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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "George Will"

John Hayward Absolutely Nails the Stakes of 2020, Conservatism, and Donald Trump

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President Donald Trump arrives with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr to speak about the census in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

As we deal with impeachment fever, the coming election, and the absolute insanity coming from the Democratic party, all these different factors have left gaping holes between most conservatives and the beltway class that claims the same general ideology. Obsessions over decorum vs. results have become the major dividing line. When Trump cussed at his rally the other night, I didn’t even have to open Twitter to know exactly who would rush to virtue signal their disapproval. Other’s simply didn’t care because they see a far more dangerous threat from the Democratic party in 2020 than Trump’s filthy mouth.

The differences seem almost not reconcilable at this point, with some former conservative icons like George Will actively stumping for a Democrat victory. It’s no coincidence that people like Will have the least to lose in that scenario.

That leads me to this thread Mollie Hemingway shared yesterday. It’s written by John Hayward and perfectly captures the angst and thinking behind much of the support for Trump.

I’m going to lay it all out here to digest.

I’ll cut in here to say this is exactly correct. While NE corridor conservatives thumb their noses up at those icky evangelicals (and Christians in general who support Trump), they never stopped to consider the actual realities at play. The “culture wars” are not a new thing and conservatives got their clock cleaned during the Obama years. It’s only gotten worse under Trump, as trans issues and the absolute insanity of the LGBTQ lobby have taken hold.

Christians didn’t vote for Trump and don’t support Trump now because they are hypocrites. They are doing it for self-survival. We just had a 2020 Democrat candidate vow to punish churches who don’t support same-sex marriage. Not only that, everyone in the audience cheered wildly at the idea. Not a single legacy media outlet pushed back, nor did any of the other candidates.

There is never going to be a line. They are never going to stop. That’s why so many saw Trump winning, and by virtue saving the courts, as so important. George Will may not be affected, but millions of Americans feel that weight.

Let’s continue.

Exactly. Conservatism isn’t just a “principle” or ideology. It’s the act of actually trying to conserve something. Any Republican that is actively throwing the game because they suppose it makes them moral or virtuous isn’t conserving anything. Perhaps they can feel some personal good about that, but they also don’t get to obscure the realities of their decisions.

There’s no better evidence for this than how much conservatives have continued to lose the culture wars no matter who is President. The judiciary is the last line of defense. There is no backup plan, no valient media riding in on a white horse to finally sway public opinion in a fair way. So some anti-Trump conservatives can “muh judges” all they want. It’s those judges that will ensure we have even a fighting chance over the next several decades.

Again, the left are not going to stop. It’s just a few years ago that it was considered a conspiracy theory to think Democrats might strip churches of tax exemption over teaches on homosexuality. How’s that worked out? Heck, we’ve went from “we aren’t going to take your guns” to “we support federal confiscation programs” in a matter of months.

The problem is that there are a sizable amount of conservative influencers who’ve grown fat and happy in the Acela Corridor that are perfectly fine with their profession becoming even more niche. They think they can ride the lightening and come out unscathed on the other end. I think they are mistaken.

Look, at this point, what Hayward is saying wont move the needle with these people, but it still needs to be said. If they want to sit on the sidelines, fine. What they don’t get to do is work to get a Democrat elected and then rejoin the party in 2021 as thought leaders. They don’t get to pretend the consequences they are cheering on don’t actually exist. They will have no grounds to complain about anything the left does and as I’ve said now three times, the left are not going to stop.

If a conservative is going to go out on Twitter and wring their hands over that CNN LGTBQ+ whatever town hall last week, then they should be ready to do something to stop it from becoming a reality. If they aren’t, then they aren’t conserving anything. They are just keeping faux religious tenants. We’ve got real religions for that.

Battles don’t wait for you to feel good enough about your own side to fight them.

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The post John Hayward Absolutely Nails the Stakes of 2020, Conservatism, and Donald Trump appeared first on RedState.

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Republicans Whine About Being Tired of Defending Trump, and It’s Exactly How They Got Trump

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President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The inability of some Republicans to learn even the simplest of lessons baffles me at times. It’s how you get guys like Bill Kristol and George Will thinking we are going to suddenly revert back to the party of Mitt Romney after 2020. Ridiculous hopes like that are based on multi-faceted misunderstandings of the GOP electorate and just how  we got Donald Trump as president in the first place.

Take this hot take I’ve been seeing. Here’s an example of it, although Erick is far from the only person to share this sentiment lately.

And that’s how you got Trump.

Think about the misreading going on here by whatever Republicans are being cited, and you can rest assured there are plenty of them in the Senate.

What really happened in 2016? We saw a supposed “stacked” field of candidates for the nomination, yet a loud mouthed, brash anti-establishment figure took the gold. That wasn’t by accident. It wasn’t because Morning Joe gave him free air time. It wasn’t because Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio split the vote (polling consistently showed Trump beating either one head to head). Those are excuses you hear from people who want to continue not admitting the failures of the Republican party going back decades.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq took their toll and probably were one of the biggest factors in the anti-establishment backlash. But there were other things that stuck in voters’ minds. Bush refusing to defend himself from the onslaught of media destruction played a role. John McCain collapsing into apology over simply using Barack Obama’s middle name and then throwing Sarah Palin under the bus (even though she was obviously a positive for his failing campaign at the time). It continued in 2012 with things like Romney standing there stupefied after a debate moderator lied to embarrass him and his inability to fight back at all from the avalanche of gotchas following his call out of Russia to Obama. Even after 2012, there was a distinct impression that Republicans were only willing to put up a fight in the minority.

But look, it’s not just personality or strategic issues. It’s policy as well. The inability to do anything to secure the border was a major schism that still exists today, with the same conservative talking heads still insisting that unfettered immigration is the way to go. We had two terms of George W. Bush and accomplished nearly nothing for conservatism.

Now, I’m sure some are reading the above points and they’ve got their list handy to rebut some of this but who cares? Perception among the voters is reality and the perception is that Republicans are weak.

So how does being “tired” of defending Trump do anything but reinforce that perception? And what kind of delusion must one suffer from to think it would all stop if Trump is gone?

Currently, we are fighting an almost wholly ginned up scandal, where Trump did nothing illegal and arguably nothing improper. I’ve got no problem with a president speaking candidly with a foreign leader about looking into possible corruption. But in the era of Trump, everyone wants to change the rules. See the latest nonsensical freak out over Trump simply asking Australia to cooperate with Barr’s ongoing investigation.

If it wasn’t Trump, it’d be Pence or it’d be Cruz. It’d be whoever was the Republican President at the time. Bush had articles of impeachment pressed against him and was called Hilter non-stop, and that was while he was being completely submissive to the media and not pushing back at all. They aren’t going stop just because Trump is gone and if Republicans quit on him based on what we have so far in this “impeachment inquiry,” they will simply get more of Trump, whether it’s Trump himself or the next person to channel his energy.

I’d end with this message to those Republicans in Washington – Grow a spine. You have a kush job making good money and notoriety. All you have to do is be willing to not fold in the face of adversity and voters will reward you. You aren’t having to go out and dig ditches or work a cash register. You aren’t living paycheck to paycheck. Your life simply isn’t that hard. Enough of the complaining and whining about having to actually defend your ideology and party. It’s ridiculous, and if you aren’t up to the task, go find something else to do.

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Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of my latest articles.

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The post Republicans Whine About Being Tired of Defending Trump, and It’s Exactly How They Got Trump appeared first on RedState.

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Anti-Trumper George Will: Democrats may simply be too weird to win next year

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First he comes out against impeachment, now he’s kinda sorta predicting a Trump victory in 2020.

He’ll be on the MAGA Train before you know it.

Well, no, that’s unlikely. His summary of the dilemma Democrats are creating for voters with their more outlandish policy proposals suggests otherwise: “Do I stick with the doofus I’ve got or pick the doofus I don’t know?” They’re likely to stick with the doofus they know, he reasons. Are they, though? The 2016 election posed the same dilemma, after all. Hillary wasn’t an incumbent but her party was, and she’d spent enough time in power as a senator and Secretary of State for Americans to have formed a very good idea of what they’d be getting if they made her president. They went with the doofus they don’t know instead. They wanted a change from the status quo. Why would this time be different?

I wonder if, paradoxically, the sitting president might end up as the “doofus you don’t know” in this election too. The reason Democrats are rolling out so many radical policy proposals is to distinguish themselves in a very crowded field. By the time the nomination’s decided, the nominee will have staked out a lot of policy terrain, much of it unstable. One of Trump’s defining features in the 2016 campaign, though, was that he didn’t bother with a lot of different policy proposals, choosing instead to fashion his brand out of a few memorably bold ideas — build the wall, revisit trade deals, no foreign interventions. He remains hugely unpredictable as president apart from those few issues. No one would be surprised if he reached a deal with Democrats on a $2 trillion infrastructure bill; no one would be very surprised either if deficit hawks prevailed upon him to tackle entitlements in his second term. (A little surprised, sure.) He’s malleable on most things. So which candidate realistically is apt to be the doofus you know and which the doofus you don’t come next November?

Maybe it depends on whether Biden is the nominee or not. If he is, Trump might try to run a replay of 2016 in which he, the incumbent, remains the change agent on the ballot opposed to the neoliberal conventional wisdom that governed America for years, embodied by Biden. Whereas if it’s Bernie or Warren as nominee, maybe Trump follows Will’s instincts here and gambles that Americans won’t want to elect two wildly different change agents in successive elections. In that case he’d position himself as a pillar of stability and a bulwark against radical transformation. Although I’m probably overthinking it, just as Will is overthinking it. Trump’s personality dominates American politics so totally that it’s hard to imagine the election ultimately being anything but a referendum on him. Which may be why Bernie and the rest feel so comfortable getting crazy with the policy cheez whiz in the primaries: In the end, everyone’s vote will come down to how they feel about Trump, not the Democrat.

The post Anti-Trumper George Will: Democrats may simply be too weird to win next year appeared first on Hot Air.

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Anti-Trumper George Will to Democrats: Just say no to impeachment

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A mild surprise, as he’s been known to refer to Trump as a “lowlife from Queens.” His antipathy to the president runs so deep that he ended up backing Democrats in the midterm elections on grounds that it was the patriotic thing to do under the circumstances.

Not a man opposed in principle to cutting Trump’s term short, to put it mildly.

But he’s a no on impeachment, for three reasons. One: Overturning the voters’ verdict is not something to be done lightly. If Trump had conspired with Russia, that would be one thing. But he didn’t, so what are you going to impeach him for? Firing James Comey, which he was authorized by law to do? C’mon.

Two: General sleaziness *is* good grounds for impeachment, says Will, but in this case that brings us back to point one. Overturning the will of the voters isn’t to be done lightly. If Trump’s sleaziness, his “incessant lying and increasingly contemptible coarseness,” had been hidden from the public during the campaign only to reveal itself once in office there’d be an argument for Congress to step in. But since it wasn’t…

Democrats should heed Weiner: “That an offense is impeachable does not mean it warrants impeachment.” Potential impeachers must consider “the general political context of the times,” including “the potential public reaction.” Democrats should face two lamentable but undeniable facts: Trump was elected because many millions of Americans enjoy his boorishness. And he essentially promised to govern as a lout. Promise-keeping would be an unusual ground for impeachment.

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard,” wrote H.L. Mencken. The people knew what they wanted, and they’re getting it good and hard.

Three: It won’t succeed. Removal by the Senate is enormously difficult, as it should be, because it requires the support of two-thirds of the chamber. That all but guarantees that no president can be removed without a sizable minority of his own party joining the effort. Asking Republicans in 2019 to help remove Trump, Will argues, is like asking members of the Communist Party circa 1950 to remove Stalin:

[Republicans] were for free trade until Trump informed them that they were not. They were defenders of the U.S. intelligence community until Trump announced in Helsinki that he believed Vladimir Putin rather than this community regarding Russian support for his election. They excoriated wishful thinking regarding North Korea until Trump spent a few hours with Kim Jong Un and, smitten, tweeted, “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.” Republicans have moved from stressing presidential dignity to cowed silence when, to take only the most recent example, Trump endorsed a North Korean state media outlet’s ridicule of “low IQ” Joe Biden (a taunt Trump falsely ascribed to Kim). Republicans railed against President Barack Obama’s executive overreaching but are eloquently mute when Obama’s successor promiscuously declares “emergencies” in order to “repurpose” funds Congress appropriated for other purposes, and to truncate the process of congressional approval of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and its allies.

CPUSA members in the 1930s, blinkered by ideology, had a servile faith in a Soviet regime that they identified with historic (and therefore progressive) inevitabilities. Today’s congressional Republicans, blinded by their puppy-like devotion (and leavened by terror of the capricious master to whom they are devoted), would make a Senate impeachment trial a partisan debacle ending in acquittal.

The triumph of international socialism required serving Stalin in whatever way necessary; preventing the triumph of international socialism (and protecting oneself from a primary challenge) requires serving Trump in whatever way necessary. Forced to choose between no impeachment and a farce in the Senate in which the outcome is foreordained by partisanship, Will prefers the option that won’t set an embarrassing precedent.

Oh well. There’s always the chance that Trump will be primaried instead. Or is there? (Maybe.)

The post Anti-Trumper George Will to Democrats: Just say no to impeachment appeared first on Hot Air.

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Democrat to conservative Never Trumpers: Your only rational move is to join us — permanently

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“[T]he Democratic Party will not feel terribly cozy,” concedes Bill Scher in making his pitch to anti-Trump righties. “You would often be fighting uphill, and you would lose more than you would win.” Frustration *and* futility? Take my money.

How silly of him to invite Never Trumpers into a party where they’ll be personally disdained and derided, their political principles sneered at, their character questioned, their, uhhhhhh … come to think of it, that’s exactly what the GOP is like now too.

Ah well. Scher is right that conservative anti-Trumpers would lose much more often as Democrats than they would win, certainly more often they would lose as Republicans. (Two words: Gorsuch, Kavanaugh.) That alone should quash any argument for a permanent alliance. The case for voting Democrat this fall — which I don’t agree with — is strongest when framed as a short-term temporary corrective, a rebuke to Trump and a vote for meaningful oversight in Congress. Beyond that, what would any right-winger gain from allying with Democrats? A little extra leverage in getting President Warren to compromise on a 50 percent marginal income tax rate instead of a 60 percent one?

[T]he best way to move the Democratic Party rightward would be for more conservatives to join it. It’s true that socialist-friendly Berniecrats are increasingly vocal in the Democratic Party, but conservatives should also recognize the ideological breadth of what is the nation’s only remaining big-tent party. Democrats are held together by a belief in active government to solve problems and a commitment to equal rights and opportunities for women and minorities. But questions over foreign policy and trade have long been points of internal debate, and that makes them policy areas where new party members can play a significant role…

So once conservatives free themselves from the Fox News echo chamber, it would be easier to conduct good faith, fact-based negotiations over policy specifics, such as how to tackle climate change through a revenue-neutral carbon tax, which some conservatives already support. Instead of barreling toward single-payer health insurance, conservatives could work with their new Democratic friends on tidying up what was once known as RomneyCare. Pro-life and pro-choice forces could finally team up on sex education and contraception access to reduce unwanted pregnancies.

Translation: Let’s move the country decisively left, but more slowly left by having a rump conservative wing gently pumping the brakes periodically.

Which, again, come to think of it, is pretty much what we have now. Hmmm.

Scher does concede, though, that his pitch isn’t aimed at everyone. He’s looking for a particular type of right-winger here:

If you are a Republican because you oppose abortion in all circumstances and love conservative judges and tax cuts, then becoming a Democrat doesn’t make any sense. But if you are primarily horrified at how Trump is undermining the existing international political and economic order—hugging Russia, lauding strongmen, sparking protectionist trade wars—then becoming a Democrat is your best option.

That’s a fair point. Different people are Republicans for different reasons. If you’re culturally conservative, there’s obviously no home for you in a party that supports abortion on demand, open borders, and gun-grabbing. I mean, really:

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If it’s not cultural affinity that binds you to the GOP, though, but rather traditional Republican support for free trade and McCain-esque interventionism abroad, you could argue that Democrats are more of a natural home for you right now than the GOP is. Various polls over the last decade or so have showed Democratic voters more supportive of free trade than Republicans are; both the liberal base’s turn towards free markets and the GOP base’s turn towards protectionism pre-date Trump. (Both shifts are probably fallout from NAFTA.) The Democratic turn towards hawkishness is less stable — remember the Iraq war? — but their grudge against Russia from 2016 might have legs. The question for Scher and others is why any righty should believe that neoliberals will be able to hold the line against the ascendant socialist wing that’s apt to steer the Democrats in the same direction on trade and isolationist foreign policy as Trump’s headed. You can fantasize all day about a cavalry of conservative Never Trumpers joining the party and anchoring it to the center before the Berniebros take over, but as any Trump fan would eagerly tell you, there just aren’t that many Never Trumpers on the right out there.

And even if there were, and even if Scher’s plan succeeded, would that be a net electoral gain for the Democratic Party? How many socialists, believing their political star was rising after Hillary, would walk away from the party in disgust if an influx of right-wingers suddenly tugged it back to the center? Clinton’s 2016 failure is supposed to be the ashes from which the Democratic-socialist phoenix rises. I doubt there are enough Dem-curious right-wingers in the U.S. to replace all the far-leftists who would bail out if the party turned a bit right. If there were, wouldn’t Hillary herself have made more of an effort to appeal to those voters than she did two years ago? Any Republican Never Trumper would remind him that Team Clinton’s outreach to the center-right was precisely zero.

In the end, this line from Scher might be a useful litmus test: Republicans “wrongly view the Democratic Party as a rotten cauldron of crass identity politics, abortion on demand and government run amok.” Do you believe there’s a chance that he’s right, that that view is wrong? If so, you might consider his invitation. If not then there isn’t much to talk about.

The post Democrat to conservative Never Trumpers: Your only rational move is to join us — permanently appeared first on Hot Air.

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