NeverTrump is Now NeverSCOTUS

As Democrats have (another) collective meltdown over this week’s Supreme Court rulings and the impending retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, President Trump’s supporters are venting their own rage at another target: NeverTrump Republicans.

Minutes after Kennedy announced he would step down later this year, Washington D.C. talk-radio host Larry O’Connor tweeted that NeverTrumpers “should be spending the day explaining their decision” not to vote for Donald Trump.

Fox News Channel’s Laura Ingraham reminded folks that none of the recent Supreme Court decisions “would have been possible if the #NeverTrumpers had their way.” Her colleague, Sean Hannity, roasted NeverTrumpers in his opening monologue Wednesday night: “For all of you NeverTrumpers, if you would have had your way . . . Hillary Rodham Clinton would have been making now a second appointment.”

And an Investor’s Business Daily editorial posed the question: “Conservatives are celebrating a number of important victories at the Supreme Court, as well as the chance to replace moderate Justice Anthony Kennedy. But none of these wins would have been possible if the Never-Trump crowd had its way. How about a mea culpa?”

I’ll go a step further: If NeverTrumpers had their way, we would now be contemplating the possibility of Associate Justice Barack (or Michelle!) Obama.

They Just Can’t Deal
Whenever President Trump has a good week, or the importance of the Supreme Court again comes into clear view, Trump supporters—even reluctant ones—ruefully (and justifiably) blast the small but vocal group of anti-Trump “conservative” antagonists for their entrenched opposition to the president. These so-called Republicans not only opposed Trump’s candidacy during the 2016 primaries, but also refused to vote for him in the general election (some admitted voting for Hillary Clinton) and have since joined forces with Democrats to trash the president every chance they get.

For many Republicans, NeverTrump is the wound from the 2016 election that will not heal. While several conservatives who contributed to the January 2016 National Review “Against Trump” issue that launched the NeverTrump movement have since converted into fair arbiters of the president and his policies (some are even among Trump’s biggest supporters), others remain steadfastly encamped with the most shrill, and now violent, voices on the Left to condemn everything Trump does and says—even when it conforms to their previously-held political views.

Hannity would not name names on Wednesday night, but I will mention a few: Bill Kristol, Jennifer Rubin, Tom Nichols, David Frum, George Will, Rick Wilson, and Steve Schmidt are just a few. Armed with online columns and cable news gigs, NeverTrumpers have earned newfound fame and thousands of anti-Trump Twitter followers by ridiculing the president, his administration, his family, his voters, and Republicans in Congress.

This group repeatedly mocks Republicans who voted for Trump primarily, if not solely, based on which candidate would sway the precarious balance of the nation’s highest court: “But Gorsuch” is a common snipe directed at Trump supporters from NeverTrumpers whenever the president offers up an inchoate remark or a clumsy policy proposal.

The catchphrase implies that preventing a progressive takeover of the Supreme Court with disastrous consequences for at least a generation was not a good enough reason for people to have voted for Donald Trump. Tom Nichols, an author and college professor who is one of NeverTrump’s biggest drama queens, is a “But Gorsuch” broken record. Earlier this month, he insisted the retort “will be on our collective tombstone.” Wilson, an alleged GOP strategist, claims he has an entire chapter titled “But Gorsuch” in his upcoming book about Trump.

So Very Clueless . . . 
Keep in mind, these Trump-hating harpies routinely boast about being traditional conservatives, strict adherents to the rule of law and constitutional norms. Yet they are willing to cede what is arguably the only remaining bulwark between individual liberty and creeping, Leftist totalitarianism because they despise Donald Trump—not to mention that they are capitalizing professionally from their dissent. It is not just a selfish and wholly dishonest stance for anyone who calls himself a conservative; in this political climate, it is downright dangerous.

But instead of begrudgingly acknowledging that, yes, the composition of the Supreme Court is critical and, yes, Trump’s choice of Gorsuch and his pledge to nominate another justice of the same caliber to replace Kennedy are highly-consequential decisions worthy of commendation, NeverTrump has amped up their disdain and contempt for Trump and his supporters. Publicly they are encouraging Americans to vote for Democrats in the midterm election, which would ensure a legislative blockade of any future Supreme Court nominees. (Kristol is now laughably suggesting the process should be delayed.)

In a Washington Post column last week, George Will argued that Trump’s “family-shredding policy along the southern border” compels voters to ensure Republican control of Congress “must be substantially reduced.” Will claims electing Democrats would somehow “affirm the nation’s honor.”

Bill Kristol is rooting openly for Democrats to regain control of the House and Senate in November. Ditto for Jennifer Rubin: Not only does she want Democrats to win this fall, she is now advising them how to block Trump’s pick—”a right-wing justice who will eradicate decades of jurisprudence”—before the midterm elections. Rubin’s brilliant strategy to achieve this would involve senators vacating their seats to halt a vote and Democratic activists organizing boycotts.

Steve Schmidt, a failed Republican consultant who managed John McCain’s losing 2008 election, is now a regular MSNBC contributor and just renounced his membership in the GOP. (Buh bye.) Schmidt accused Republicans of “stealing” a Supreme Court seat from the Democrats and implored Democrats to do everything in their power to stop the Senate from approving Trump’s next nominee.

Malice Without Limits
Think about what this means. Once-credible Republicans now advocate civil unrest and underhanded partisan tactics to ensure a perilous leftward shift on the Supreme Court, where four justices this week affirmed their allegiance to compelled speech and identity politics rather than rigorous constitutional boundaries. Laws regulating immigration, gun rights, abortion, private property, and other critical areas of our lives would become the arbitrary playthings of Leftist judicial elites. Electing more Democrats would empower a chaotic and increasingly violent party intent on obliterating every principle the NeverTrumpers once professed to cherish. A Democratic majority would result in more turmoil and seriously jeopardize the presidency since many Democrats pledge to impeach Trump if they win back the majority.

Of course, that is exactly what NeverTrump wants. Their malice has no limits, and their outrageous attempt to hand off the Supreme Court to the Left should never be forgotten or forgiven.

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Photo credit: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

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About Julie Kelly

Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of January 6: How Democrats Used the Capitol Protest to Launch a War on Terror Against the Political Right and Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. She is the co-host of the “Happy Hour Podcast with Julie and Liz.” She is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and lives in suburban Chicago with her husband and two daughters.

Photo: WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01: Seated from left, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, and Associate Justice Stephen Breyer. Standing behind from left, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr., Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch pose for a portrait in the east conference room of the building of the Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday June 01, 2017 in Washington, DC (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)