The past three years have exposed some fault lines on the right that had been largely papered over some decades. The primary one, of course, was between the GOP establishment and base. This was not a new rift. It was previewed in all its glory in 2010 with the rise of the Tea Party and flipping the House back to American control on the strength of enthusiastic voters, many of whom were coming out of the first time in years, if not forever.
A second rent in the GOP fabric also appeared. It was between the very small number of people who styled themselves “NeverTrump” and everyone else. While the GOPe has, at least, made some peace with the idea of a Trump presidency and is united behind him in the face of whichever socialist the Democrats seem hellbent upon nominating, not so with the NeverTrump people. Their lodestar remains satisfying their personal pique by trying to elect a Democrat. Sure they’ve fronted clowns and has-beens like Joe Walsh and William Weld and Mark Sanford, but no one believes that any of them will rise to the level of annoyance in the election. They don’t either. And it will be with great sorrow that they will announce that Trump is simply so gauche and déclasse that principle demands they support the socialist infanticide and they will declare you to be a very bad person if you chose otherwise.
A couple of days ago, President Trump took to Twitter to express his displeasure with people who claim to be Republican or conservative but who’d rather set their own hair on fire than support him in any way. (One of the most egregious falsehoods these people peddle is that “I’ll praise him if he does something right” but that something never seems to happen.)
The Never Trumper Republicans, though on respirators with not many left, are in certain ways worse and more dangerous for our Country than the Do Nothing Democrats. Watch out for them, they are human scum!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2019
The tweet was met with outrage by NeverTrumpers everywhere. For instance:
"It was outrageous for Hillary Clinton to refer to people she disagreed with politically 'deplorable'!"
"Hooray for Trump calling people who disagree with him 'human scum!'"
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) October 23, 2019
If a Democratic president called his critics and opponents "human scum," all of us conservatives would say that this was outrageous and ominous from a leader in a democracy. We would say that this was reminiscent of Communists, fascists, and other such types. What say we now? https://t.co/XOCCuWSfcG
— Jay Nordlinger (@jaynordlinger) October 23, 2019
What those of us who are "human scum" with an exclamation point particularly appreciate is how you've more than validated our concerns about you-psychologically, morally/ethically and in terms of temperament/judgment. You turned out to be at least as bad as we warned you'd be. https://t.co/f3rXZCM6CU
— Peter Wehner (@Peter_Wehner) October 23, 2019
There are lots of precious comments out there, like this one
I’m not picking on this guy exclusively, though there something shabby and pathetic about a life spent trolling Twitter timelines of people you oppose politically, because that same wounded, ‘how dare he be mean to me’ tone was very easy to find among NeverTrumpers.
There are a couple of different parts to this story.
First, should Trump have called the NeverTrump people “human scum?” Probably not. I wouldn’t have done it. It’s not something that one likes to see from the adult behavior standpoint, if nothing else. But did it really matter? All of those people shaking sand out of their panties right now are going to end up campaigning for Elizabeth Warren or whoever gets the nomination for the Democrats. They were going to do that before he called them “human scum.” They’ll do that because they claim their inviolable principles require it….and they might even believe that…and to be a regular contributor on MSNBC or CNN as a conservative or Republican that is required.
On the other hand, there is an immense amount of rank hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness in all of this mewling and sniveling.
If you were involved in the 2016 election and, at any point, decided that Hillary Clinton was very bad for the nation and that Evan McMullin was a f***ing bug-eating tool and that Donald Trump was not Beelzebub incarnate, then you became the target of abuse. In my personal experience, there are people who I’d considered friends for several years who I would no longer pee on if they were on fire today because of the abuse and scorn the heaped upon people who disagreed with them and the cheap bullying that they engaged in. Trumpkin. Trumptard. Trumpaloo. Trumphumper. And all manner of other cute names. In fact, one of the biggest whiners about Trump’s tweet is one of the guys who has been most responsible for baking personal insults into any political discussion concerning Trump. That would be itinerant newsletter peddler Jonah Goldberg:
Indeed, the only childishness I see are the masses of beer-muscled goons and sycophants stomping their feet over the object of their man-crushes.
Let’s try Kevin Williamson, the guy we were told we were supposed to support and to feel sorry for when The Atlantic defenestrated him:
Spend any time around the Trumpkins — the intellectually and morally stunted Oompa Loompas who have rallied to the candidacy of this grotesque charlatan
In reading the complaints about President Trump’s tweet, I’m again reminded of the epic post-election essay by “Warden” at Ace of Spades, except the philosophy, if not the specifics, applies to NeverTrump as well as to the left, as far as I’m concerned:
It’s this that sent me to a place from which I’ll never return. I literally don’t care what Donald Trump does because nothing he can do is worse than what they’ve already done.
Donald Trump isn’t the bully; he only insults and abuses people in power who have attacked him. They’re the fucking bullies. The left, with their smears, their witch hunts, their slanders, their insults, their riots, their violence, and their weaponizing of the federal bureaucracy.
This new philosophy has freed me of more emotional angst that I can describe. Literally nothing the left says or does matters to me anymore. I don’t care about their tantrums. I don’t care about their accusations. I don’t care if they say Trump is lying. I don’t care if Trump is lying.
They created this Frankenstein. They own it. I am free of all obligation. I will never play defense again. I will attack, attack, attack, attack using their own tactics against them until they learn their lesson.
What I will not do is let them play my values against me ever again. I don’t need to prove that I’m better than them. I already know it.
To tell you the truth, I really don’t care about the butthurt over this. For three years these people have degraded, demeaned, and libeled anyone who simply decided that, for all his flaws, Trump was better than any Democrat. No grace was offered to people who had considered them friends and colleagues. No common cause was allowed to be made. They stopped being conservatives and Republicans who simply disliked the candidate and then the president and became active Democrat partisans who simply called themselves something else. Every hoax and bad faith allegation made against the President and his administration, from the Russia bullsh** to defending illegal FISA warrants to the “Muslim ban” to “kids in cages,” was spearheaded by NeverTrumpers flagellating themselves with their principles and yodeling “we’re better than that.”
In 2020, these people have a choice to make. They can either earn their way back in–Prodigal Son, and all that–or they can stay gone. I don’t care who they vote for because Trump won last time without them and he’s in a much stronger position today than he was in November 2016. But, no matter what path they choose, there should be no forgetting of how these people have acted and what they’ve done. No one should allow them to forget why no one–right or left–wishes to have anything to do with them. No one should ever forget that they are dangerous, timorous and unfaithful allies and should not be allowed to do any more than hold the coats for the rest of us.