By Robert Laurie
Once upon a time, bow-tied ‘conservative’ titans roamed the Earth. They were staples of every Sunday news show for decades, their magazines and columns defined the bland, soft spoken, country-club civility of the modern GOP, and their opinions became the de facto right-of-center stance on …virtually everything. George Will and Bill Kristol spent half a lifetime in the anti-Democrat catbird seat and they (along with Fred Barnes) became the avatars of the “acceptable” Republican.
During this time, we were treated to the non-conservative presidencies of George Bush, Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama. While some of those Presidents were certainly better than others, they were – to a man – big government, tax-and-spend leaders prone to over-regulation. For folks like Will and Kristol, the (D) or (R) after the name seemed to be far more important than the largely interchangeable policies. To put it bluntly; they talked a good game, but they ended up accomplishing little that advanced the causes in which they claimed to believe.
Gradually, though, things began to change. The political landscape shifted dramatically during the Obama years. …And the Wills and Kristols either didn’t notice or didn’t care.
They gleefully stood against the allegedly-doomed Trump candidacy, proclaimed him a political failure before he even secured the nomination, and were eagerly awaiting Hillary Clinton’s 8 year reign of terror. One assumes that the plan was, once again, to spend Clinton’s two-term presidency generating columns and income with a series of complaints about whatever she happened to be doing.
Then Donald Trump won.
Suddenly, George Will & Bill Kristol (whose status among conservatives had already been on the wane) found themselves persona non grata. Donald Trump – a boorish outsider who hadn’t paid his ‘political dues’ – dared to usurp their erudite platitudes. They began hopping around various networks as they tried to find new homes for their brand of mealy-mouthed opposition, the voters that gave them a career moved on, and they got really, really, angry about it.
Since his inauguration, both Will and Kristol have been railing against a President who has implemented policies which (with a few notable exceptions) they had claimed to support throughout their careers. Kristol’s twitter feed has been an anti-Trump, barely-Republican, screed for close to two years.
Now, Will has let the mask slip as well. He says that if you care about your country, you’ll vote for Democrats in November – all in an effort to ‘quarantine’ the President.
The congressional Republican caucuses must be substantially reduced. So substantially that their remnants, reduced to minorities, will be stripped of the Constitution’s Article I powers that they have been too invertebrate to use against the current wielder of Article II powers. They will then have leisure time to wonder why they worked so hard to achieve membership in a legislature whose unexercised muscles have atrophied because of people like them…
The Republican-controlled Congress, which waited for Trump to undo by unilateral decree the border folly they could have prevented by actually legislating, is an advertisement for the unimportance of Republican control…
In today’s GOP, which is the president’s plaything, he is the mainstream. So, to vote against his party’s cowering congressional caucuses is to affirm the nation’s honor while quarantining him. A Democratic-controlled Congress would be a basket of deplorables, but there would be enough Republicans to gum up the Senate’s machinery, keeping the institution as peripheral as it has been under their control and asphyxiating mischief from a Democratic House.
In other words, because people like Will despise Trump, we should hand the government – the nation – over to the very people we’ve been fighting for a hundred years. Hopefully, in this scenario, they won’t achieve too much because the remaining Republicans will ‘gum up’ the works. Keep in mind that Will suggesting you vote for people who have not only never courted a single conservative vote – they’re now openly advocating violence against the right.
Will’s argument is boils down to a self-destructive temper tantrum.
“I don’t like Trump, so let’s elect people who would gut the 2nd Amendment.”
“I don’t like Trump, so let’s elect people who would support on-demand abortion up to (or possibly even after) the due-date.”
“I don’t like Trump, so let’s elect people who would raise everyone’s taxes.”
“I don’t like Trump, so let’s elect people who would give us single-payer health care.”
“I don’t like Trump, so let’s elect people who would decimate religious freedom.”
“I don’t like Trump, so let’s elect people who would massively expand the welfare state.”
No one is pretending that Trump is perfect. He’s had his share of missteps and yes, he’s clearly lacking in the social niceties. However, that doesn’t mean you hand the keys to the kingdom to the enemy. When Trump does something right, you support it. When he does something wrong, you point it out. You don’t burn it all down and let the left run wild just because you dislike the guy.
Even if you can’t support Trump, there are other options. You can vote Libertarian, vote for other GOP members, write yourself in, or ignore it altogether. But that’s not what George Will wants. He wants Dems in power.
It seems clear that Will’s call to install congressional Democrats is more about restoring his former commentator-cache than the good of the nation. It’s much easier to be against something than it is to fight for something. It’s easier to criticize than to do. More Dems will certainly help Will score TV time, and they’ll provide jobs for naysayers, but they’ll destroy everything else they touch.
Sorry George, you’re just not worth it.