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June 28, 2018

Steve Hayward: Should the NeverTrump "Thought Leaders" Who Are Only Now Realizing That Supreme Court Nominations Are Pretty Important Continue Being "Thought Leaders"?

As Doc_0 notes, the retirement of justices isn't a black swan event that just snuck up on the NeverTrump Super-Cons. Not only do actuarial tables combined with a basic understanding of How Time Works suggest that 3-4 justices will retire over the course of Trump's two (or more...?) terms, but we knew for a fact the next president would appoint at least one justice, given that Antonin Scalia died months before the election.

And yet: This seems to have completely blindsided the very important people who tweet on twitter all day long about how fucking smart they all are.

Should these "influencers" continue to influence?



Steve Hayward continues. Twitter formatting stripped out for your reading convenience.

I'm not saying it was tantamount to an endorsement of Hillary, although hardcore NeverTrumpers did do that, and they're currently rooting for Dems to take over Congress. But if you'll indulge me for a few tweets, this is the thing about conservatives and 2016 that still bugs me.

I'm all in favor of vigorously contested primaries. I didn't vote for Trump myself, and he wasn't in my top 3. I got some angry feedback when I wrote highly of other candidates. I'd have no inherent problem with people supporting a primary challenger to him in 2020.

But at some point the primary is over, and the election absolutely does become a binary choice, with gigantic stakes given the size of government, power of SCOTUS, etc. I deeply wish the stakes were lower and elections were less important, but they're not.

When Trump secured the nomination, Republicans - especially politicians, writers, pundits - either decided the stakes were high enough to support him despite his flaws as the underdog in a tough and important election, or they decided opposing him was worth President Hillary.

There is a fantasy about the "third option" of staying home that needs to be put to bed forever. That's not how it works. You stay home and the Democrat gets half a step closer to winning.

Now, if you thought the stakes were low enough that either actively helping Clinton win or passively allowing it were acceptable courses of action, then fair enough... but it's disingenuous to change your mind now and say, "Wow, SCOTUS is really important."


We knew that in 2016, and it was pretty clear several SCOTUS nominations were on the table, one of them PROMINENTLY so. We knew what would happen if Clinton locked in a far-left SCOTUS for a generation.

This is important because we're talking about the judgment of prominent pundits and politicians, people who (at least in theory) hold significant sway over public opinion. They told us to trust them last time as they took a position that would have put Clinton in the White House.

I'm glad if they've seen the light, but I'm sorry, I just can't cut that much slack for seeing a light that should have been as obvious as the rising sun in 2016. The retirement of aging SCOTUS judges is not a black swan event.

When it really mattered, when the chips were down and the Republican nominee needed all the help he could get to win the longest long-shot victory in recent memory, there are people who went AWOL or actively supported the Democrat.

No, I don't want to "dump" on them and I don't spend time needling them. (The clowns who are still trying to give Congress to the Dems are another matter.) But a higher standard must be set for the political judgment of influential people.

And for what it's worth, I felt the same way about those who judged it preferable to toss 2008 to Obama instead of supporting squishy McCain, or bailed on Romney in 2012. How did that work out for you, guys? Still think giving Obama the White House was a small price to pay?

The fact is that the stakes are so high, we're so close to crossing so many lines, the Democrats are so aggressive about using power, that I don't think any presidential or congressional term can be sacrificed even for sincere long-term plans to improve the GOP.

I understood all of that in 2016. I'm pleased to see conservatives who didn't coming around. I welcome them one and all. But if they're prominent and influential, it still matters that they made different calculations in 2016, and will ask their audience to trust them again. /end

And then there's Maude:



Notice the hedging: He wants to deliver a scorching-hot hot-take announcing his opposition to any Trump nominee, but he doesn't have the stones to fully take off the mask.


This guy's such a coward he can't even suck a dick without being mealy-mouthed about it.

Though Cap'n Bill does begin scheming about how to block a conservative justice:









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