Of the many people who showed themselves as phonies in 2016, the editor and writers at The National Review get a top spot.
So does Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard.
It’s a wonder these two publications still exist. They hit bottom with the Never Trump issue.
Glenn Beck was the first author to torpedo. He wrote, “Sure, Trump’s potential primary victory would provide Hillary Clinton with the easiest imaginable path to the White House. But it’s far worse than that. If Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination, there will once again be no opposition to an ever-expanding government.”
Others echoed this theme. Mona Charen, who I used to respect, “Trump has made a career out of egotism, while conservatism implies a certain modesty about government. The two cannot mix.”
You mean like GWB adding another agency, Homeland Security, to the bloated bureaucracy?
Erick Erickson invoked Christianity: “I also take Saint Paul seriously. In setting out the qualifications for overseers, or bishops, Saint Paul admonished Timothy, “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, . . . he must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil” (I Timothy 3:1, 3:6).”
I wonder if he’s heard this one: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Maybe he was asleep during that gospel reading. Or the one that says “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”
Steve Hayward: “The president will need to be bold in challenging the runaway power and reach of his own branch, against the fury of the bureaucracy itself, its client groups, and the media. This boldness is necessary to restore the restraint that a republican executive should have in our constitutional order. Trump exhibits no awareness of this supreme constitutional task.”
Hmm. Nor did McCain or Romney. Looks like Trump plans to drain the swamp in a way that Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio never would.
Bill Kristol temporarily left the Weekly Standard to write in NR: “Leo Strauss wrote that ‘a conservative, I take it, is a man who despises vulgarity; but the argument which is concerned exclusively with calculations of success, and is based on blindness to the nobility of the effort, is vulgar.’ Isn’t Donald Trump the very epitome of vulgarity?”
Voters don’t care about the ruminations of Leo Strauss. Is working vulgar? Is a job vulgar? Is protecting our borders vulgar? To the establishment types, even our own, maybe it is.
Jon Podhoretz weighed in, too: “Trump is an unbalanced force. He is the politicized American id. Should his election results match his polls, he would be, unquestionably, the worst thing to happen to the American common culture in my lifetime.”
And others, of course, who couldn’t wait to sling some more mud Trump’s way. It begins to resemble Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. Everybody on board that rag had a knife to stick in Trump’s back.
Doesn’t seem all this pontificating had any effect whatsoever. Trump kept winning primaries.
Obnoxious as all that was, Kevin Williamson of NR gets the prize for the biggest jerk. He couldn’t resist attacking Trump voters. This screed reads like a satire, but it is not:
If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy—which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog—you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that.
Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America. So the gypsum business in Garbutt ain’t what it used to be. There is more to life in the 21st century than wallboard and cheap sentimentality about how the Man closed the factories down.
The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.
Nice, eh? Not only are Trump voters, rubes, they are akin to animals, “whelping” children who deserve to die.
He had this to say about the President elect:
Donald Trump, being Donald Trump, announced his candidacy at Trump Tower, making a weird grand entrance via escalator — going down, of course, the symbolism of which is lost on that witless ape. But who could witness that scene — the self-made man who started with nothing but a modest portfolio of 27,000 New York City properties acquired by his millionaire slumlord father, barely out of his latest bankruptcy and possibly headed for another one as the casino/jiggle-joint bearing his name sinks into the filthy mire of the one U.S. city that makes Las Vegas look respectable, a reality-television grotesque with his plastic-surgery-disaster wife, grunting like a baboon about our country’s “brand” and his own vast wealth — and not see the peerless sign of our times?
You’d think he’d had smidge of regret after that and his mistake on the election. But no. We’re talking punditocracy here. People who have been telling us what to think for decades and they don’t part with it without a dog fight.
The day after Christmas Williamson turned his ire on the Trump family. He couldn’t resist calling Trump’s children the equivalent of Saddam Hussein’s boys.
“My own view is that Donald and Ivanka and Uday and Qusay are genuinely bad human beings and that the American public has made a grave error in entrusting its highest office to this cast of American Psycho extras. That a major political party was captured by these cretins suggests that its members are not worthy of the blessings of this republic.”
If you google a piece from NR you get deluged with requests for subscriptions, dangling a free time to entice you. They must be desperate there. Bill Buckley would be appalled.