Bud Black
      Bud Black says:

      Huh? The Never Trump punditocracy is thriving. Most of the NRO staff are part of it. All of the Weekly Standard (except maybe Fred Barnes) is part of it. Krauthammer who is lying low (for health reasons, I wish him a speedy recovery) is part of it. George Will is part of it. I could add the names of 50 more, but I don’t think you were being serious in the first instance.

  14. chris_zzz
    chris_zzz says:

    I like it when writers like Ms. Kelly call out the dishonesty of the media. So much of what’s in the media these days is nothing more than propaganda… half-truths, false premises, and deliberate bias.

  15. Sebastian Cremmington
    Sebastian Cremmington says:

    Trump is president because of the phony Benghazi investigation and Brett Baier’s fake news report about Hillary’s indictment because imminent…good for the goose is good for the gander!

    • CapitalistRoader
      CapitalistRoader says:

      Trump is president, and the Senate took the senate in 2014, and the GOP took the house in 2010, because Democrats are just awful. Awful ideas, awful platform, awful candidates.

  16. strongmind
    strongmind says:

    every person reading this article understands that if he/she had traded 50,000 text messages with a co-worker, they would have been terminated a long time ago. But, Strzok and Page are government employees….. and great examples of the deep state. I no longer subscribe to or listen to any of the never-Trump publications or columnists. Under the sphere of conservative ideological purity, they gave up on the only person capable of fighting the deep state and the democrat party. When one looks back and realizes that conservatives have lost every single cultural battle since the 1960’s, one realizes that none of the republican candidates, nor those in the never trump brigade, were going to save this country, and beat back the encroachment of liberal ideals and ideas.

    • Matthew Mosier
      Matthew Mosier says:

      From personal experience I can tell you that idealists usually have a strange sort of suicide complex when it comes to their beliefs. They WANT to lose. Losing, after all, provides much more fodder for “easy” emotions, like anger, than does winning. This explains the Never Trump movement in many ways.. when it comes to policing the evils of the left wing, Never Trump seems very much, “like a dog chasing cars.. they wouldn’t know what to do if they caught one.”

      • strongmind
        strongmind says:

        thank you for the most interesting response Matthew. I can certainly look back at my life’s experiences and see some truth to your description of the never trumpers.

  17. Historybuff
    Historybuff says:

    This lady has been smoking something. Is she from Colorado?

    The only defense the trumpers have is “if’n you are not for trumpy… you are against Lord trumpy.”

    Sorry, lady – you support an adulter, wife-beater, liar, cheater. business-failure, narcissistic incompetent – YOU should be ashamed.
    HB

  18. vaccinia
    vaccinia says:

    So…..the answer here is NOT to click on any articles by these dimwit NeverTrumpers! No clicks….no pay! Dead Meat…..

  19. olderwiser
    olderwiser says:

    We live in the era of mass insanity. Despite the wholesale slaughter visited on America by terrorists on September 11, nothing meaningful has been done to secure our borders, and we are continually treated to the spectacle of illegal immigrants marching to demand that they be treated as citizens. Why do we not bring in the buses, load them up, and immediately transport them to the border or airport, as appropriate, and never be troubled by them again. In the Middle East, we have spent untold gallons of blood and watched while sub-human terrorists continue to bleed the treasure of America while we engage in fantasies of nation building. Madness! If the Islamists stay within their borders and leave us alone, America’s troops and money should never intervene. Let’s use the money to develop orbital kinetic energy weapons so that we can drop rocks on them when they interfere with American safety and security. Presidents from Clinton to Obama have dithered while the lunatics in North Korea have developed nuclear weapons and the delivery system to threaten America. If we had, in an accidental burst of commonsense, developed the orbital KEWs that we should have in place, President Trump would have the option of dropping rocks on the NKs dear leader. Given that we don’t have that option, bombing them back to the Stone Age is long overdue. Yes civilians will be killed in NK, but why should we give a damn? Better them than us. We arguably have the most powerful military and the most powerful economy on Earth. It is time we start acting like it. Any little piss ant tinpot strong man that screws with us needs to know that his life expectancy has dropped to zero. Collateral damage? Not our problem. America First means something. We don’t need to send our sons and daughters to hellholes half way around the world, or even to the Mexican border. We have ample weapons to protect ourselves long distance. Oh, and about that wall? Don’t need it. Too expensive. Shoot anyone crossing the border illegally, and, after the first week, we’ll be able to meet the ammunition expense with the income from a decent paper route.

  20. rambothedrughunter
    rambothedrughunter says:

    Brooks, Stephens, and Doubthat of the NYT, and Will, of WaPo have been corrupted since they went to their new venues. The old adage: ‘”Sleep with dogs, you end up getting fleas.”

  21. Oliver Felts
    Oliver Felts says:

    Bret Stephens, token conservative in residence at the NYT, is strutting his stuff relying on the validity of his postulations he’s honed to give a complete and intense truth for those tuned-in to his wave length. I allow the truth is the truth. Bret Stephens has only his opinion.

  22. Craig
    Craig says:

    Very good, Julie Kelly. A well-conceived article, neatly tying the cabal of anti-Trump commentators on the Right to Hillary Clinton’s comment about a “vast right wing conspiracy”.
    CenterRightAmerica.SquareSpace.com

  23. Rockerbabe
    Rockerbabe says:

    I guess it really is hard on the republicans to finally have their very own “Whitewater” style investigation of the Donald. May they suffer long and hard (ain’t payback a bitch).

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