A week ago, Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics had a fascinating thread on Twitter. It was a commentary on a piece by McKay Coppins in The Atlantic on The Bulwark, the current project by Bill Kristol, funded by a far left money man, which professes to conserve conservatism by, oddly enough, trashing conservatism.
This was the set up:
There is a lot of truth in this if you think the NeverTrump whinging is, as Ace does, a change in management in the GOP with Conservatism, Inc. personalities getting kicked to the curb and pissed off about what that did to their balance sheets. This is Trende via Thread Reader:
This strain of anti-Trumpism is so fascinating to me, mostly because I have no idea what they think the endgame is? Like, do they think they have the ability to reach a position of power within the Republican Party again? Or at least a Republican Party that can win nationally?
I mean, if you didn’t like Trump, there were three basic things for the Republican Party establishment types to do: (a) grudgingly accept the loss, and say “okay, we’ll fight this out again in 8 years”; (b) leave the Party or; (c) declare a civil war. 2/
Which, on (c), fine, but once you’ve basically declared that you’re not going to accept a fair-and-square win by a large group that you’re in a coalition with — setting aside the fact that a lot of these folks helped that win by sinking $$$ into a non-starter like Jeb. — 3/
It’s basically over for you. Because the other group is just going to do the same thing if you/your candidate comes out on top next time. The correct analogy isn’t “civil war” or “guerillas” or whatever, its a kamikaze strike. You’re not coming out alive. 4/
In their own bizarre way, this brand of NeverTrump are basically operating under the exact same theory as Anton’s famous “Flight 93 election,” except applied to an intra-party contest. Gotta risk destroying what we believe in, because the alternative is so terrible. 5/5
Megan McArdle took issue with this, postulating (against all facts) that it was “muh principles” motivating the Bulwarkians: If #NeverTrumpers don’t have an endgame, maybe it’s because to them politics isn’t a game. According to McArdle, politics is a holy activity in which the true winner is not the guy who controls the government but the one who signals the most virtue.
Without such a figure, if you are committed to politics as principle, then you are also committed to losing a lot of elections. But then, as many of my #NeverTrump correspondents argued three years ago, there are worse things to lose than an election.
There is a technical term for people who lose and congratulate themselves afterwards: losers.
This weekend, any doubt about what the end game was for Kristol’s enterprise was quickly cleared up. The reporter Bulwark sent to cover CPAC was a leftwing, pro-infanticide nutter named Molly Jong-Fast.
It took no imagination to see how this movie would end and professional divorcee, Charlie Sykes was on the case.
— Charlie Sykes (@SykesCharlie) March 1, 2019
Instapundit has her labeling pro-life panelists as anti-choice.
Then this bloated toad weighed in only to be trounced by Steve Miller:
What's being conserved here? You're entire schtick is attacking writers for other websites. Well, welcome to the world. So explain to me what is being conserved here? pic.twitter.com/H6UrwWs0Ce
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) March 1, 2019
These guys are free to do with Pierre Omidyar’s money whatever Pierre Omidyar will let them do with it. But what they are doing has nothing to do with “conserving conservatism.” In fact, looping back to Sean Trende’s tweets, what they are doing doesn’t fit into any of the logical actions someone virulently opposed to Trump would choose. And, by waging an attack not only on putative allies but on the very causes they are supposed to be conserving, like the pro-life movement, they are showing that McArdle is, unsurprisingly, very, very wrong about their motivation being from principle.
This, ladies and gentlemen, appears to be nothing more than spite, assuming it isn’t a well-paying grift. They aren’t attacking Trump, they aren’t even attacking the Star Wars cantina that CPAC can be, they are ridiculing the very elements of conservatism that they profess to be devoted to. The aren’t conserving conservatism, they are finally doing openly what they’ve been doing under cover for the past two election cycles: elect Democrats. And one can only assume they are doing it to get back to the feed trough.
Criticizing CPAC for not being conservative enough is one thing. I feel the same way. But if you’re an outlet that wants to “conserve conservatism,” maybe don’t assign your token liberal to cover conservative events just so they can have some fun mocking pro-life people.
— Alexandra DeSanctis (@xan_desanctis) March 2, 2019
Conservatism conserved pic.twitter.com/bur2zfdhKS
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) March 1, 2019
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