Never Trump Get Biden's 'Norms' Good and Hard

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Last night, Joe Biden and his CDC announced an extension of the “eviction moratorium,” doing so in spite of the Supreme Court saying that any future order would be illegal. While you can thank Brett Kavanaugh for leaving that door open on a technical level, the fact remains that there’s nothing legal about any of this. Biden has made a conscious decision to break the law and once again steal the property of people who have already had their property stolen for 16 months.

Contrast that reality with the Never Trump contingent who once assured us that Biden represented a return to norms and respect for the rule of law.

Yeah, how’s that working out?

“He’s violating the law for your own protection” is the kind of thing you’d expect to hear in some tin-pot dictatorship in South America or the Middle East. Yet, here we are, with one of the largest news networks in the world promoting the idea as righteous. There are just so many norms on display from the White House.

And if the argument is “but Trump,” recall that Biden was supposed to be different. He was supposed to represent a clear and preferable choice to the bad orange man when it came to respecting institutions and the law. That was the point of Never Trump. Heck, at least Trump’s eviction moratorium didn’t knowingly violate a court order (though, it’s disqualifying at this point nonetheless).

Regardless, I’m not here to belabor the point that choices were made and things aren’t going the way they were supposed to (to see that belabored, click here and here). Rather, I’m very curious as to what happens now.

The Never Trump wing has now gotten Biden’s “norms” good and hard. The president violated his oath of office and pushed through an order he knew was illegal with the assumption being that he could get what he wanted before the courts had time to stop him. Given that, where are the calls for impeachment? Where are Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney, those stalwart keepers of the principle, condemning what Biden did and saying he needs to be removed from office? Are we just not doing that anymore?

Let’s apply that same question to the Never Trumpers who reside in the right-wing commentariat. Will they be consistent and call for impeachment on their websites and in their op-eds, or are they going to stick with meek rebukes on Twitter as their only response? Because if they only do the latter, they are giving the game away as far as what their principles are truly worth.

I suspect that’s exactly what will happen, though. When faced with the chance to be consistent and go after Joe Biden for something truly despicable in the strongest of terms, they will back down and hedge. Why? Because at the end of the day, their movement was never really about protecting norms and institutions. Instead, it existed to push back on something that made them uncomfortable and interrupted their cocktail parties. Trump just happened to be the embodiment of that at the time. It could have just as easily been someone else (and I suspect Never DeSantis will be a thing as well).

And sure, some Never Trumpers will make rattling noises about Biden so egregiously violating the constitution here. But at the end of the day, they’ll wink and nod, letting it be known that they won’t treat him like they did that “other guy.” Meanwhile, the corrupt cycle in Washington continues.