The political misfits known as NeverTrumpers are begging for allies ahead of next year’s presidential election—and, as usual, they aren’t looking to the Right.
This collection of failed magazine editors, Iraq War propagandists, washed-up columnists, Russian collusion pimps, and losing campaign consultants have dogged Donald Trump and his supporters for three years. While some anti-Trump “conservatives” who contributed to National Review’s infamous “Against Trump” issue in early 2016 have become supporters of the president, others cannot let go—but their obstinance is less about principle and more about grift: Acting as the useful conservative idiot for the Washington Post or MSNBC has breathed new life into once stale careers and burned reputations.
Despite making repeated threats and floating the names of several potential candidates, they have failed to produce a legitimate primary challenger to Trump. (Bill Kristol, the de facto head of NeverTrump Inc., last year claimed he was building a “war machine” to take on Trump in 2020, making this yet another war Kristol waged from the sidelines and lost.)
NeverTrumpers also failed to help Democrats run Trump out of the Oval Office, whether it was by promoting the egregious special counsel investigation into imaginary Russian collusion or supporting any and all empty calls for impeachment. They have not produced a detailed policy agenda to offer an alternative to Trumpism, only bromides about vague “principles.”
Now, armed with the same unjustified hubris and political fecklessness that turned once-influential conservatives into a punchline, NeverTrumpers are warning Democrats that they need to find some imaginary center so they can join forces to Dump Trump in 2020.
A slew of groveling NeverTrumpers have published columns proffering advice that no one asked for to people who don’t want it. And in the process, they’ve proved correct those of us who’ve been critical of the motives and alleged “principles” these high-minded has-beens claim to possess over deplorable Trumpkins.
Mona Charen, once a conservative stalwart, admitted in a July 9 column for Politico not only that she voted Democratic in 2018—subsequently empowering the likes of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and the contemptible Ilham Omar (D-Minn.)—but that her vote is available again in 2020, with a few caveats.
After detailing the leftist impulses of nearly every Democratic presidential candidate, Charen coaches the cadre of would-be authoritarians: “Do what you think is right—propose legislation to fix Obamacare or spend more on basic research of climate change or whatever—but in the constitutional way,” Charen advised candidates who have demonstrated nothing but contempt and hostility toward the U.S. Constitution. “As a lifelong conservative, I think your policy ideas are ill-advised. But this cycle, other Trump-disgusted Republicans and I can contemplate voting Democrat.”
Claiming for the millionth time without evidence that Trump poses an “existential threat to the United States,” author Tom Nichols criticized the Democratic Party’s lurch to the Left. (Nichols voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and has twice renounced his membership in the GOP.) Democrats should temper their socialist policy goals, Nichols argued in a July 1 column for USA Today, and focus only on Trump.
“But the key here is that I have just stated my only requirement for an opposition candidate: the ability to get to 270 electoral votes. This election is a referendum on Donald Trump, and nothing else should even come close as the central issue,” the allegedly “principled conservative” warned.
Nichols is really saying that voters should disregard the dangerous policies and hardline tactics of every single Democratic candidate to satisfy his vain need to oust Trump. The candidate’s leftist plans to upend our political system and our economy don’t matter, only his or her ability to win 270 electoral votes and deny them to Donald Trump.
That, dear reader, is an actual existential threat to our country.
Over at The Bulwark, the refuge of Weekly Standard rejects and leftist billionaire shills, Sarah Longwell frets that a break-up between the Democrats and NeverTrumpers is imminent. But that didn’t stop her from writing a “can’t we try one more time?” letter to the field of Democratic presidential candidates who, like most recipients of a “can’t we try one more time?” letter, will likely pity then ignore the sad little plea from a spurned suitor.
“It seems to me that our differences are reconcilable,” Longwell suggests. “Because ultimately, NeverTrumpers and Democrats want the same thing. And like staying together for the kids, we should stay together for the country. We can fight over marginal tax rates later, after America has restored its basic political norms.”
How can this estranged pair stay together? They will, Longwell teases, if Democrats get behind an allegedly moderate agenda of “access to abortion in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, action to address climate change, permanent status for DACA recipients, a pathway to citizenship for people who came to the U.S. illegally, modest reforms on guns, and universal access to healthcare,” rather than the Democrats’ more extreme version. This from the outlet that purports to be “conserving conservatism.”
Of course, pivoting on issues that once defined the Right in order to suck up to the Left has been an animating feature of NeverTrump. Many NeverTrumpers have reversed their previous views on climate change, gun control, and illegal immigration to please their new Trump-hating allies on the Left—Kristol admitted in 2017 that the Trump era was bringing out his “inner” socialist, feminist and liberal.”
Other NeverTrumpers including Megan McArdle, Bret Stephens, and David Brooks have made similar entreaties to Democrats.
But like the fat person who gives dietary advice, these political losers are being dismissed, even mocked, by the Left.
“Never Trump conservatives like David Brooks are an interesting intellectual curiosity and often worth reading for their critiques of the Republican Party. But as political advisers they’ve had their day,” wrote Jeet Heer in The Nation last month. “Democrats don’t need their votes.”
For three years, NeverTrumpers have refused to criticize Democrats for anything, with the possible exception of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation debacle. They’ve played the role of the dummy to their leftist puppet masters, aiming all political fire at the president, his administration and his supporters. When NeverTrump was saying on CNN and MSNBC and in the New York Times exactly what the Left wanted to hear, Democrats were eager listeners.
Now that NeverTrump is blasting Democrats for their unwinnable agenda of open borders, free healthcare for illegal immigrants, the Green New Deal, and college debt forgiveness, the Democrats have no interest in their opinions. NeverTrump has been used by the Left and they’ll face another political No Man’s Land in 2020.
Couldn’t happen to a more deserving group.
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