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May 03, 2018

#MuhPrinciples: NeverTrumpers Decide It's Now Not About the Crime, It's About the Sex

NeverTrumpers, as a group, maintained, like most Republicans, that Clinton's sexual dalliances were not the serious problem -- not commendable behavior, to be sure ("simply reprehensible," as Democrats looking for a half-in-half-out position would bleat), but also not really the concern of the public, at least not in any official sense.

Personally, I wasn't lying when I maintained that. I did not care that Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinsky, whether in the Oval Office or not; I knew about his history from The New Republic, which supported him but frequently alluded to the almost-certainly-true rumors of rampant infidelity in his past.

What bothered me was the crime -- he lied to a federal judge when he could easily just settle without admitting anything, just saying "I'm settling so I can focus on the job the American people elected me to do."

Instead, he lied. Under oath. The Chief Law Enforcement officer of the United States lied under oath.

NeverTrumpers surely echoed this "It's not the sex, it's the perjury" sentiment.

But now #MuhPrinciples demand a reversal.




As for the lying (not under oath): I have to say I really don't care much about a guy lying about something which quite frankly isn't any of my business and which most people like about. Even if you ask a guy about a woman he might have slept with in a non-adulterous way (i.e., they were single, it was just a casual hook-up), he will probably publicly lie about it because well, you're kind supposed to keep your sexual history secret, and you're supposed to keep other people's sexual histories secret, too.

And really -- you're not supposed to even ask. So if you get lied to about a question you weren't supposed to ask, well, that's on you, Busybody.

Clinton's first lies about Lewinsky weren't public lies -- they were official lies, perjuries in fact, made under oath. He made public not-under-oath-lies after that but only to protect his lies under oath.

But Eternal Principles and all.

Ben Howe makes a somewhat different point: he says he at least wants to see people "condemning" this, rather than "applauding" it. (He claims that people "demand" that he "applaud" Trump when he does something praiseworthy, and says he wants that reciprocated by people "condemning" Trump when he does something bad.)

Well, no one's applauding his infidelity, Ben. Literally no one, except maybe a wag who posts Pepe Memes and is goofing about praising Trump for his Dragon Energy.

As for condemning it -- yeah, infidelity and lying about it are bad.

So there: Considered this condemned.

I'm not sure what that matters. I'm also not sure how we were all elected to the position of Morality Police and Sexuality Scolds. I personally don't really envision myself in that role, and I don't rush to it gladly.

But if I'm being asked "Is this good?" then the answer is: No, this is not good. In fact, it's bad.

But that's not really want Ben Howe wants, or what David French wants, or what Steven Hayes wants.

What they want is for people to say "Oh, we were wrong for voting for Trump to keep Hillary Clinton from the presidency; we should have done what you guys did and supported her, either openly (and somewhat honorably) like Ben Howe did, or covertly (and thus less honorably) like French and Hayes did."

And on that: Sorry, guys. I'm afraid that you guys, like Hillary Clinton, must one day give up your bitterness and blame-shifting over Hillary Clinton's loss.

Trump is a very flawed man, and of course was a flawed candidate, and is a flawed president. While there are some who genuinely dispute this -- wrongly, I'd say -- most people's eyes are open to his flaws, and have always been open to his flaws.

We don't claim he doesn't have flaws.

However, we will hold to our November 2016 position that Trump, even with his flaws, was a better choice of president than the corrupt totalitarian serial-lawbreaking serial-perjuring grifter Hillary Clinton.

You lot disagree with that. You supported Hillary Clinton, whether passive aggressively and dishonestly (French, Hayes) or aggressive-aggressively and virtue-signalling (Howe).

I'm sorry your gal lost, but the election is now fucking seventeen months in the past.

It's time to come out of the woods and put aside the Chardonnay, fellas.

No one believes you're arguing about "principles" here. It's obvious to everyone that you're not arguing about Eternal Principles or American Values; you're arguing about a much smaller and shabbier thing: You're whining that You were right, and damnit, other people should admit we were right!

With a big side of: We've got to protect our phony-baloney jobs!

You were not right. You were right as to many of your assumptions (that Trump is a dishonest guy with barely any knowledge about policy or conservative principles) -- but then, few even argued with you about those.

You are, and were, completely wrong in your conclusion -- that this therefore made the most corrupt presidential candidate in ages and a determined Identity Politics Cultural Warrior a better choice.

Hell, some of you (French, Hayes) are so ashamed of that conclusion you can't even speak it honestly. You have to pretend you were fighting for some imaginary Third Way, instead of admitting you preferred Hillary Clinton.

At some point, you will have to make peace with the thinking that rational people made peace with ages ago, that an election is not an up or down (binary choice!!!) referendum on the moral and characterological qualities of one man, but a comparison on the moral and characterological qualities of two candidates, one of which would be president, as well as -- as if this matters (apparently it doesn't matter so much); the NeverTrumpers are all-in on character questions and treat policy questions as if they were silly distractions -- the policy choices each candidate would make, the legislation each would support, the policy of either enforcement or nonenforcement of immigration laws each would champion, and the judges each would nominate.

You continue treating this as a game where you win if you can merely prove Trump was flawed.

Wrong. We almost all agree that Trump is, was, and will always be deeply flawed.

The actual question, which you continue to avoid in your passive-aggressive childlike evasions, is whether or not, given Trump's flaws as well as your favored candidate Hillary's flaws, Hillary was preferable.

And, as I say: You're so dishonest you can't even admit that what you actually were/are arguing for.

(Ben Howe partly excepted from this, though he doesn't bring up the Hillary-Trump comparative analysis up very often, if at all.)

I get that you guys are Morally Outraged and Deeply Offended.

Let me explain this to you as I would explain it to a Social Justice Warrior (a breed you endlessly-emotional moral scolds increasingly resemble): I don't care if you're Morally Outraged and Deeply Offended.

I don't have time to coddle your infinite sensitivities and smooth over your endlessly ruffled feathers.

Life is hard. Some choices are harder than others. Serious men make hard choices; honest men admit what choices they actually made, instead of serially lying about it.

Deal with it.

And until Hayes, Kristol, Goldberg, and French stop lying and admit that they supported Hillary Clinton for president over Trump, they cannot criticize Trump for lying.

Your only job, your only purpose, is to inform the public about your actual beliefs and preferences.

You had one job: to tell your readers honestly who they should support for president, and who you supported.

You lied in that regard.

You continue lying.

In all likelihood, you will go to your graves lying.

But yeah, let me get all worked up about a notorious sexual braggart now on his third wife banging a porn star.

More: A friend writes (paraphrased), "Something no one talks about is that the NTs actually favored Hillary from a policy perspective as well. Internationalist interventionism, 'free trade', corporate cronyism. That was their candidate."

I'd add in: They actually are largely open borders as well. Free trade absolutists are very sympathetic to, if not outright supportive of, the idea that just as goods should be free to cross borders unimpeded, so too should labor.

This is the position of the Wall Street Journal, which used to declare, every 4th of July, something like, "The immigration policy of the United States shall consist of five words: 'There shall be open borders.'"

They stopped declaring that forthrightly that after 9/11 (whoopsie!), but you can hear this echoing in their rhetoric.



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posted by Ace of Spades at 04:39 PM

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