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August 01, 2018

Politico: Why the Smart Move for NeverTrumpers Is to Become Democrats

Replace "smart" with "inevitable" and you've got something.

There's a new debate inside the #NeverTrump movement about how to respond to a president they loathe and the Republican Party that loves him.

And a party they loathe, let's admit. They're not hiding that anymore. They've always loathed Republican voters, but saw them as useful idiots, easy dupes for advancing themselves.

But now the Revolting are revolting, and suddenly, the NeverTrump rump doesn't seem to like Republican Deplorables as much as they used to barely pretend to.

Some #NeverTrump conservatives, like the New York Times columnist David Brooks and former Bush White House aide Reed Galen, are talking about creating a new third party. Others, like George Will and Max Boot, have become registered independents and are urging voters to put Democrats in charge of Congress this November, as a kind of temporary stopgap measure until the Republicans return to their senses. But according to speculation reported by POLITICO, former McCain 2008 chief strategist Steve Schmidt may go one step further: Heís reportedly thinking about signing up with a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, possibly former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

No doubt Schmidt would get attacked for being an opportunist. But if you are a conservative, #NeverTrump, pro-immigrant, free-trading, anti-Putin defender of the post-World War II international order, the only principled and practical move left is to join the Democratic Party.

The moment for temporarily endorsing the Democrats to block President Donald Trump was the presidential election of 2016, not the midterms of 2018. Had more Republicans endorsed Hillary Clinton two years ago--

The Courageous Ones were and are cowards, and merely hinted the living shit out of their endorsement of Hillary.

Not quite courageous enough to tell their audience the truth about their positions.

But super-courageous otherwise -- believe them.

--movement conservatives would likely be giddily anticipating the return of one of their own to the Oval Office in two years, as an obstructionist GOP Congress blocked the Democratic presidentís every move. Instead, they're facing a potential 2020 campaign that will be even more unpalatable to them than the choice they were presented with in 2016. Instead of Trump vs. Clinton, they could get Trump vs. Elizabeth Warren, or even Bernie Sanders.


Once #NeverTrump conservatives accept that they have completely lost the core debates about the direction and purpose of the Republican Party, they can open their eyes to the possibility of winning some debates inside the Democratic Party. By playing a direct role in electing delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, #NeverTrump conservatives might even prevent what horrifies them most: a democratic socialist president.


Join the Democratic Party? Thatís the "slightly less bad" option, wrote Galen, where conservatives would be "disliked and distrusted, pushed to the margins." But wait, how is that different from the space #NeverTrump conservatives occupy in today's Republican Party?


There is no perfect political home for the #NeverTrumpers. So it's time for them to choose the place where they can do the most good, for themselves and for the country.

This all makes sense, and I endorse their official migration as soon as possible. It's clear many have already made the unofficial switch to being loyal footsoldiers of the Democrat Party.

The trouble is, as Sean Davis points out, is that they have greater earnings potential and perpetually-alienated The Republican Party Left Me fake Republicans than honest Democrats.

Declared Democrats are a dime-a-dozen. Not enough opportunities for graft. Plus, the NeverTrump rump has the disadvantage of being unfashionably white, older, and mostly male -- not exactly the demographic the Party of the Future is looking for.

NeverTrump will just continue pretending to be Republicans who just happen to spend all their time attacking Republicans -- a much more valuable commodity to the Democrat party than a bunch of pasty white old white men with sagging asses.

Speaking of which: The Weekly Standard. The Weekly Standard is "transitioning" itself, trying to become a conservative-side-of-the-liberal-wing sort of publication, a sort of new (old) New Republic.

Now, they're one of the few magazines asked to "partner" with FaceBook (what's that mean? Does FaceBook pay them?) to do fact-checking. They're the only nominally conservative magazine doing this service for FaceBook.

Does anyone think the dreary, tired, failing, no-one-reads-it, zero-influence Weekly Standard would have been asked by FaceBook to do some "fact-checking" duties if it had just been another admitted liberal magazine, another Vox For Boomers, let's say?

No. Pretending to be "conservative" got an aging, fading barely-was-and-isn't-no-more magazine the small amount of prestige and, who knows, favorable FaceBook links that they never would have gotten if they were just another dreary leftwing webzine.

And they're more valuable to the Democrat cause in pretending to still be "conservative." Consider: A big cover story on how Devon Nunes is a big fat liar and how the FISA process was perfect in all ways would not have roused any interest if published in Salon.

Especially if that article were actually written by a Democrat staffer for the Senate Intelligence Committee.

But publish it in the dying Weekly Standard, and it's a "conservative" magazine saying so! Huzzah!

There's a little evidence that the Weekly Standard is deliberately, knowingly playing the Democrats-pretending-to-be-Republicans-to-Better-Hurt-Republicans game, too.

Remember when I mentioned that the author of that cover piece for the Weekly Standard was a Democrat staffer?

You know who didn't mention that fact? The author herself -- and neither did the Weekly Standard.

In the author's tag to her story Doss describes herself in part as former "senior minority counsel for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence." In relevant part this is the same tag she used to describe herself in the Atlantic version of her piece.

Without more, we wouldnít know whether she served as the Democrats' or Republicans' counsel. One has to go to her current law firm bio to determine that she served as Democratic counsel, of course, and that her efforts included (my italics) "all facets of the SSCI investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. elections." Why so shy?

I think it is indicative of her lack of candor in the crux of her cover story. Doss is dishonest by the omission of relevant factual context in the same manner as she is in her own author's identification.

Powerline blames the author of the piece for this clear dishonesty there. But he doesn't blame the Weekly Standard which, he confesses, he has (or had) a longstanding admiration for, having written there 25 times or more.

But let's ask the question: Why did the Weekly Standard's editors permit this dishonesty? Why didn't they suggest she clearly identify her partisan affiliation, surely a relevant piece of information a reader would find useful in evaluating her claims?

Why didn't they insist on it? Why didn't they add it in themselves?

The question more or less answers itself. The Weekly Standard didn't identify the Democrat affiliation of its new cover story writer for the same reason it doesn't honestly identify its own "evolving" affiliation: Because partisan attacks have more impact when they're perceived as coming from one's own side.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 08:07 PM

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