Enough Never Trump

We love Kevin Williamson, Jonah Goldberg is often entertaining, and David French writes but the NRO Never Trump Brigade needs to find a new song.  Today it is Kevin’s turn to salt the soil:

Some of the smarter right-wing talking mouths on cable news have already developed aggressive amnesia regarding their own complicity in Trump’s rise, and it is likely that many will follow. The line of argument will be: “Hey, I was a big Ted Cruz supporter, really, but, after the primary, it was Trump or Hillary.” Some people will need reminding of what they said and did.

To be fair to Kevin, he is against impeaching The Donald.  To be fair to us, we were for anyone but The Donald in the primary.  Like many, we were not a big Ted Cruz supporter but we voted for him in the primary because he was better than The Donald.  In the general election our first choice was Mitt’s second term but that wasn’t on the ballot.  The choice, and it was a binary one, was between The Donald and Herself.  We, and the country, made the right choice and voted for The Donald.

NRO deserves some credit for The Donald’s rise.  They were steadfastly against The Donald but tried to beat somebody (The Donald) with nobody for most of the primary season.  They, like many others, underestimated The Donald until it was too late and then nothing worked.

Many of The Donald’s supporters main concern was illegal immigration.  There has not been a legislative solution but there has been a change:

Illegal immigration across the southwest border is down more than 60 percent so far under President Trump, officials revealed Tuesday, even before the first new agent is hired or the first mile of his promised border wall is constructed.

Those supporters have gotten what they wanted.

It was a binary choice in November.  There were many folks that reluctantly supported The Donald.  It was the right choice.  If the Never Trump Brigade didn’t support The Donald in November then they were wrong.  They don’t need to admit it but the Never Trump Brigade needs to stop emulating The Donald.  Write less silly stuff.  Instead let us talk of serious things.

Binary Still

The Morning Jolt is discussing Conrad Black’s polemic when Jim says:

Maybe you saw Election Day 2016 as that strict binary choice. But we’re past Election Day. It’s time to stop measuring Trump merely as an alternative to Hillary and to start measuring him on his own merits. [Emphasis added]

Maybe?  The 2016 presidential election was a binary choice.  It still is.

Sidebar: Has Conrad ever written something that is not a polemic?  We enjoy him but  he can’t help recycle the same material: Nixon and FDR were great presidents and the US justice system.  This time Conrad says the Never Trump group has defected from being conservative Republicans.  It is a wonderful turn of phrase designed to infuriate his friends.  End Sidebar.

Moreover, comparisons, this time not binary, are how we measure presidents.  Reagan isn’t a great president because he batted 1.000.  He didn’t and no president is anywhere close to that mark.  Instead we compare presidents.  We need to criticize The Donald when appropriate but recognize the road ahead.

The 2020 presidential race is not yet a binary choice. If The Donald runs for the GOP next time is there anyone in the current crop of Democrats that you prefer?  We are not suggesting that you become a shill for The Donald but that you remember that there will be binary choices in the future.  So, yes, The Donald is still the [superior] alternative to Herself.

 

Never Forget

With the mitigated joy of having The Donald as president, it is good to remind ourselves of the horror of his predecessor.  David Horowitz does just that for foreign policy at the PowerLine.  His opening salvo:

During the eight years of the Obama administration, half a million Christians, Yazidis and Muslims were slaughtered in the Middle East by ISIS and other Islamic jihadists, in a genocidal campaign waged in the name of Islam and its God. Twenty million others were driven into exile by these same jihadist forces. Libya and Yemen became terrorist states. America – once the dominant foreign power and anti-jihadist presence in the region – was replaced by Russia, an ally of the monster regimes in Syria and Iran, and their terrorist proxies. Under the patronage of the Obama administration, Iran – the largest and most dangerous terrorist state, with the blood of thousands of Americans on its hands – emerged from its isolation as a pariah state to re-enter the community of nations and become the region’s dominant power, arming and directing its terrorist proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and Yemen.

Do read the whole thing.  It is quite a powerful reminder.  We don’t love The Donald but he is an improvement and he is a better choice than the Secretary of State that implemented these disasters.  It does mean that The Donald has a big job.  We hope he is up to it.

 

Never Trump Again

Jonah Goldberg continues to spend time trying to justify his NeverTrump obsession.  It was a good idea that NRO put the newsletters on the website so they are easy to reference.  Jonah says:

Conservatives for most of my life argued that character matters. That went by the wayside for many people in 2016.

Well, we suppose it depends on what he means by many but we continue to have a different take than Jonah.  We don’t think that conservatives generally changed their evaluation systems in 2016.  Character didn’t matter in the 2016 presidential election because it wasn’t on the menu.  Folks didn’t worry if The Donald or Herself were an iota less reprehensible because character was not a positive attribute for either.

Sidebar One: Why has iota survived as definition for a very small quantity?  We assume it was used in this meaning in schools at one point but when?  We used and saw lots of Greek letterers we were in grad school all those years ago but none of them were named iota.  When did iota happen?  End Sidebar One.

Jonah wants to measure character on an absolute level.  Character was a positive attribute for every GOP nominee between Nixon and The Donald.  This is not to say every GOP nominee had relatively superior character than their opponent but they had a positive absolute level of character.  Character can also be measured on a relative level.

Sidebar Two: There has been much discussion about the left’s attempts to smear the character of previous GOP nominees made telling the truth about The Donald’s character difficult.  There is some insight to this point of view but we see that bringing up character when you are trying to promote Herself is a losing proposition.  End Sidebar Two.

Sidebar Three: We once asked students if Rita Crunwell, who embezzled millions from Ronald Reagan’s hometown or fictional Walter White was worse.  It was a fun exercise because, like 2016, both were of poor character on an absolute scale.  End Sidebar Three.

The Donald was a dominate choice in 2016 because of the alternative, Herself.  The worst attributes of The Donald, character and trade, were matched by Herself.  The Bernie is an economic fool of epic proportions but his nomination would have made a more difficult choice for conservatives because he would win the character argument.  Character does matter but it didn’t matter in 2016 because it wasn’t an option with either candidate.

Trump And Russia

Kevin Williamson at NRO has an alternative for Putin that is closer to  but not exactly what we think:

Some Russia-watchers believe that the goal of the 2016 Russian campaign shenanigans was not to elect Trump but to damage Clinton before her election. That would make a certain kind of sense: Putin does not want a President Trump or a President Clinton — he wants an American president so hamstrung by political rancor, personal weakness, and petty venality that American leadership around the world is compromised.

We think it is more simple than what Kevin reports.  Putin, like most everyone, thought Herself would win and he was laying down a marker to keep Herself off his case.  He had the goods on her and so she better behave.  It just happened that Putin was wrong, like almost everybody else, about who would win.

 

It Still Was A Binary Choice

Well, we are not sure if that is correct grammar but it makes our point.  Jonah Goldberg is still conflating the hard core supporters of The Donald with the large number of us that made the binary choice.  Jonah says in his newsletter:

The best example of this is how I hear everyday that whatever Trump may be doing wrong, it’s still “better than Hillary.” Of course, that’s got a lot of truth to it when it comes to things such as judicial appointments and the fact that we don’t have to put up with the Clintons’ “there’s no eating in the library” officiousness. But now that Trump is president, it’s utterly irrelevant, save to those who need to reassure themselves daily.  [Emphasis added]

For those of us who chose The Donald because he is not Herself it is completely relevant.  We get real judges.  We get presidential actions that sometimes improve the economy or the country.  We get a reduction in illegal immigration.  We get terrible ideas on trade.  The Donald is far from perfect but he is better than the alternative.  The Donald shares much with the immediate past president (IPP) including incompetence in office.  He is, however, an upgrade on the IPP.  We are with Jonah on the basic point that The Donald, like the IPP, is a better campaigner than president.  It is not surprising that they both fall back on those skills.  What Jonah needs to accept (and move on) is that many/most of us recognized it when we voted for him.  We need to make The Donald the best president he can be.  We support him when appropriate and take him to task often.  We recognize that he is not going to be great but we expect him to continue to be an upgrade on both Herself and the IPP.  The was the choice we foresaw for November and it is why we chose The Donald in the general.

How It Is Going To Be

The Donald is the pragmatist that Obama alleged himself to be.  It means that yesterday he made Bernie happy by killing TPP and today he makes conservatives happy by bringing two pipelines back to life.  CNN reports that he has signed executive orders to undo President Obama’s mischief in regards to the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines.

Sidebar: TPP isn’t a robust free trade agreement.  Free traders are lukewarm in their support of the agreement.  It seems unlikely, however, that The Donald is going to make us happy by creating a more robust free trade agreement.  End Sidebar.

This is how it will be for the next four and perhaps eight years.  Conservatives will get some nice wins like the pipelines and suffer some losses at the hands of The Donald.  We expect several to be more grievous than TPP.  It is not resolved after one week but if you are a conservative and you failed to support The Donald then you should be having second thoughts about your actions.  He looks to be a big improvement on Herself.