No European nation,” writes George Will in a recent column, “was as enchanted as Germany was by Barack Obama’s studied elegance and none is more repelled by Donald Trump’s visceral vulgarity.” Just so Millennials know, the Washington Journalism Review once proclaimed Will the “best writer, any subject” and in 2017 Andrew Ferguson hailed him as the “dean of conservative journalists” in a Weekly Standard piece headlined “The Greatness of George Will.” The great one has always had a problem with Donald Trump.
“If Trump is nominated, the GOP must keep him out of the White House,” ran the headline on Will’s April 29, 2016 column, in which he decried “Republican quislings” who were “slinking into support of the most anti-conservative presidential aspirant in their party’s history.” The quislings would “render themselves ineligible to participate in the party’s reconstruction.”
Two months later, Will announced a change in his voter registration to “unaffiliated,” citing Trump’s complaint about a “Mexican” judge. Will said he joined the Republican Party “because I was a conservative, and I leave it for the same reason: I’m a conservative.”
In late June 2016, Dan McLaughlin of National Review wrote that Will’s column “has kicked up a stir by arguing that voters of all ideological stripes should hand majority control of the Senate and House to the Democrats in November. This is a profoundly bad idea, and Will makes nearly no effort to consider its actual consequences.”
On November 2, 2016, Jonathan Chait noted Will’s ideological fervor but six months later, “none of his expectations has remotely come to pass.” Will’s April 2016 column “currently has less resemblance to the pronouncement of a conservative pope than to Will Ferrell in ‘Old School,’ proclaiming that everybody is going streaking.”
Last May in New York Magazine, Ed Kilgore described Will as “one of the few #NeverTrump figures on the right who has neither wavered nor flagged in his disdain for the 45th president.” In January 2019, nearly three years after he urged the GOP to keep Trump out of White House, and with Democrats panting for impeachment, Will writes of the president’s “visceral vulgarity.”
On the other hand, Will hails “Barack Obama’s studied elegance,” a strange statement for a conservative hardliner on Communism, if he ever studied the record.
In 2009, Obama canceled missile defense for U.S. allies Poland and the Czech Republic, both victims of Soviet occupation. That same year, “soldier of Allah” Nidal Hasan gunned down 13 unarmed American soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, and wounded more than 30 others. President Obama called this “workplace violence,” not even “gun violence.”
Conservatives tend to favor smaller government but in a deep recession Obama bulked up an already bloated federal government and he told Americans if they liked their health plan they could keep it, one of his many lies.
Conservatives favor free speech but president Obama harassed journalists such as Sharyl Attkisson and James Rosen and deployed the IRS against conservative groups.
Conservatives favor free and fair elections but Obama deployed powerful forces in the FBI and the Justice Department to clear his chosen successor Hillary Clinton and frame Donald Trump. Even so, Trump won the election and went on to take down ISIS, call out Islamic terrorism, put Kim Jong-un in his place, cut taxes, and usher in an economic boom with economic growth in the 4 percent range. That counts for nothing with George Will and the NeverTrumpers on the Right.
In this crowd, to be conservative is to be famous and well regarded, have a lot of money, and hang out with powerful people in the Washington establishment. It is also important to win awards and regularly appear on establishment media shows wearing a bow tie. This pose is coupled with utter disdain for actual working people.
Say what you will about President Trump, he understands American workers and doesn’t want illegal foreign nationals to take their jobs. On Trump’s watch, the Republican party is becoming the party of the workers and the Democrats the party of politically correct elites.
Trump made good on his promise to “bomb the shit out of ISIS” and the president never hesitates to throw down with the Left. NeverTrump conservatives, on the other hand, see government as a kind of debating society. When it comes to frontline political combat with the Left, they cry “run away!” like Graham Chapman’s King Arthur in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
In that film, Michael Palin tells Arthur that supreme executive power comes from a mandate from the masses. In 2016 Donald Trump got a mandate from the masses, and like the Left, the Never Trump establishment conservatives still can’t deal with it.
Meanwhile, in the 2017 Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, biographer David Garrow called Dreams from My Father, Obama’s founding narrative, a work of “historical fiction,” and the author a “composite character.” Garrow also noted the “Communist background” of Obama’s beloved “Frank,” the African American Frank Marshall Davis, who spent his life defending all-white Soviet dictatorships.
Conservatives are normally sticklers for historical accuracy but Rising Star did not prompt George Will to conduct an investigation. Two years later the “dean of conservative journalists” is still trashing Trump and hailing “the studied elegance of Barack Obama.”
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