Category Archive '#NeverTrump'
05 Jun 2020
Like Daniel Pipes, I was #NeverTrump. I vigorously opposed his nomination. I ridiculed and condemned him. And I did not vote for him in 2016. But I agree with Pipes. Trump has overall done a good job, and I will vote for him in November.
Nearly four years later, Trump’s [I’d say: “style”] still troubles and repels me. …
But, to my unending surprise, he has governed as a resolute conservative. His policies in the areas of education, taxes, deregulation, and the environment have been bolder than Ronald Reagan’s. His judicial appointments are the best of the past century (thank you, Leonard Leo). His unprecedented assault on the administrative state proceeds apace, ignoring predictable howls from the Washington establishment. Even his foreign policy has been conservative: demanding that allies contribute their fair share, confronting China and Iran, and singularly supporting Israel. Ironically, as David Harsanyi notes, a potential character flaw actually works to our advantage: “Trump’s obstinacy seems to have made him less susceptible to the pressures that traditionally induce GOP presidents to capitulate.”
(Economic performance drives many voters to support or oppose a sitting president, but not me. Partly, because the president has only limited control; partly, because it’s a transient issue that matters much less than long-term policies.) ….
But, of course, we all disagree with some of what every president does; more surprisingly, I agree with about 80 percent of Trump’s actions, a higher number than any of his predecessors’, going back to Lyndon Johnson.
Well, I definitely don’t think Trump is altogether better than Reagan, but he is certainly more combative.
07 Jul 2019
Last year, Varvel explained how Trump changed his mind and mine:
“[H]ow in the world did Trump change my mind? He started keeping those promises.”
15 Nov 2018
The Times yesterday applauded the arrival of a new anti-Trump Legal Group founded by conservatives.
[M]ore than a dozen prominent conservative lawyers have joined together to sound a note of caution. They are urging their fellow conservatives to speak up about what they say are the Trump administrationâ€™s betrayals of bedrock legal norms.
â€œConservative lawyers are not doing enough to protect constitutional principles that are being undermined by the statements and actions of this president,â€ said John B. Bellinger III, a top State Department and White House lawyer under President George W. Bush.
The group, called Checks and Balances, was organized by George T. Conway III, a conservative lawyer and the husband of President Trumpâ€™s counselor, Kellyanne Conway. In recent opinion articles, Mr. Conway has criticized Mr. Trumpâ€™s statements on birthright citizenship and argued that his appointment of Matthew G. Whitaker to serve as acting attorney general violated the Constitution.
The new group also includes Tom Ridge, a former governor of Pennsylvania and secretary of homeland security in the Bush administration; Peter D. Keisler, a former acting attorney general in the Bush administration; two prominent conservative law professors, Jonathan H. Adler and Orin S. Kerr; and Lori S. Meyer, a lawyer who is married to Eugene B. Meyer, the president of the Federalist Society.
â€œWe believe in the rule of law, the power of truth, the independence of the criminal justice system, the imperative of individual rights and the necessity of civil discourse,â€ the group said in a statement. â€œWe believe these principles apply regardless of the party or persons in power.â€
Mr. Conway, who has long been a member of and contributor to the Federalist Society, said he had nothing but admiration for its work. But he added that some conservative lawyers, pleased with Mr. Trumpâ€™s record on judicial nominations and deregulation, have been wary of criticizing him in other areas, as when he attacks the Justice Department and the news media.
In a recent opinion article, George T. Conway III criticized Mr. Trumpâ€™s statements on birthright citizenship.CreditChip Somodevilla/Getty Images
â€œThereâ€™s a perception out there that conservative lawyers have essentially sold their souls for judges and regulatory reform,â€ Mr. Conway said. â€œWe just want to be a voice speaking out, and to encourage others to speak out.â€
The new groupâ€™s members say their goal is not to criticize the Federalist Society but to encourage debate about some of the Trump administrationâ€™s policies and actions. …
In interviews, the groupâ€™s members said they did not speak with a single voice and had varying concerns about the administrationâ€™s policies.
A lot of Ivy League graduates derive from their education, and the architecture, and the centuries of tradition and prestige, the firm belief that the American Establishment enjoys the mandate of heaven, and cannot possibly be fundamentally wrong. They are not comfortable in the role of rebels and outsiders.
It is obviously a social class thing. Donald Trump is an uncouth vulgarian with a loose mouth and a bad haircut. It simply will not do to be associated with a ragamuffin like Trump. It is not respectable. Besides, the democrats now have the House, and soon the knives will really come out. Maybe Trump will go down. Maybe they’ll mau mau him out of office the way they did Nixon. Time to start taking out some insurance. I’m dazzled by all the high principle.
When Justice Kennedy decided that the US Constitution mandated Same Sex Marriage, that, I’d say, undermined the Rule of Law. When Obama’s head of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, Russlynn Ali, sent a “Dear Colleague” letter threatening universities with the loss of federal funding unless they immediately created Star Chambers with lowered evidence standards and reduced rights for the accused to investigate sexual harassment accusations, that undermined the Rule of Law. When left-wing, democrat-appointed federal district judges arbitrarily set out to overturn one Executive Branch policy after another single-handed, that undermined the Rule of Law. Right now, when democrats, having lost elections, get extensions provided by partisan district judges and magically produce more ballots, that undermines Democracy and the Rule of Law.
But those brave, high-principled conservative solons were never bothered enough by any left-wing distortions of the Constitution or end-runs around the Rule of Law to go out and organize a brand-new opposition organization with which to express their indignation over any of that.
But, Trump! orange-faced, bad-hair, outer-borough-talking Trump! when the likes of Trump has the temerity to impugn the integrity and bona fides of sacred institutions like CNN and the New York Times, when Trump complains of partisan opposition to himself and his policies from within the government, that is carrying things too far! That kind of thing constitutes an outrage too dreadful to be borne. (And an opportunity to receive a lot of “strange, new respect” and approving front page notice from the Times!)
There is no hill a lot of people are willing to die on, but there are certainly hills that some people are eager to pose on.
10 Oct 2018
Nathanael Blake is another NeverTrump-er who’s been forcibly converted by democrat outrageous behavior toward Brett Kavanaugh.
I have been radicalized. The enormity of the efforts by the Democrats and their media allies to destroy Brett Kavanaugh forced me to reconsider my views. The concerns I have about Trumpâ€™s character, temperament, and propensity to damage Americaâ€™s cultural and political institutions are still there, but I am supporting him anyway.
It is not just that the Democrats have vitiated any claim to possess superior character or temperament (though they have), or that Trumpâ€™s policies have been better than I expected. I now support Trump because the Democratic Party and its media allies are controlled by people who view conservatives not as political opponents to be voted down, but as enemies to be personally destroyed.
Trump will say anything, but Democrats will do anything. They and their media allies smeared a universally respected judge with an impeccable record as a serial sexual predator on evidence that would not have justified an indictment. They repeatedly lied and hid evidence in order to create delay (e.g., Christine Blasey Fordâ€™s supposed fear of flying).
In the end, the evidence against Kavanaugh consisted only of the dubious testimony of a woman who could not recall basic details like a time or a place, whose story changed repeatedly, and whose witnesses remembered nothing of what she claimed. But Democrats did their best to forever brand him as a sexual predator anyway. They did not want a serious, confidential investigation; they wanted to publicly grind him into the dirt while the mob howled for his head.
They wanted the circus, the smears, the insane rumors and allegations from cranks. They wanted the tabloid journalism from formerly respectable outlets like The New Yorker. If Kavanaugh refused to withdraw, then they wanted Ford on national television. They even wanted the lunatic claims from a nutcase dredged up by a creepy porn lawyer, alleging that Kavanaugh ran a gang-rape ring as a teen. Even as the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh collapsed, they switched to smears about his high school yearbook and college drinking.
With rare exceptions, the national media repeated every smear and Democratic talking point. They spent weeks trying to destroy Kavanaughâ€™s life and reputation with lies, then had the effrontery to sneer at his anger when he took umbrage at being labeled a gang-rape mastermind. Lushes from the soused D.C. media lectured Kavanaugh about his teenage drinking. They earned every bit of Trumpâ€™s â€œenemy of the peopleâ€ and â€œfake newsâ€ epithets.
Kavanaugh was a normal establishment Republican pick. Destroying him had nothing to do with opposing Trumpâ€™s particular flaws. This was about annihilating anyone who gets in the Democratsâ€™ way, especially anyone who threatens their illegitimate Supreme Court policy wins. It was a declaration of war on every conservative, no matter how respected, reasonable, and mainstream.
There is no refuge from this sort of totalizing, destructive politics. The Republican rejection of Merrick Garland was political hardball; the sliming of Kavanaugh was categorically different and much worse. The Democrats crossed the line from policy disagreement to personal destruction, and in doing so they nuked any middle ground between themselves and conservative Trump skeptics. And they put every conservative on notice: You could be next.
If the Democrats will do this to a man as respected and mainstream as Kavanaugh, they will do it to anyone who gets in their way.
I don’t see how Jennifer Rubin, Bill Kristol, Ron Radosh, Max Boot, and the like can possibly still deny the inevitable.
The United States is a two-party system. You’re either on one side, or you’re on the other. Besides which, even Donald Trump deserves a fair-minded approach to judgment. He’s made a lot of excellent appointments. He’s gotten through a tax cut. And he’s restored economic confidence, ending the Great Recession after eight long years. Trump may not deserve your full-throated enthusiasm, but he does deserve your support.
23 Dec 2017
Despite Donald Trump’s surprising list of real accomplishments, which I am obliged to admit distinctly exceed those of several recent legitimate and respectable Republican presidents, there are still a lot of carping, sneering professional conservative commentators out there, clinging to now pointless #NeverTrump irredentism.
Roger L. Simon argues that these people ought to start admitting they’ve been wrong, give the devil Trump his due, and close ranks with fellow conservatives. Winning major political battles and the culture war is a lot more important than Donald Trump’s aesthetics or continued proof of the superiority of certain people’s souls.
[I]t is time for the remaining NeverTrumpers to apologize for a reason far more important than self-castigation or merely to make things “right.” Donald Trump — whose initial victory was a shock, even, ironically, to those of us who predicted it — has compounded that shock by being astoundingly successful in his first year, especially at the conclusion. (He’s a quick study, evidently.) More conservative goals have been achieved or put in motion in eleven months than in any time in recent, or even distant, memory. It’s an astonishing reversal for our country accompanied by the beginnings of an economic boom.
But that same success is causing, it’s becoming increasingly clear, an equally determined, even virulent, reaction from the left. At first they too thought Trump was an ineffectual blowhard who would shoot himself in the foot, ultimately redounding to their advantage. Now that they have found that not to be the case, they are in a state of panic, fearing a defeat for their ideals that would set them back years, even decades. They cannot let this stand and are marshaling all their forces from the media to Hollywood to the academy, not to mention at least some of the investigative units of the FBI.
NeverTrumpers Ignore Trump’s Accomplishments
The next year seems poised to be an ideological duel as close to the death as we have seen in a long time. If the right does not win, the gains of 2017 will be stymied by the election of 2018 and completely washed away in 2020.
It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation and we need the NeverTrumpers’ help. We need — to borrow a hoary leftist term — a united front.
09 Oct 2016
Althouse commenter Meade said, 10/8/16, 10:32 AM:
Trump grabbed an unsuspecting GOP by its pussy. GOP just let him do it. Except for the #NeverTrump-ers, who had too much self respect along with the fact that they had no pussies for Trump to grab.
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