The incredible shrinking conservative conscience

The tumultuous courtship between President Trump and institutional Republicans, and all the insults that went with it, is now water under the bridge. There is a record of accomplishment now! And by golly, it ain’t half-bad, per the year-end summation by Rich Lowry of National Review:

For much of the year, Trump’s presidency had seemed to be sound and fury signifying not much besides the welcome ascension of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court; now, it is sound and fury signifying a discernible shift of American government to the right. It’s hard to see how a conventional Republican president would have done much better, except if he had managed to get ObamaCare repealed, which was always going to be a dicey proposition given the narrow Republican majority in the Senate. [National Review]

This is an astonishingly blinkered and inert reaction to a presidency that could yet destroy the Republican Party and any cause that calls itself “conservative” for a generation.

Why won’t conservatives wake up and see Trump for what and who he really is?

Part of this reticence, this compulsion to look on the bright side, is surely financial: The rich donors who underwrite the work of conservative media are not going to look kindly on their beneficiaries constantly undermining a Republican administration. Part of it is a sort of self-regarding stoicism: Unlike the hair-on-fire hysterics on the left and the nagging critics of the mainstream media, what remains of #NeverTrumpism is determined to keep its power dry. It’s the difference between viewing Trump as a “regrettable development” rather than a “national emergency.”

All too typically, The New York Times’ David Brooks laments the declining reasonableness of the anti-Trump movement:

[It] seems to be getting dumber. It seems to be settling into a smug, fairy tale version of reality that filters out discordant information. More anti-Trumpers seem to be telling themselves a “Madness of King George” narrative: Trump is a semiliterate madman surrounded by sycophants who are morally, intellectually, and psychologically inferior to people like us. [The New York Times]

The question of whether this narrative — of a Mad King who despite his mental and emotional deficiencies presides over an administration that nonetheless is “briskly pursuing its goals” — is actually “discordant” is answered by Brooks himself in the same column: “It’s almost as if there are two White Houses.” It does seem that way, doesn’t it? The …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics


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