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What Is the End-Game for NeverTrumpers?

 

This question has been growing in my mind as the cacophony of from the hysterical Left (sorry for the redundancy) rises to a crescendo. As I follow people like Jonah Goldberg, David French, and Mona Charen — to name the few who seem to be tenaciously critical of Trump but whom I respect tremendously — I really want to ask them a few questions. I won’t get their replies here so maybe others of a like mind can answer for this perspective.

What is it that you are trying to accomplish at this point? I get, first of all, why you didn’t want Trump to be the nominee. I did not want that either. I supported almost anyone else in the field over him except for, maybe, Jeb! and, later, Kasich. I really did not want him. But once it happened, the choice became overwhelmingly obvious. Everyone gets that. What I don’t understand is why, at this point in time, do you seem to take an active anti-Trump stance? Do you think that we will somehow come out in good shape if the Left brings down this administration? So you think that the distraction will be out of the way and we can go back to being respected by the Media? Do you see Pence taking over and then the Leftist mob will have their bloodthirst slaked?

Furthermore, didn’t Trump represent an unexpected opportunity? Wasn’t it possible that, blemishes and all, Trump was a blunt instrument that represented an opening for moving the ball downfield in a way that a more traditional politician never could? I hate that I am speaking in the past tense but I am starting to feel that we have let an opportunity slip through our fingers. By not closing ranks behind him, I fear that we are letting him get surrounded by the barbarian horde while we watch “safely” from the ramparts. After he is vanquished, the siege will commence and what will we do then?

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  1. Profile photo of Jamie Lockett Reagan

    NeverTrump ended on 11/9/2016.

    • #1
    • May 18, 2017 at 9:15 am
    • Like20 likes
  2. Profile photo of Jamie Lockett Reagan

    To answer your question, in short: good, competent, conservative governance.

    I criticize the President a lot, but I believe this comes from a place of principle: I want him to a push a conservative agenda. I was ecstatic over the Gorsuch nomination. I like some of his cabinet appointees. I thought we had a real shot at Tax Reform. My endgame is holding the President accountable and hopefully forcing him to actually care about conservative policy goals.

    • #2
    • May 18, 2017 at 9:19 am
    • Like33 likes
  3. Profile photo of Valiuth Member

    I think the end goal is to be honest about our opinions. So why is honesty the best policy then? Honesty is paramount because ignoring problems does not make them go away. In fact by going out of our way to bend over backward and justify all Trump does as good or not bad simply encourages more of the same behavior. Trump must either grow or fall under the weight of his own inadequacies. This is the same standard I would give to any other president, politician, or person. The cookie will crumble as it will, the thought that we can control it is delusional and ultimately self defeating. “Trumpers” I fear have become complacent and Democrats are hysterical. Frankly I think most of us “NeverTrumpers” are the only ones who have any objectivity in this because we have no dog in the fight.

    It should be noted that what I am most concerned with is the success and health of America. I do not think that this is synonymous with either Trump’s success or failure. If Trump just shut up he could get on with the business of going things that I think will be salutary to our nations success, but instead he willfully engages in and feeds the melodrama that surrounds him. And I think we are seeing his questionable choices come back to bite him. This is what many of us “NeverTrumpers” feared about his presidency. That it would be thrust into this kind of needles drama.

    Maybe he will learn, but I doubt it. He’s had over a year to adapt to being a political figure, and still hasn’t figured it out yet.

    • #3
    • May 18, 2017 at 9:47 am
    • Like20 likes
  4. Profile photo of Polyphemus Member
    Polyphemus Post author

    Jamie Lockett

    NeverTrump ended on 11/9/2016.

    You and I get that but Goldberg, French, et al don’t seem to. That is also the problem with the whole slogan in the first place. “Never” doesn’t mean “for now” by definition. That is not even broaching the idea of it ending on 11/9/16 means that one was holding out for the other candidate to win. That’s the only reason you could say that it ended on that day.

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    To answer your question, in short: good, competent, conservative governance.

    I criticize the President a lot, but I believe this comes from a place of principle: I want him to a push a conservative agenda. I was ecstatic over the Gorsuch nomination. I like some of his cabinet appointees. I thought we had a real shot at Tax Reform. My endgame is holding the President accountable and hopefully forcing him to actually care about conservative policy goals.

    Those are good goals but what we are seeing is unprecedented here. I don’t know about you but I don’t think we can steer something that is not moving. What the Left is accomplishing is being abetted by conservatives standing aside and not joining the fight. I think that the time is past due to at least train our fire wholly on the Leftist mob if you can’t bring yourself to actually defend Trump. I am getting worried that our side is going to get steamrolled because the Left smells blood and fear on the Right. They see an outrageous President who is not really supported by his party (and the conservative side generally) and is therefore vulnerable. I think we are blowing it right now.

    • #4
    • May 18, 2017 at 9:49 am
    • Like22 likes
  5. Profile photo of Jamie Lockett Reagan

    Polyphemus (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett

    NeverTrump ended on 11/9/2016.

    You and I get that but Goldberg, French, et al don’t seem to. That is also the problem with the whole slogan in the first place. “Never” doesn’t mean “for now” by definition. That is not even broaching the idea of it ending on 11/9/16 means that one was holding out for the other candidate to win. That’s the only reason you could say that it ended on that day.

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    To answer your question, in short: good, competent, conservative governance.

    I criticize the President a lot, but I believe this comes from a place of principle: I want him to a push a conservative agenda. I was ecstatic over the Gorsuch nomination. I like some of his cabinet appointees. I thought we had a real shot at Tax Reform. My endgame is holding the President accountable and hopefully forcing him to actually care about conservative policy goals.

    Those are good goals but what we are seeing is unprecedented here. I don’t know about you but I don’t think we can steer something that is not moving. What the Left is accomplishing is being abetted by conservatives standing aside and not joining the fight. I think that the time is past due to at least train our fire wholly on the Leftist mob if you can’t bring yourself to actually defend Trump. I am getting worried that our side is going to get steamrolled because the Left smells blood and fear on the Right. They see an outrageous President who is not really supported by his party (and the conservative side generally) and is therefore vulnerable. I think we are blowing it right now.

    I don’t see this as an either or situation. We can oppose the left while still holding our side accountable for its missteps.

    • #5
    • May 18, 2017 at 9:55 am
    • Like13 likes
  6. Profile photo of Robert McReynolds Member

    Their goal is to undo what the People did in ignoring National Review’s sound advice on not nominating Trump. Read this:

    https://amgreatness.com/2017/05/17/nightmares-realities-never-trump/

    Pay close attention to this part:

    A Never Trump movement, I think it is fair to say, had absolutely no influence on the 2016 election. In theory, elites may have convinced a few key Republican voters in swing states to stay home or to vote for Hillary Clinton; but in reality they were far outnumbered by huge numbers of new Republican voters who saw in Trump hope that they did not in far more experienced and sober men of character.

    Finally, there was something deeply wrong in the Republican Party that at some point required a Trump to excise it. The Republican Party and conservative movement had created a hierarchy that mirror-imaged its liberal antithesis, and suggested to middle class voters between the coasts that the commonalities in income, professional trajectories, and cultural values of elites trumped their own political differences. How a billionaire real estate developer appeared, saw that paradox, and became more empathetic to the plight of middle-class Americans than the array of Republican political pundits is one of the most alarming stories of our age.

    • #6
    • May 18, 2017 at 10:02 am
    • Like20 likes
  7. Profile photo of Polyphemus Member
    Polyphemus Post author

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    … Frankly I think most of us “NeverTrumpers” are the only ones who have any objectivity in this because we have no dog in the fight.

    …. This is what many of us “NeverTrumpers” feared about his presidency. That it would be thrust into this kind of needles drama.

    Maybe he will learn, but I doubt it. He’s had over a year to adapt to being a political figure, and still hasn’t figured it out yet.

    Well, I hope the satisfaction of being right and holding yourself aloof brings you comfort under the vengeful Progressive reign that we may reap if this administration blows up. I don’t think anyone could call me a Trumper or a sycophant. I am not advocating that we “bend over backward and justify all Trump does”. There is much to criticize and I, like you, feared what it would mean to have a Trump presidency. However, the die is cast and now we must choose. Do we fight for our own interests or not? I don’t see an administration moving forward in need of being steered in the right direction. I see one at risk of being completely surrounded and brought down by a hysterical Leftist mob and if that happens, the damage will be widespread.

    • #7
    • May 18, 2017 at 10:02 am
    • Like22 likes
  8. Profile photo of Robert McReynolds Member

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Polyphemus (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett

    NeverTrump ended on 11/9/2016.

    You and I get that but Goldberg, French, et al don’t seem to. That is also the problem with the whole slogan in the first place. “Never” doesn’t mean “for now” by definition. That is not even broaching the idea of it ending on 11/9/16 means that one was holding out for the other candidate to win. That’s the only reason you could say that it ended on that day.

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    To answer your question, in short: good, competent, conservative governance.

    I criticize the President a lot, but I believe this comes from a place of principle: I want him to a push a conservative agenda. I was ecstatic over the Gorsuch nomination. I like some of his cabinet appointees. I thought we had a real shot at Tax Reform. My endgame is holding the President accountable and hopefully forcing him to actually care about conservative policy goals.

    Those are good goals but what we are seeing is unprecedented here. I don’t know about you but I don’t think we can steer something that is not moving. What the Left is accomplishing is being abetted by conservatives standing aside and not joining the fight. I think that the time is past due to at least train our fire wholly on the Leftist mob if you can’t bring yourself to actually defend Trump. I am getting worried that our side is going to get steamrolled because the Left smells blood and fear on the Right. They see an outrageous President who is not really supported by his party (and the conservative side generally) and is therefore vulnerable. I think we are blowing it right now.

    I don’t see this as an either or situation. We can oppose the left while still holding our side accountable for it’s missteps.

    I agree with you Jamie, but with one quibble. We are holding our side accountable for its missteps as identified by the Left. You are a businessman according to former posts, are you going to correct “mistakes” pointed out by your direct competitor?

    • #8
    • May 18, 2017 at 10:06 am
    • Like5 likes
  9. Profile photo of Jamie Lockett Reagan

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Polyphemus (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett

    NeverTrump ended on 11/9/2016.

    You and I get that but Goldberg, French, et al don’t seem to. That is also the problem with the whole slogan in the first place. “Never” doesn’t mean “for now” by definition. That is not even broaching the idea of it ending on 11/9/16 means that one was holding out for the other candidate to win. That’s the only reason you could say that it ended on that day.

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    To answer your question, in short: good, competent, conservative governance.

    I criticize the President a lot, but I believe this comes from a place of principle: I want him to a push a conservative agenda. I was ecstatic over the Gorsuch nomination. I like some of his cabinet appointees. I thought we had a real shot at Tax Reform. My endgame is holding the President accountable and hopefully forcing him to actually care about conservative policy goals.

    Those are good goals but what we are seeing is unprecedented here. I don’t know about you but I don’t think we can steer something that is not moving. What the Left is accomplishing is being abetted by conservatives standing aside and not joining the fight. I think that the time is past due to at least train our fire wholly on the Leftist mob if you can’t bring yourself to actually defend Trump. I am getting worried that our side is going to get steamrolled because the Left smells blood and fear on the Right. They see an outrageous President who is not really supported by his party (and the conservative side generally) and is therefore vulnerable. I think we are blowing it right now.

    I don’t see this as an either or situation. We can oppose the left while still holding our side accountable for it’s missteps.

    I agree with you Jamie, but with one quibble. We are holding our side accountable for its missteps as identified by the Left. You are a businessman according to former posts, are you going to correct “mistakes” pointed out by your direct competitor?

    I’m more concerned with what I perceive as mistakes regardless of who reports them.

    • #9
    • May 18, 2017 at 10:14 am
    • Like7 likes
  10. Profile photo of Jamie Lockett Reagan

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):
    Their goal is to undo what the People did in ignoring National Review’s sound advice on not nominating Trump. Read this:

    https://amgreatness.com/2017/05/17/nightmares-realities-never-trump/

    Pay close attention to this part:

    A Never Trump movement, I think it is fair to say, had absolutely no influence on the 2016 election. In theory, elites may have convinced a few key Republican voters in swing states to stay home or to vote for Hillary Clinton; but in reality they were far outnumbered by huge numbers of new Republican voters who saw in Trump hope that they did not in far more experienced and sober men of character.

    Finally, there was something deeply wrong in the Republican Party that at some point required a Trump to excise it. The Republican Party and conservative movement had created a hierarchy that mirror-imaged its liberal antithesis, and suggested to middle class voters between the coasts that the commonalities in income, professional trajectories, and cultural values of elites trumped their own political differences. How a billionaire real estate developer appeared, saw that paradox, and became more empathetic to the plight of middle-class Americans than the array of Republican political pundits is one of the most alarming stories of our age.

    I completely disagree with this. The only goal is to advance conservative governance. If the people advance non-conservatives to power I will stand against their unconservative policies regardless of party or popularity.

    • #10
    • May 18, 2017 at 10:15 am
    • Like10 likes
  11. Profile photo of Umbra Fractus Coolidge

    Polyphemus: What is it that you are trying to accomplish at this point?

    We want the same thing you do, for the President to succeed in his stated objectives, tax reform, border security, regulatory reform… The thing is we see that one of the main obstacles to this is Trump’s ego and ignorance.

    Polyphemus: What I don’t understand is why, at this point in time, do you seem to take an active anti-Trump stance?

    Because the only way to get things to change is to acknowledge that he is performing poorly. Circling the wagons and pretending there is nothing wrong will not help us accomplish our goals.

    Polyphemus: Do you think that we will somehow come out in good shape if the Left brings down this administration?

    No, and the way to prevent that is to be honest about what needs fixing and push for the administration to change course. Stop using the fake problems as an excuse to ignore the real ones. The idea that Trump is facing “unprecedented” opposition is simply not true; he’s just terrible at handling it.

    • #11
    • May 18, 2017 at 10:23 am
    • Like18 likes
  12. Profile photo of Polyphemus Member
    Polyphemus Post author

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):
    Their goal is to undo what the People did in ignoring National Review’s sound advice on not nominating Trump. Read this:

    https://amgreatness.com/2017/05/17/nightmares-realities-never-trump/

    Pay close attention to this part:

    A Never Trump movement, I think it is fair to say, had absolutely no influence on the 2016 election. In theory, elites may have convinced a few key Republican voters in swing states to stay home or to vote for Hillary Clinton; but in reality they were far outnumbered by huge numbers of new Republican voters who saw in Trump hope that they did not in far more experienced and sober men of character.

    Finally, there was something deeply wrong in the Republican Party that at some point required a Trump to excise it. The Republican Party and conservative movement had created a hierarchy that mirror-imaged its liberal antithesis, and suggested to middle class voters between the coasts that the commonalities in income, professional trajectories, and cultural values of elites trumped their own political differences. How a billionaire real estate developer appeared, saw that paradox, and became more empathetic to the plight of middle-class Americans than the array of Republican political pundits is one of the most alarming stories of our age.

    I completely disagree with this. The only goal is to advance conservative governance. If the people advance non-conservatives to power I will stand against their unconservative policies regardless of party or popularity.

    That’s fine. I was also adamantly opposed to Trump in the primaries. But this is a different phase of the game. Maybe I’m just getting spooked and things will calm down eventually. But I think we need to take some pages from the Democrat playbook and remember who the bigger enemy is and unite to defeat them. I still think that Trump, if steered, can result in much good for this country and for the Republican party. In fact I think that his lack of a deep political philosophy could have been an opening for accomplishing a number of conservative goals because he was open to being “steered” like he seemed to be by the likes of Bannon for a while. I fear now that if we don’t close ranks to some extent, those opportunities will go down the drain and the alternative will be orders of magnitude for the worse. I sure hope that I am overreacting to the hysteria and that we have the opportunity to steer Trump toward more conservative policies as you want to do. But I see the characteristic Republican timidity becoming an ever larger factor here. I’m starting to get worried.

    • #12
    • May 18, 2017 at 10:33 am
    • Like14 likes
  13. Profile photo of Robert McReynolds Member

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):
    Their goal is to undo what the People did in ignoring National Review’s sound advice on not nominating Trump. Read this:

    https://amgreatness.com/2017/05/17/nightmares-realities-never-trump/

    Pay close attention to this part:

    A Never Trump movement, I think it is fair to say, had absolutely no influence on the 2016 election. In theory, elites may have convinced a few key Republican voters in swing states to stay home or to vote for Hillary Clinton; but in reality they were far outnumbered by huge numbers of new Republican voters who saw in Trump hope that they did not in far more experienced and sober men of character.

    Finally, there was something deeply wrong in the Republican Party that at some point required a Trump to excise it. The Republican Party and conservative movement had created a hierarchy that mirror-imaged its liberal antithesis, and suggested to middle class voters between the coasts that the commonalities in income, professional trajectories, and cultural values of elites trumped their own political differences. How a billionaire real estate developer appeared, saw that paradox, and became more empathetic to the plight of middle-class Americans than the array of Republican political pundits is one of the most alarming stories of our age.

    I completely disagree with this. The only goal is to advance conservative governance. If the people advance non-conservatives to power I will stand against their unconservative policies regardless of party or popularity.

    Okay then were you this upset with Bush passing Medicare expansion to cover prescription drugs? Were you this upset when Bush allowed Teddy the Swimmer to write the education bill? How about that Farm Bill from 2002? We okay with signing McCain-Feingold in the hopes that the SCOTUS will strike it down? This might not apply to you, but for the upper echelons of the “Conservative” Movement there wasn’t half of the energy spent fighting that in the name of “Conservative principal” as we have here. (Here is where we are told that “Conservative principals” don’t matter when there is WAR.)

    • #13
    • May 18, 2017 at 10:58 am
    • Like13 likes
  14. Profile photo of Sash Member

    I, like you, was NEVERTRUMP, I actually have bracelets from the Rubio campaign to prove it. But like you, I found reason to support him… after he won.

    He won. He won by bringing in disillusioned Democrats, who should have been Republicans but couldn’t get past the Rich man image that Democrats pushed forever.

    Everyman became Republican like never before. And I saw great opportunity to overcome the elitism that has poisoned American politics. Make DC work for Middle America before Middle America disappears forever.

    But that was wishful thinking, you actually can’t overcome corruption with a guy who has so many flaws himself.

    Now I just want the election to stand. Because it was free and fair, and it is the right thing to do to let Trump have his government and do what he can. He actually was on the right track with a whole lot.

    This is a democracy (Republic) darn it! Elections matter! Until the result doesn’t please the NYTs.

    I don’t think there are many NeverTrumper Republicans left, only among the Washington Elite. I honestly don’t. I just think Republicans are not good at seeing how low Democrats are truly willing to go to get their way. They don’t anticipate, well enough. Because they don’t understand the depth of evil, well enough. They think we still live in a free America, where good wins in the end. Good has not won in a long time.

    This isn’t Republicans, doing this, in fact I think they are going to try to find all the dirt on Comey they can to discredit him and thus save Trump… read the request for Comey’s memos… Comey helped obstruct justice against Obama and Hillary, and if the memos are found, it can be proved. I doubt Comey is dumb enough to give them to Congress however. The fix is in.

    But the media/Democrat cabal is just too strong to beat.

    What did we expect from a party that coronated Hillary Clinton? They are pure evil.

    • #14
    • May 18, 2017 at 11:02 am
    • Like4 likes
  15. Profile photo of Jager Member

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):
    We are holding our side accountable for its missteps as identified by the Left.

    What is worse is that half the missteps turn out to be not true. (the Deputy AG was going to resign or Comey asked for more money)

    Rather than pushing Trump is screwing up, Republicans need to be saying, stop with the leaked anonymous source junk. If you have something real, show us the proof (actual names) otherwise go away.

    I am interested in actual provable facts, not vague accusations.

    • #15
    • May 18, 2017 at 11:05 am
    • Like9 likes
  16. Profile photo of Paul Dougherty Member

    He won. He is President. Happy days are here again. He and his cadre are playing an advanced game I shall never understand. What more could you want? Why lose sleep or waste words agonizing over people whose opinion is so obviously wrong and out of bounds?

    • #16
    • May 18, 2017 at 11:20 am
    • Like2 likes
  17. Profile photo of Valiuth Member

    Fundamentally I think I have two big disagreements with you @polyphemus. They are these. I don’t think the progressives are enemies and I don’t think Trump can be controlled. So really all the arguments for needing to circle the wagons fail for me. The whole idea that Trump is an imperfect tool might make sense if he could be used, but he chafes at being handled and his loudest backers all shout about conspiracies and betrayal when people do try to “manage him”. How often did we hear “Let Trump be Trump”. If the Republicans are timid and scared it is because they Trump is such a wild card. You can’t put up any kind of defense for his actions without him coming out the next day and undoing it all with a tweet. You don’t know what to expect from him other than that there is a whole Payless store worth of other shoes to drop.

    All the costs of defending Trump are up front all the benefits are theoretically down the road.

    • #17
    • May 18, 2017 at 11:22 am
    • Like8 likes
  18. Profile photo of Sash Member

    Polyphemus (View Comment):
    “Never” doesn’t mean “for now” by definition. That is not even broaching the idea of it ending on 11/9/16 means that one was holding out for the other candidate to win. That’s the only reason you could say that it ended on that day.

    Yes but.

    Things change. I was leaning Trump before he won, because I realized I couldn’t ever support Hillary. But it was not until he won, that I started really rooting for him.

    I still don’t like him, but winning gives him validation, his voters deserve their due.

    Now, it’s beginning to look like a Greek tragedy.

    Turns out, Never is a very long time, too long.

    • #18
    • May 18, 2017 at 11:40 am
    • Like1 like
  19. Profile photo of Man With the Axe Member

    There are going to be other elections, and soon. If we want to win these, or at least not lose so badly, we are going to have to show that we can govern. We don’t govern by circling wagons, but by moving the wagon train toward its destination.

    Trump is not criticized by the erstwhile nevertrumpers because of his policy prescriptions (for the most part) nor because of his appointments. He is criticized for his stupid remarks and tweets, for his incompetence in doing the hard work of proposing and pushing legislation, for failing to staff his government, for his unpresidential behavior, for changing his story every other day, and for creating an atmosphere in which charges of corruption of all sorts have traction whether they are accurate or not.

    • #19
    • May 18, 2017 at 11:50 am
    • Like19 likes
  20. Profile photo of Sash Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    I don’t think the progressives are enemies and I don’t think Trump can be controlled.

    That is the difference. I do think progressives are the enemy. Their progress is the death of Western Civilization, it is the death of morality moored in anything more than whatever whim is popular at the time. Their progress is women putting genitalia on their heads and marching for the permission of society to kill an innocent child, the day before birth. Progressivism is barbarism. It is anarchy with out any redeeming value whatsoever. It is not even well intentioned. It is an excuse to destroy all that is good and wholesome.

    No doubt this whole impeachment thing is orchestrated to bring about a match of Pence vs. Hillary in 2020. It is a farce, that we are powerless to stop. It can not be controlled…. forget Trump he isn’t the issue. It is freedom to choose our leaders, Progressives can not be controlled. Forget Trump.

    Trump saved us from Clinton corruption once. For that we owe a debt. At very least we owe him the benefit of the doubt that Obama constantly received. He hasn’t messed up, he hasn’t been given the chance to mess up.

    Trump hasn’t commit any crime at all. He is being subjected to the worst kind of investigation, the kind doesn’t start with wrong doing but manufactures wrong doing to confirm a foregone conclusion. Guilty, trial later by kangaroo.

    If he had been given a honeymoon, the time when Presidents normally are allowed to make mistakes like asking Comey to go easy on a friend… when choosing the wrong people, and replacing them quickly happens to them all… if that had happened and then later he did wrong, or commit a crime… this might be understandable. But he never even had a chance to govern.

    This Impeachment is manufactured and orchestrated. It is overturning an election because allowing people to rule themselves is no longer in vogue for America.

    Trump is a symbol of self-rule versus an oligarchy of Washington elites.

    • #20
    • May 18, 2017 at 11:56 am
    • Like19 likes
  21. Profile photo of Joe P Member

    Polyphemus (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett

    NeverTrump ended on 11/9/2016.

    You and I get that but Goldberg, French, et al don’t seem to.

    At least Goldberg has explicitly said that NeverTrump was over since he got elected. I’m pretty sure the rest of them have as well. Mona Charen has even said nice things about his Presidency on two episodes of Need to Know in a row!

    Your problem is that you’re expecting all of these people to be partisan shills, when they’re not. They’re people who have beliefs. They’ve been crticising him when he does things they don’t agree with or like, and praising him when he does things they do like. That’s what people who believe in ideas that are important do.

    You’re taking the liberal media’s behavior, which is partisan shilling most of the time, looking at it, and wondering why the smart people on the right aren’t mirroring that exactly. The answer is they aren’t partisan shills. There are people who do that on the right if you want that (e.g. Hannity), but that’s not what National Review et al are about.

    • #21
    • May 18, 2017 at 11:57 am
    • Like23 likes
  22. Profile photo of Sash Member

    Man With the Axe (View Comment):
    There are going to be other elections, and soon. If we want to win these, or at least not lose so badly, we are going to have to show that we can govern. We don’t govern by circling wagons, but by moving the wagon train toward its destination.

    I don’t think governing will happen, that is part of the orchestration. They are going to make a specticle to stop the Congress, so they can claim Republicans can’t govern.

    Trump isn’t the problem, the Democrats would have found something about any Republican that won. Trump does make a lot of errors, and he is pretty awful. But he is the only option, if we don’t circle the wagons and ignore the left, governing will not be allowed to happen at all.

    We have to circle to get anything done!

    • #22
    • May 18, 2017 at 12:03 pm
    • Like3 likes
  23. Profile photo of Arjay Inactive

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    I don’t think the progressives are enemies

    Saved me some time; I didn’t have to read anything past that point.

    • #23
    • May 18, 2017 at 12:15 pm
    • Like12 likes
  24. Profile photo of TooShy Coolidge

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    So really all the arguments for needing to circle the wagons fail for me.

    I find the argument here perplexing.

    No one is trying to defend everything little thing that Trump has done, said or implied. No one is saying: “That tweet that Trump wrote at 3 am is so beautifully expressed.” No one is saying “Gilded furniture is the most sophisticated style ever.” No one is saying that every policy, every move that he has made, every detail, was well-executed. No one is asking you to say nice things about everything he has done.

    But the left want him impeached and removed from office. That is what we are defending against.

    And so the question becomes: do you think Trump has done something that is worth impeachment?

    If you truly believe he has committed a crime, a very serious crime, then I suppose that no, I wouldn’t expect you to defend him.

    But if you believe as I do—and as I think almost everyone here on Ricochet believes—that whatever his faults may or may not be, that he has not committed a crime, then yes, we are obliged to defend him.

    What you are being asked to do is to take a stand: should he be impeached and removed from office, or not?

    • #24
    • May 18, 2017 at 12:26 pm
    • Like7 likes
  25. Profile photo of Umbra Fractus Coolidge

    TooShy (View Comment):
    And so the question becomes: do you think Trump has done something that is worth impeachment?

    But, no, that’s not the only question.

    It is entirely possible to acknowledge that he has committed no crimes and still think he’s acting incompetently and is badly in need of a course correction.

    • #25
    • May 18, 2017 at 12:39 pm
    • Like14 likes
  26. Profile photo of Jager Member

    Man With the Axe (View Comment):
    If we want to win these, or at least not lose so badly, we are going to have to show that we can govern. We don’t govern by circling wagons, but by moving the wagon train toward its destination.

    Or the Republicans in Congress, rather than expressing there deep concern over every little thing the Press whips up, could pass real reasonable legislation.

    You don’t govern by getting bogged down in the real and fake problems of Donald Trump. Republicans need to move forward with their agenda.

    Because Donald Trump may have (according to anonymous sources) or not (according to McMaster, the Deputy AG and the acting FBI director) done stupid things does not have a single thing to do with Health Insurance Reform or tax rates or the budget. All this comes out of Congress. They should do their jobs rather than looking for cameras to comment on the “news” of the day.

    • #26
    • May 18, 2017 at 12:48 pm
    • Like7 likes
  27. Profile photo of Painter Jean Member

    I think criticism from one’s friends is more constructive than criticism from one’s enemies. Trump is his own worst enemy — we know the Left is going to do whatever they can to impeach him, so he needs to start acting more seriously and less impulsively in order to not give them any more ammunition. He can – and should – dismiss criticism from the hysterical Left, but hopefully he will listen to the criticism from the Right. After all, we’re wanting him to succeed, even if it seems at times that Trump wants to sabotage himself.

    • #27
    • May 18, 2017 at 12:52 pm
    • Like6 likes
  28. Profile photo of Johnny Dubya Member

    As I do sometimes, I’m going to answer without reading earlier comments, so forgive me if this is repetition.

    I’ll take Jonah Goldberg as an example. First of all, if you read him as you say you do, you should already know this: Jonah believes that “NeverTrump” ended after Election Day (or perhaps after the nomination). I don’t think there are many conservatives who have joined The Resistance™. (That said, Ross Douthat is now suggesting that Trump should be removed.)

    Jonah has also made it clear many times that he is a pundit. He is not a mouthpiece of the Republican Party nor of Trump. He is not a hyper-partisan spokesman as, for example, Sean Hannity has become. His “end game” is simply telling the truth as he sees it, and let the chips fall where they may. He has often said of critiques such as yours, Why do these people want me to live down to their expectations by being a partisan hack?

    Leave it to the politicians to make their political calculations, circle the wagons, formulate their spin, etc. That shouldn’t be the job of an independent pundit, no matter what his political leanings are. Jonah says what he thinks. I admire him for it, and I would say that whether I supported Trump or not. Trump has made a lot of mistakes. Should Jonah and others stay silent about those errors? Should they be echoing Sean Spicer, or should they speak their minds?

    • #28
    • May 18, 2017 at 1:25 pm
    • Like14 likes
  29. Profile photo of Polyphemus Member
    Polyphemus Post author

    Joe P (View Comment):
    You’re taking the liberal media’s behavior, which is partisan shilling most of the time, looking at it, and wondering why the smart people on the right aren’t mirroring that exactly. The answer is they aren’t partisan shills. There are people who do that on the right if you want that (e.g. Hannity), but that’s not what National Review et al are about.

    The three pundits whom I mentioned in my OP were singled out precisely because I really do admire and respect them. I haven’t followed Mona as much but I’ve been following French and Goldberg on Twitter and have noticed a decided focus on throwing out barbs and re-tweeting things that mock or attack Trump. You can tell when something is a preoccupation with somebody if you listen over a period of time. Those two are definitely preoccupied with their NeverTrump stance. I understood it up to a point but think that maybe it’s time to move off of it a bit. The field of battle is shifting and I fear what I see developing. I would love it if we were engaged in a reasoned debate with the normal give and take. In that environment, annoying shills like Hannity would be marginalized because they are so easily seen through. I don’t have much stomach for him and don’t want to see the likes of Goldberg, et al to adopt that approach.

    So, no, I’m not asking for shills. I just wonder at the continued focus on mocking Trump. I wonder what they want to really happen. I would guess that they want for Trump to remain President and for his administration to move beyond growing pains, become more disciplined and let his many fine leadership appointments do their jobs. How do we get there from where we are today? In the face of this over-the-top assault from all corners of the media, hollywood, lefty politicians, academia and pretty much all of the visible popular culture, how do they hope to move the needle?

    I guess the real worry is the Republican party establishment losing their nerve under this deluge. We know what they are like. They need to be encouraged to hunker down and punch back. Unless something indefensible actually happens, we need their help in resisting the onslaught.

    • #29
    • May 18, 2017 at 1:44 pm
    • Like3 likes
  30. Profile photo of Sash Member

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    TooShy (View Comment):
    And so the question becomes: do you think Trump has done something that is worth impeachment?

    But, no, that’s not the only question.

    It is entirely possible to acknowledge that he has committed no crimes and still think he’s acting incompetently and is badly in need of a course correction.

    He’s been in office 4 months, he hasn’t even been allowed the space and time to set a course.

    • #30
    • May 18, 2017 at 1:47 pm
    • LikeLike
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