by Rod D. Martin
October 18, 2017
Some people just don’t know when to give it a rest. That has certainly proved true for a lot of last year’s #NeverTrumpers, who appear to be clinging to the word #Never no matter how foolish it makes them look (or perhaps for some, how treasonous it exposes them as having always been).
Take George Will, fake conservative extraordinaire. On Friday, the WaPo columnist (do we really need to add more?) published a piece entitled “Sinister Figures Lurk Around Our Careless President“. Does Will mean some of Trump’s Democrat friends and family members like Gary Cohn or Jared Kushner? Is he concerned about H.R. McMaster, whose tenure at NSA has involved the purge of a lot of good conservatives?
No. Will singles out as “sinister” Stephen Miller, one of the brightest young conservatives in America.
Now it’s not exactly shocking that George Will disdains anyone to the right of Susan Collins. But his rant is more telling than his choice of villains, filled with vague, dark warnings that sound like a post-mortem on “why Germans should have understood what was coming in the 30s.”
But had Will written this for the Germans then, it would have done them no good either: it is virtually 100% fact-free, particularly as to any supposed harms being alleged. It entirely and exclusively assumes its own conclusion, asserting smug, knowing certainty that Trump is a crypto-Stalinist (yes, Will invokes Stalin, and gulags, and everything else that might just barely skirt Godwin’s Law), aimed at a knowing Beltway Elite long-since beyond the need for such screeds to be rooted in anything approaching reality.
A friend of mine asked me for my thoughts on this, almost an entire year since Will and his ilk were assuring us that Trump was more clown than threat, and that he would surely lose to their favored candidate Hillary Clinton by a good 30 points. These leapt to mind:
1. Do we really need to know more about George Will than his opening lines, in which he makes clear he considers someone taking offense at disrespecting the flag — preplanned or otherwise — “too soiled for subsequent scrubbing”?
Yes, that’s his assessment of Mike Pence, and his reason for his assessment. Amazing.
2. Will asserts that Trump is replacing the American Idea with “blood and soil”. But what part of the Trump agenda is that? I understand that people say this, usually in the most vacuous and fact-free way (as Will does here), but what possible evidence would support this, other than his affront to their longing for the abolition of national borders? Indeed, isn’t this really just a way of slandering Trump and his supporters in furthering a globalist agenda that would wipe out nation-states entirely?
Does that seem too much? Than why is Will so affronted by Pence’s defense of the American flag?
3. Will stacks ad hominem upon ad hominem — again, largely fact-free — but in so doing says something quite noteworthy: that Trump’s supporters are “unshakably smitten”.
Now why is that? Could it possibly be because Trump has delivered on more conservative promises in the last two weeks than even I can remember without consulting a list? (And in case you need a list, here are just a few: directing HHS to redefine human life as beginning at conception; doubling down on defunding International Planned Parenthood and upholding his expanded version of the Mexico City Policy; pulling out of UNESCO for its blatant anti-Semitism, always a favorite move for Nazis; undoing Obama’s transgender bathroom mandate, on the heels of undoing Obama’s imposition of his transgender agenda on the military; advancing the biggest tax cut in U.S. history; decertifying the Iran deal; appointing such an incredible slate of judges that the Wall Street Journal calls them “Scalias all the way down“; enforcing last year’s federal court ruling that found Obamacare’s subsidies unconstitutional, a ruling which Obama himself refused to enforce; and of course, unwinding countless other Obama executive orders and regulatory schemes, such that Trump how holds the all-time record for eliminating federal regulations. For starters.)
Is that why Trump’s defenders are “unshakably smitten”? Or could it be because they’re sick to death of Beltway elitists who’ve lied to them about these same promises forever like George Will?
4. It is telling that Will singles out for particular ire Stephen Miller, a conservative star, young and articulate, who sees Will’s BS for what it is. Will would purge every conservative from the West Wing if he could, after which he would lambast Trump for having purged conservatives from the West Wing.
5. Oh, and this: Will, Erick Erickson, Michael Gerson, Bill Kristol (above all others), National Review‘s failed third-party challenger David French…all of these guys are reduced to criticizing form, because the substance is shockingly good, across such a range of issues, that it dismantles everything they’ve said for over two years. They are Pharisees criticizing these “unlearned men”, Martha’s Vineyard snobs looking down on “flyover country” for failing to use the right fork.
Indeed, they look like idiots on the substance. They — or at least some of them — make you wonder if they ever cared about that substance at all.
You don’t see Ted Cruz doing this, though he did so briefly. You don’t see a lot of good men doing this, being more interested in enacting conservative principles than in whether they themselves have been made to look foolish by wild predictions gone awry.
So here we are. In a couple short weeks, Trump accomplishes more actual conservative policy priorities than the Bushes did in years…
…and Will, Erickson, Kristol, French et al. speak to none of it. Rather, they make thinly veiled comparisons of Mike Pence to Albert Speer, and of Trump’s methodical restoration of the rule of law to Stalinism.
Do these men retain the slightest shred of credibility?