Mona Charen Exemplifies NeverTrumpers’ Straw Grasping

Mona Charen is at it again. In an article from last week titled “Impeachment for Thee but Not for Me,” she argues that Republicans who supported President Clinton’s impeachment but now defend President Trump against spurious impeachment charges are hypocrites. According to her twisted logic, supporting Trump but bashing Clinton means you’re trying to have your cake and eat it, too.

Of course, Charen doesn’t say directly she supports impeachment, but it’s difficult to avoid that conclusion. She sees as “Orwellian” Trump’s forcing of Republicans “to insist, with him, that black is white.” And she defends Bill Clinton, who “by acknowledging his lie . . . at least permitted the Democrats who supported him to condemn his behavior as wrong.”

Among those she condemns for insisting that “black is white” are U.S. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), who in 1998-1999 condemned Clinton for putting himself “above the law, not once, not twice, but repeatedly,” but today defends Trump against impeachment because “he did not offer a quid pro quo to the president of Ukraine for any of this information.”

Charen also takes shots at Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) who heartily supported Clinton’s impeachment, but recently introduced a resolution condemning the current impeachment inquiry on the “risible” grounds “that it denies ‘due process’ to the president.”

Twenty years ago, Democrats justified Clinton’s abhorrent sexual behavior and lying by arguing that “everybody does it,” and Republicans now, according to Charen, are using the “everybody does it” argument to justify Trump’s supposed attempt to “bully another nation,” “create a false narrative smearing a political opponent,” and “subvert the 2020 election.”

There’s only one problem: Trump is not actually doing any of those things.

Truth vs. Narrative

Charen’s argument has no legs to stand on. The mere fact that the president released the entire transcript of his call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine should have put this conspiracy theory to rest, but these conspiracy theorists are the same people who spent almost two years and $32 million to pursue bizarre and spurious charges that Trump colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

Not to mention that the “heroic” and “impartial” whistleblower is a registered Democrat, that his testimony is based on secondhand hearsay, that a National Security Council official tried to edit the call’s transcript, or, most importantly, that former Vice President Joe Biden himself is guilty of exactly what the Democrats are now accusing Trump of doing. Charen conveniently ignores all of those things.

At this point, we know that the Left will stoop to any gutter tactic to take down Trump, whether that means lying, rioting in the streets, or fabricating false rape allegations to derail Trump’s nominees to the Supreme Court.

But the fact that allegedly conservative NeverTrumpers like Mona Charen participate in these desperate attempts to destroy Trump is disgusting.

NeverTrumpers like to beat their breasts and pretend that they are genuinely anguished by the president’s behavior and wish he will overcome his flaws, but these crocodile tears are belied by their constant grasping at every straw that keeps impeachment alive. Look no further than their longstanding support of the Mueller investigation.

The Price of Vanity

The irony here is that this chronic straw grasping has only succeeded in showing the world the hypocrisy of the NeverTrump movement. They are motivated in large part by a vain desire to portray themselves as the true guardians of conservative principles and the Republican Party.

Instead of doing something to support the conservative movement, to get real policy victories, to lower taxes, to revitalize the economy, and to strike blows against the abortion industry, they much prefer to stand in a corner and wring their hands about the ways they imagine Trump is destroying the Republican party.

Some people just get a kick out of being a vocal minority, and NeverTrumpers love to portray themselves as the brave Spartans ready to perish in a heroic last stand against the hordes of ignorant Trump voters. They would sacrifice almost anything on the altar of their vanity, even if that means actively ignoring or downplaying Trump’s victories which benefit the entire country, including the conservative movement.

This is why they remain silent in the face of Trump’s consistent achievements but are ready to pounce the moment Trump does anything they dislike. They can’t wait to wag their fingers in our faces and say “see?! We told you voting for Trump was a deal with the devil!”

The hypocrisy underlying this mindset is that NeverTrumpers decry Trump’s “destruction of civil discourse,” but then immediately turn around and viciously smear the voters in their own party as unprincipled hypocrites, liars, and cheats, all while assuring us that radical leftists are really, deep down, “good people” with whom we simply have policy differences. They attack their own party with a passionate fury that they never muster for the Left.

Just consider David French’s repeated attacks against Evangelicals who support Trump, Mona Charen’s execrable smear of the Claremont Institute as a Trumpist “sellout,” or Bill Kristol’s now-deleted tweet vilifying the Covington kids as “MAGA brats who have absorbed the spirit of Trumpism.”

The good news is that the NeverTrump movement is falling more and more into irrelevance. Despite the movement’s most ardent desires, Trump will not be impeached. The Charens and Kristols of the world will continue appearing on CNN, writing articles for the Washington Post and Time. They will continue to furrow their brows and mewl about the way Trump is destroying the Republic. But beyond a handful of people in Beltway social circles, they’re not fooling anyone.

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About Elad Vaida

Elad Vaida is currently enrolled in the Heritage Foundation’s George C. Marshall Fellows Program, and the America’s Future Foundation Writing Fellows Program. He has a Master’s in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University, and a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Penn State University.

Photo: Getty Images

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