Bret Stephens at WSJ tries to make the case for Hillary: The Conservative Hope. It is pretty weak gruel. The weakness of the arguments makes it easy to remember that the WSJ is one of the homes of open borders. Bret starts out:
The best hope for what’s left of a serious conservative movement in America is the election in November of a Democratic president, held in check by a Republican Congress. Conservatives can survive liberal administrations, especially those whose predictable failures lead to healthy restorations—think Carter, then Reagan.
There are two problems here. First, the Republican Congress has had little luck in holding the Obama administration in check. Electing Herself might mean a Democrat Congress, or at best, weak Republican majorities that will be ineffective at stopping the administrative onslaught amplified during the Obama administration. Second Carter wasn’t a liberal Democrat. He started the deregulation in many areas. Like Obama, Carter was a disaster internationally but unlike Obama he seemed to learn his lessons in just four years.
Next he says: “If the next presidency is going to be a disaster, why should the GOP want to own it?” Why would we think that? These things are hard to predict but the opposite seems much more likely. We are just finishing with one of, if not the, worst president in American history. Obama has worked hard to hold back economic growth. We think the most likely historical scenario for Obama and his successor is Hoover and FDR. We have two sets of progressives (either Herself or The Donald are progressives) where the latter benefits from the failures of the former. Hoover and FDR were trying to help the country but neither had much success as the Great Depression continued up to about the start of WWII. Hoover is not remembered kindly while FDR is because first, it was judged not his fault, and second, control of the media by the left. The next president will have some successes and look good compared to the current one.
Next there is a fair criticism of The Donald:
Where’s the evidence that, as president, Mr. Trump will endorse conservative ideas on tax, trade, regulation, welfare, social, judicial or foreign policy, much less personal comportment?
Fair enough. But there is reasonably good evidence to think that he will support conservatives (except for the WSJ) on immigration. There is certainty that Herself will staunchly oppose each and every conservative idea except for supporting the WSJ on immigration. We’ve got a chance in some areas with The Donald. It is not what we want but it is the best choice.
Then Bret gets silly: “When that balance collapses—under a Republican president, no less—it may never again be restored, at least in our lifetimes.” The Donald is one Republican nominee. Nominees come from a variety of causes including, ideas, personalities, and interactions. We are convinced that the Donald’s early success came from the large number of quality candidates. Reagan didn’t lead to Reagan. It lead to a variety of mostly middle of the road nominees and presidents. It is true that Obama led to The Donald. Being presidential ceased being an issue for the Democrats a few decades ago. Perhaps it ended for the GOP this year. Perhaps not.
This election is not about teaching the Republican party anything. Parties rarely learn much because the influences change so much from election to election. Voting is about choosing the best candidate even if best isn’t good. Don’t try to play a six ball combination shot (or to put it in handball terms: don’t try to kill the ball from 39 feet) in figuring out all that can happen. It is too complicated. It is a simple choice.
We enjoy Bret but this piece only makes sense if he (and the WSJ) is supporting Herself over immigration. Don’t over think it. Neither candidate is enticing. Vote for the one that you think is least bad. Subject to additional evidence we are with The Donald.