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The Hypocrisy of Never Trump Neoconservatives

It’s easy to understand and even sympathize with those on the Right who are critical of Donald Trump’s presidency. But it’s really hard to stomach Never Trump neoconservatives [1] who now complain about Republican tribalism [2], cults of personality [3], and blind loyalty [4] to the current president—because virtually all of them used to engage in and endorse the very same behavior.

George W. Bush-era hawks thrived by capitalizing on a popular Republican president, corralling the Right accordingly and ostracizing conservatives who dared step out of line. In a story about President Trump’s enduring support within his party, The New York Times gave [5] a useful comparison on Saturday: “Mr. Trump’s approval rating among Republicans is now about 90 percent…the only modern Republican president more popular with his party than Mr. Trump at this point in his first term, according to Gallup, was George W. Bush after the country united in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.”

If conservatives now behave as though failing to defend Trump is tantamount to treason, the early 2000s weren’t much different. Unlike the polarized national divide over Trump, the post-9/11 period saw an America overwhelmingly support [6] Bush and the Iraq war. The entire war on terror narrative—the Iraq invasion, the Patriot Act [7], the demotion of any constitutional [8] or limited government [9] agenda—became the new popular definition of conservatism at that time, and blind loyalty to President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney was expected of everyone on the Right.

Neoconservatives eagerly led that charge.

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Former Bush speechwriter David Frum might warn [10] about the threats that the Trump herd mentality poses to the GOP, but in 2003 he was taking stray sheep to the slaughter. In his now infamous “Unpatriotic Conservatives [11]” essay at National Review, Frum declared conservatives Pat Buchanan and Robert Novak, libertarians Lew Rockwell and Justin Raimondo, and others on the Right who opposed the Iraq war as persona non grata.

“They began by hating the neoconservatives,” Frum wrote. “They came to hate their party and this president. They have finished by hating their country.” He continued: “War is a great clarifier. It forces people to take sides. The paleoconservatives have chosen—and the rest of us must choose too. In a time of danger, they have turned their backs on their country. Now we turn our backs on them.”

Talk about tribalism.

The minority of antiwar conservatives and libertarians of that era never went so far as to label themselves “Never Bush”—but David Frum did it for them. Frum wanted to read these dissenters out of the conservative movement completely.

Nor was he alone in that sentiment. It’s hard to recall a major neoconservative figure of that time—including today’s leading Never Trumpers [12]—who didn’t rigidly enforce the party line, which was made all the easier by a Republican base enthralled by their president almost exclusively on the basis of his foreign policy agenda. This disposition permeated talk radio and Fox News and the entire American Right, with fealty to Bush as its core.

When Ron Paul ran for president in 2008, the libertarian GOP congressman’s popularity exploded precisely because he challenged the war on terror party line directly, beginning with an explosive exchange [13] with Rudy Giuliani over foreign policy at a 2007 Republican primary debate. Virtually every Republican who ran for president in 2008 and many of their supporters tried to paint Paul as a Republican imposter—someone whose refusal to back Bush-Cheney and question his party made him ineligible [14] for membership in the GOP. Unquestioning fidelity to the righteousness of Bush’s war ran so deep that even in the 2016 GOP presidential primaries, many of the candidates hesitated [15] to bring themselves [16] to admit that Iraq [17] had been a mistake, despite the rest of the country [18] and world having come to that conclusion years prior.

The hawks who form the core of today’s Never Trump cadre have resisted the president precisely because his “America First” rhetoric threatened [19] their long-reigning exclusive definition of what Republican foreign policy should look like. Regardless of whether the president has lived up to that promise, he has certainly opened up the debate within the GOP.

Neoconservatives need to stop pretending it’s Trump-induced tribalism that truly upsets them. They never had a problem making similar emotional plays for their own purposes when those opportunities arose. Show me the Trumpiest Deplorable in a red MAGA hat you can find, and I’ll show you his Saddam “Insane”-hating, Bush Country—We-Gotta-Fight’em-Over-There-So-We-Don’t-Have-To-Fight’em-Over-Here—predecessor from a decade prior.

The neoconservatives never had a problem [20] with populism or nationalism when it was used to whip up war fever. And if the current president were more like Bush, today’s Never Trumpers wouldn’t have had much of a problem with Donald Trump and his Republican Party either.

Jack Hunter is the former political editor of Rare.us [21] and co-authored the 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington [22] with Senator Rand Paul.

48 Comments (Open | Close)

48 Comments To "The Hypocrisy of Never Trump Neoconservatives"

#1 Comment By Bobo On June 29, 2018 @ 12:14 am

Not all never Trumpers or recovering Trumpers or regretful Trumpers are neo-cons. They are also principled libertarians, constitutional conservatives and liberty loving multi generational Republicans who feel they were conned.

#2 Comment By Fran Macadam On June 29, 2018 @ 1:01 am

Trump over Cheney every day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t prefer someone else if there had been other candidates in play who weren’t establishment hacks and questioned the status quo.

Last worst hope, so not difficult to exceed the skepticism of very low expectations, while many of the perennial ills unfortunately continue on.

#3 Comment By vpurto On June 29, 2018 @ 9:20 am

Jack Hunter could spare his readers time if he unambiguously indicated the root of neocon group. They sprang from such people like Irving Kristol (father of Bill Kristol) who were devoted Trotskyites, especially Trotsky’s thesis of permanent revolution. Those who want to be in the know must read old books to avoid global garbage bin a.k.a. Wikipedia.

#4 Comment By Old West On June 29, 2018 @ 9:38 am

This article is spot-on in terms of the loyalty that was expected in the Bush years. That Frum article was a detestable piece of work, and remains so today.

I’ve always taken the tack, both when I was very politically involved in the GOP and also when sitting on the sidelines, of feeling free to disagree strongly with any given GOP policy but at the same time to make very clear that I fully support that party when it comes right down to a vote against the Democrats.

For a party to be functional, a certain amount of tribal loyalty is necessary. For it to be healthy and functional, there has to be more or less open debate within that party between general elections and a tolerance of diversity of viewpoints — as long as everyone comes together in the end. What I didn’t like about the Ron Paul people was that, for the most part, after the primaries, they were nowhere to be found. My guy in that election was Huckabee, and I detested McCain, but I worked for McCain’s election nonetheless. He had won the primaries.

What was toxic about the neocons was their Stalinesque purges of those who disagreed with them. The resulting absence of healthy internal dissent and debate is the fundamental reason why the GOP establishment didn’t see Trump coming and didn’t have anyone able to take him on. Had they not so ruthlessly imposed their petty orthodoxies, a mainstream candidate, like a successful governor, by 2016 would have seen where the base was and adopted a stance of being strong on immigration, being skeptical about free trade, and being a street-fighter with regard to the Democrats.

Frum and Kristol and that lot have only themselves to blame for Trump as far as I’m concerned.

#5 Comment By Andy On June 29, 2018 @ 10:43 am

And the cycle of intense cheerleading today followed by head shaking and regret a decade down the road goes around one more time.

#6 Comment By The Dean On June 29, 2018 @ 10:56 am

Keep in mind that Donald Trump felt so strongly about turning America around that he paid for his campaign with his own money.

He then beat 17 of the best Republicans we had in open and fair debates never losing the center position on the dais. All of whom would have been beaten by Hillary Clinton.

He then destroys two of the most prominent political families in the United States, the Bush’s and the Clinton’s with all of their money, connections and arrogance.

He appoints a conservative Supreme Court judge that has already ruled like Justice Scalia.

He takes the first step with North Korea and starts a peace process. That hopefully will deescalate tensions in that area.

Unemployment at record lows for whites, blacks, Hispanics, women etc.

Manufacturing is on its way back because we have a president that will not hesitate to threaten a company that is considering moving overseas to reduce labor costs at the expense of the American worker.

Yet we have malcontents on the left and right that criticize this man. Usually they are overpaid political pundits or writers with huge egos and snarky comments that middle America hates. Yet the press is clueless about how much we detest these arrogant people.

#7 Comment By b. On June 29, 2018 @ 11:42 am

“Never Trump” is a sales pitch, beyond expiration date and currently “not operational”. It was never a principled stance.

#8 Comment By ALM On June 29, 2018 @ 12:16 pm

Keep in mind that Donald Trump felt so strongly about turning America around that he paid for his campaign with his own money.

He then beat 17 of the best Republicans we had in open and fair debates never losing the center position on the dais. All of whom would have been beaten by Hillary Clinton.

He then destroys two of the most prominent political families in the United States, the Bush’s and the Clinton’s with all of their money, connections and arrogance.

He appoints a conservative Supreme Court judge that has already ruled like Justice Scalia.

He takes the first step with North Korea and starts a peace process. That hopefully will deescalate tensions in that area.

Unemployment at record lows for whites, blacks, Hispanics, women etc.

Manufacturing is on its way back because we have a president that will not hesitate to threaten a company that is considering moving overseas to reduce labor costs at the expense of the American worker.

Yet we have malcontents on the left and right that criticize this man. Usually they are overpaid political pundits or writers with huge egos and snarky comments that middle America hates. Yet the press is clueless about how much we detest these arrogant people.

Nice copypasta, Dean. Did you pick this up from Trump’s website, because this is so obviously propaganda that I cannot believe it was ever approved in the first place. Please do not tell me you actually buy any of this nonsense, do you?

#9 Comment By Argon On June 29, 2018 @ 12:25 pm

The Dean: “Keep in mind that Donald Trump felt so strongly about turning America around that he paid for his campaign with his own money.”

Poe’s Law?

#10 Comment By William Dalton On June 29, 2018 @ 12:45 pm

“Show me the Trumpiest Deplorable in a red MAGA hat you can find, and I’ll show you his Saddam “Insane”-hating, Bush Country—We-Gotta-Fight’em-Over-There-So-We-Don’t-Have-To-Fight’em-Over-Here—predecessor from a decade prior.”

The sad thing is most of these are the same people. We have a long way to go to reform the Republican Party.

#11 Comment By cylindrical crown On June 29, 2018 @ 1:30 pm

These “principled” never Trumpers, or whatever you want to call them, would have had us vote for Hillary to make sure evil Trump would not win the presidency. If Hillary had won, the country would now be facing a 6 -3 liberal SCOTUS. They should never be forgiven for these “principles”. May they all rot in hell.

#12 Comment By blimbax On June 29, 2018 @ 1:40 pm

Why are David Frum and people like him still given any prominence at all? Why is a single drop of ink wasted to print what such people have to say?

#13 Comment By CLW On June 29, 2018 @ 1:45 pm

‘Funny how those who dare point out Trump’s serial lying, moral depravity, shameless grandstanding, coterie of corrupt family members and fixers, fetish for brutal dictators, etc., etc., etc. are “malcontents” and “arrogant people,” but not those who make excuses for him no matter what he says or does.

#14 Comment By Jack On June 29, 2018 @ 1:51 pm

I agree, to a point. Yes, Bush enjoyed wide, and often blind, support within the GOP. But much of that had to do with Democrats. Even if one had qualms about the War on Terror and how it was being fought, the spit-flecked BusHitler “anti-war” frothing of the left was completely unfair and sought to demonize, not merely establish disagreement with, the president. Even those on the right who were not sold on Bush’s foreign policy saw the necessity of sticking together in a time of war. Like today, if the left had simply behaved in a non-crazy manner instead like evil lunatics, Republican criticisms of Bush would have gotten a better hearing.

#15 Comment By Good Mojo On June 29, 2018 @ 2:07 pm

President Donald John Trump has governed from further right than any president in my memory, including Ronald <3 Reagan. This alone will keep this Cruz primary voter in the Trump camp. Superficially, the "Never Trumpers" only beef with Trump is that he's "uncouth". They cannot point to any dreadful "wrong" he has committed. while the entire left keeps digging and cheating for impeachment fodder, only to come up with DJT getting busy with porn actresses.

The real problem "neocons" have with Trump is basically the same as the problem everyone else has: "Trump has been a man of action". This makes him very unlike most of his GOP predecessors who at best stood by and watched, and at worst actively assisted while the Democrats and their lords dragged the nation to the left. This "man of action" persona also makes him an existential threat to the entire political class. Trump has had the courage to act on issues that his most recent GOP predecessors (GHWB and GWB) ever exhibited.

Those same issues have differentiated President Trump's integrity to his presidential responsibilities from his most recent Democrat predecessors (WJC and BHO) who corrupted the office of POTUS by failing to put "America First".

The GOP/RNC cabal has been ineffectual for decades. They have not been active or even vociferous against the left in any sphere. Scant little pushback against the marginalization of conservative thought and opinion in education, "journ-o-lism", the entertainment industries (including sports), or society as a whole has been evident from our supposed "Guardians of Our Republic".

I care that "the party" has been weak in defending our liberty. I relish the coming opportunities I have to address that in the ballot box, by not caring what "Never Trump" Republicans like or want.

#16 Comment By paul gottfried On June 29, 2018 @ 2:18 pm

As a less conspicuous member of the Unpatriotic Right than the ones whom Jack mentioned, I congratulate him and TAC for posting this timely article. Like Jack I retch with disgust every time I listen to the righteous blather of neoconservative Never-Trumpers complaining about how Trump has stifled dissent in the GOP. These hypocrites remind me of the Communists who always protested the lack of free speech in any society, up until the moment they took over and jailed their opponents.

#17 Comment By One Guy On June 29, 2018 @ 2:19 pm

Is it ok if we despise Trump because of his racism, insults to allies, lying, sucking up to dictators, hatred of the First Amendment, sexual assaults on women, lying, immaturity, lying, scandals, indictments, refusing to protect our elections, lying, and inciting violence? Those are still ok, right?

#18 Comment By JimDandy On June 29, 2018 @ 4:48 pm

The fact that Trump sends people like Frum, William Kristol, Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, etc.–the very worst of the very worst hypocritical scum in America–into frothing-at-the-mouth fits of anguish and mental breakdown was one of the main reasons it felt so good to vote for him.

#19 Comment By Not NeverTrump On June 29, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

@The Dean : “Yet we have malcontents on the left and right that criticize this man. ”

I’m one of your “malcontents” on the right. I voted for the creep, but I’ve had it with him.

Here’s what he’s done for me:

No wall. More immigration under Trump than under Obama. He not only didn’t stop the H1B program, he actually lifted the old caps and issued more work visas than Obama did. He said he was going to bomb ISIS to smithereens and get out. Instead he’s digging us in even deeper into the Middle East than Bush II and Obama did. I don’t care about the Iran deal or the N. Korea deal: I want our people out of these foreign hellholes and back here serving on our own borders, like he promised, but instead of “America First” he’s given us “Israel and Saudi Arabia First”. And of course he and the Republican Congress passed the biggest deficit spending bill in human history, something we’ll be paying for for a very long time.

“Unemployment at record lows for whites, blacks, Hispanics, women etc.”

Because they play games with the unemployed numbers these days. Everybody knows that. It’s an Obama Labor Department trick. Out of work for more than six months? You’re no longer “unemployed”. You’re dropped from the labor force numbers. So you’ve got to look at labor force numbers to find all of what used to be the unemployed. And labor force participation is appalling. Lowest in our history. That’s the huge story that neither Republicans nor Democrats talk about. Add them back in and you’re looking at unemployment unseen since the Depression.

[23]

Wages are just as stagnant under Trump as under Obama, and plenty of cheap foreign labor is still pouring in, so Wall Street is very happy with him.

The only thing he’s done for me is SCOTUS picks. That’ll have to do until I can vote against his sorry, lying ass in 2020. I’ve got a hardcore Tea Party congressman who voted against most of Trump’s BS. The rest of them seem to be cowards.

#20 Comment By Myron Hudson On June 29, 2018 @ 7:10 pm

Good article. My only dissent with it is that from where I stood, possibly 50% of the american public was NOT behind the invasion of Iraq. Of course, we must have hated America, and freedom. It was so prevalent that young people used “Why do you hate freedom?” as a hilarious non-sequitr response to arguments on any subject.

Yeah the neocons used their unholy alliance with sectors of the media to effectively squash anything other than tribalism, cult of personality, and blind loyalty to the President. I only wish that its continuation afflicted them and not the rest of us.

#21 Comment By Werd On June 29, 2018 @ 7:11 pm

All the Never-Trumpers achieved was giving the Libertarians ballot access in 20 something states in 2020.

#22 Comment By Youknowho On June 29, 2018 @ 8:05 pm

Heard this joke

What is the differnce between an apparition and a miracle?

If Lincoln showed up at the RNC it would be an apparition. If he did not immediately kick them downstairs it would be a miracle.

#23 Comment By Whine Merchant On June 29, 2018 @ 8:08 pm

In many ways, Trump is the perfect neo-con leader. Pure managerialism: nothing endures, everything changes, denigrate values and substance, never solve a problem when you can manage it, blow with the populist wind and skim the cream along the way. The “everyone does it” mentality of the huckster scam artist, sharp practice lawyer, and unfaithful spouse. Values are for suckers and you can always hit re-set by declaring bankruptcy.

Cheney was the high priest, and Trump his latest incarnation. If questioned, hold a rally and declare ‘Fake News!’.

#24 Comment By Cynthia McLean On June 29, 2018 @ 8:28 pm

David Frum has become a regular pundit on msnbc and other “liberal” news sites. Gag. I turn the channel when he shows up — such utter hypocrisy, the banality of evil is this creator of the Axis of Evil for the Bush/Cheney regime.

#25 Comment By charleston timeshare On June 29, 2018 @ 8:44 pm

@Bobo “Not all never Trumpers or recovering Trumpers or regretful Trumpers are neo-cons. They are also principled libertarians, constitutional conservatives and liberty loving multi generational Republicans who feel they were conned.”

More of the latter than the former. I think. And the neo-cons clearly can’t believe their luck. Trump is Little Bush on steroids. Or, better, Little Bush except the president is even stupider, more vacuous and manipulable than Dubya himself.

Me (upper south, college, middle class, mid forties) I just feel conned. I got none of what I voted for. Zero. OK Gorsuch.

#26 Comment By Miguel On June 29, 2018 @ 10:02 pm

Well, conservative or liberal, if a system is meant to be a democracy there must be the possibility to disagree and express it, and not to be rejected because of that.

#27 Comment By Taras 77 On June 30, 2018 @ 2:19 am

It is remarkable that the neocons have been consistently wrong on every serious question at least since the mid-1970’s.

They seemed to become more active and prominent with their push for Team B and the push for revision upward for Soviet military strength.

They almost collapsed in hysterical fits when the Soviets moved into Afghanistan-of course, that set the stage for the odious Brezinski to work his magic with Pres Carter.

But still, they get serious play in the press and are heavily funded.

#28 Comment By Richter rox On June 30, 2018 @ 6:48 am

Trump , best president since silent cal . Hillary would be president if not for Trump , that alone should get your vote and if it didn’t then what do you really stand for?

#29 Comment By Winston On June 30, 2018 @ 9:59 am

NEVER FORGET – the Never-Trumpers would have given us decades of 6-3 losses in the SCOTUS.

#30 Comment By James On June 30, 2018 @ 10:30 am

Whenever before has a party which won the election kept re-litigating that election two years afterward?

The Trump Cult is nuts.

2016 was two years ago. Sorry you got your feelings hurt back then. Get over it already.

#31 Comment By morganB On June 30, 2018 @ 1:10 pm

I am a Never Trump conservative and proud of it. “W” offered a picture of calmly presidential, Trump scowls down his long nose. And it grows longer each day.

Roe v Wade is the current SCOTUS lightning rod and Trump is lost. Trump is unqualified to select a powerful lawyer to a seat for life. Which I do not agree with. There should be term limits as with the other three branches.

“W” and “O” had their problems, but SCOTUS may have not been at the top. “W” brought down Sadam Hussein and “O” killed Bib Laden. Trump hasn’t even drained the “swamp”.

#32 Comment By Frank Lettucebee On June 30, 2018 @ 1:41 pm

People are constantly making the mistake of lamenting that Don Trump is an outlier or deviation from the current version of the Republican party.

He is not. He is the distilled embodiment of the current He is the Republican party that no longer uses “dog whistles” or euphemisms for what they really mean.

The Republican party stopped being the conservative party of Lincoln when Richard Nixon got the children of the Confederacy to switch from being southern Democrats (Dixiecrats) to taking over the Republican party.

The Republican party is a right wing party of Jefferson Davis.

Both real conservatives and right wingers are nostalgic for the 50s and early 60s. The difference is that real conservatives are nostalgic for the 1950s and early 1960s. Right wingers are nostalgic for the 1850s and early 1860s… in Dixie.

#33 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On June 30, 2018 @ 8:04 pm

I don’t get these “Never Trump Neoconservatives” like Kristol, Frum and Jennifer Rubin. Their prime directive is to enforce the “what is good for Israel is good for the US” policy. That’s the alpha and the omega of what motivates them. If so, what do they have against Trump – among other things, he moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, defends the Israelis at the UN regardless of what they do to the Palestinians, his ultra-Zionist son-in-law is his close adviser, and he does not utter a peep when the Saudis, who are great pals of Israel, kill large numbers of Yemenis and starve them into submission.

Do they think they can get a president who is even more slavishly devoted to the Zionist cause than Trump? What would such a tool do that Trump is not willing to do, short of nuking all Arab countries and Iran (other than their BFFs in Saudi)?

#34 Comment By Susan Davis On June 30, 2018 @ 11:00 pm

Trump has done some good, but I fear his lying,rude,crude and mean behavior will come back to haunt us.

#35 Comment By Jeeves On July 1, 2018 @ 12:36 pm

Like most exercises in whataboutism, this article doesn’t tell us anything other than “they did it too!” As any sane former NeverTrumper will tell you, the conservative Nevertrump position was no longer operational after Trump’s election.

But contrary to b.’s comment, the NeverTrump position was always based on principles, free trade and entitlement reform among them. Those aren’t “neocon” ideas; those are conservative ideas. Conservative Trump critics don’t fault his foreign policy because it isn’t Bush’s; they fault it because it’s inconsistent and often incoherent.

It’s past time to put the neocon label to rest. Anti-Trumpers aren’t some monolithic faction led by David Frum. They’re just people who, while approving of our POTUS on some things (e.g., Gorsuch, who wasn’t Trump’s idea–if he ever had one–about the judiciary), refuse to abandon their principles and join the tribe of idolaters.

It’s true that many Trump critics once supported Bush’s Iraq tragedy; but they’ve since admitted they were wrong. That hardly makes Trump’s foreign policy right. Perhaps former Bush loyalists even gained a heightened awareness of the dangers of tribalism, the Original Sin that this article doesn’t begin to address.

#36 Comment By Rossbach On July 1, 2018 @ 5:25 pm

I don’t see that David Frum has much to be upset about. We have troops in more countries today than we did when Bush was president, and we gearing up for a was with Iran.

No matter who the American People elect as president, we get the same foreign policy (or worse).

#37 Comment By Georgina Davenport On July 1, 2018 @ 9:11 pm

So Frum is hypocritical, but is he right to say the GOP now (obviously, before also) is tribal? For Frum to be sincere and to redeem himself of his past deeds, he needs to apologize for that piece of article and to admit Iraq war was wrong.

The way I see it, the most pressing and most important problem for the Republicans and the conservatives is their penchant for using lies and distortion of facts as a routine political tools.

Hunter is right in that much of the underlying problematic behaviors and policies from Trump and his administration are continuition from before Trump became president. Trump took it over the top, but the Republican base have been well prepared and conditioned to accept his antics.

#38 Comment By DrivingBy On July 2, 2018 @ 1:40 am

@The Dean

Yes, but let us hear their objection:
“But But But Whaaaahhh!!”

#39 Comment By morganB On July 2, 2018 @ 1:28 pm

I am more concerned with the use of un-coined words and phrases that don’t pass spell check. “W” and “O” pass that test, but “NeverTrumper”? Well, don’t spend any effort in correcting this term, sadly we may not have much time to implement it.

#40 Comment By John S On July 2, 2018 @ 1:59 pm

Point 1:

So, does the author have a problem with tribalism or not?

Point 2:

“…he has certainly opened up the debate within the GOP…”

What debate? On the one side, you have our mindless President who isn’t capable of intelligently debating the time of day. And on the other side, you have Republicans who stay silent, terrified of a rabble-rousing tweet-storm.

#41 Comment By Concerned Citizen On July 2, 2018 @ 2:08 pm

The Dean says:
June 29, 2018 at 10:56 am
“Keep in mind that Donald Trump felt so strongly about turning America around that he paid for his campaign with his own money.
***********************
Give me a frickin’ break! Donald Trump got hours upon hours of free media time from all network and cable outlets because of the novelty of his candidacy. And PACs outside of the RNC contributing to his campaign, anyone?

#42 Comment By Concerned Citizen On July 2, 2018 @ 2:24 pm

I myself welcome the current stances of David Frum, Jennifer Rubin, et. al. It just goes to show that some people’s minds aren’t so rigid that they’re incapable of being changed. Plus, it shows that at least SOME Republicans maintain a true sense of patriotism and loyalty to the USA. My head is still spinning at the swiftness with which almost the entire Republican Party has been co-opted by the Cult of Trump and has done a 180-degree turn in attitude toward our perennial enemy: Russia.

#43 Comment By KDM On July 2, 2018 @ 2:51 pm

This reply is for Paul Gottfried: I’m glad you posted here. I’m a fan of your books and scholarship and have learned a great deal from your articles, online lectures and podcasts. This article made me think of your research on purges. Keep up the good work Mr. Gottfried!

#44 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On July 2, 2018 @ 5:28 pm

“Keep in mind that Donald Trump felt so strongly about turning America around that he paid for his campaign with his own money.

Reality check (pun intended):

[24]

#45 Comment By Delaware Crossing On July 3, 2018 @ 11:23 am

“I myself welcome the current stances of David Frum, Jennifer Rubin, et. al. It just goes to show that some people’s minds aren’t so rigid that they’re incapable of being changed.”

I don’t. Both of them should have been hounded out of public life long ago on grounds of basic incompetence and bad faith.

#46 Comment By Youknowho On July 4, 2018 @ 10:51 am

Yeah, what these Never Trumpers object mostly is being left out – so they become virtuous in order to be accepted by their former enemies.

They are no better than Trumpers.

#47 Comment By Carlos Arturo On July 5, 2018 @ 6:51 am

Well folks, is like this:
Half of the Nation that are not seeing the light, are only reacting to the fact that Mr. Trump has threatened thier generous and very ‘Profitable’ bread and butter!
Both sides of the debate, profesional/career Politicians have been selling their alliance to the highest bidders of the world, instead of representing their constituencies, or, having the best interest of USA in their political life-styles!
In ‘draining the swamp’ Trump has become their “Public Enemy” No. ONE!

#48 Comment By Samuel Christopher On August 6, 2018 @ 9:20 pm

morganB said
“W” offered a picture of calmly presidential,”
NO! this is such a laugh. do you not remember your history? Remember “were fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them over here? “Bring em on?” he had to go on 60 Minutes to apologize for that. The man was known for more malapropisms than an old Borscht Belt comedian. maybe Obama had the presidential façade going, but “W” did not and he was not calm he was faking it and the cracks showed……. like all pols do.

“W” brought down Sadam Hussein and “O” killed Bin Laden.”
FAIL! victories on paper…….with long term negative effects, we are still in Iraq and Afghanistan. Afghans cranked up the poppy seeds that created the opioid epidemic. Iraq 16 years later is a basket case, nothing like the beautiful, self sustaining democracy the Great (sarcasm) Dr. Paul Wolfowitz (shudder) (Bush advisor and co-architect of Gulf War 2) envisioned, by the way,what’s ol’ Wolfie up to these days?

Roe v Wade is the current SCOTUS lightning rod and Trump is lost. Trump is unqualified to select a powerful lawyer to a seat for life. Which I do not agree with. There should be term limits as with the other three branches.: No argument there, with you 100%

“I am a Never Trump conservative and proud of it.”
No. just no! The man like it or not won the (s)election! thus since the man has been sworn into office 1 1/2 years ago Never-Trump has no meaning. Like you I am repulsed of this man being our POTUS, but he and his actions reflect the last 20 years of society-destroying incompetence of the men that held the seat of POTUS. Dad Bush’s tax lies, brought Clinton, Clinton’s Sexual immorality and softness with the military brought us “W”, W’s questionable military escapades, coupled with a failing economy and a group of advisors like unto a sanitized La Cosa Nostra, brought us “O”‘s “Hope and Change”
which only benefitted banksters and their ilk, rich libs, the Health-Industrial Complex and Social Justice Warriors, the ruse of Obamacare (championed by David Frum himself)and the phony economy, led to (shudder) Trump. Jeb Bush failed because his brother listened to bad advice from the psuedointellectuals like Frum, Kristol and Wolfowitz, not to mention his Veep Cheney failed, then screwed up in the last 4 years of his term, Rubio was the same, he was W light. people wanted something different, Trump was the only alternative! to get to the answers, you need to connect the dots and embrace reality.
and also remember.
Proverbs 16:18
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
pining for the nostalgia of Clintopia or the Texas Neocon Cosa Nostra or the unfuffilled mission of hope and change will not win against Trump, but learning from the mistakes of the above(including T-rump) and applying it to where we are at now will ensue better leadership and a better road for America.