#NeverTrump paddles out, tries to catch a wave

Updates

  1. Originally published, January 14, 8:09 am.
  2. January 14, 12:47 pm:
    • Republicans are indeed worried about the midterm elections later this year.[1] (Donald Trump)
  3. January 14, 1:57 pm:
    • Erick Erickson tweeted a confirmation of Donald Trump’s Shithole remark.
  4. January 15, 11:53 am:
    • Josh Dawsey tweets that Donald Trump might have said ‘shithouse’ rather than ‘Shithole,’ giving those who wish to deny the remark room to deny he said ‘shithole.’
  5. January 15, 7:53 pm:
    • Mike Pence attended a Sunday service where the Pastor condemned Shithole remarks.[2] So here’s my question: Does a red face signify anger or embarrassment? I’m hoping for the latter.

Shithole

Let’s just say that he said it, okay? ‘Cause near as I can tell, the only ones denying it are the ones with a vested interest in doing so.

Jacqueline Thomsen, “Pastor condemned Trump’s ‘s—hole’ in service Pence attended: report,” Hill, January 15, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/369068-pastor-condemned-trumps-shithole-countries-comments-while-pence


Donald Trump

Bill Kristol, in particular, has been catching my attention lately for comments that do not seem neoconservative. For example,

Vox’s Jane Coaston interviewed him on the matter and he does say he’s doing some rethinking.[3] But what we’re seeing here, if you read these articles and following the links is that the division among evangelicals over the likes of Donald Trump and Roy Moore[4] extends well beyond social conservatism—and #NeverTrump is very much still alive.

So the question I’ve been watching is, at what point do Republicans realize that Trump carries too high a cost, that he poses too great a risk in the elections later this year,[5] that they could make better progress on their precious agenda with a President Mike Pence? We aren’t really seeing movement here in terms of tendencies of conservatism. The same tendencies that have always stridently supported Trump—authoritarian populists and paleoconservatives—still do but are increasingly on the defensive. (Local note here: In Sebastopol, the weekly protest held at noon on Fridays featured both the Left and an authoritarian populist counter-protest until recently. The latter has disappeared.) The only tendency—neoconservatism—that stridently and pretty consistently opposed Trump still does. Capitalist libertarians are liking deregulation and the tax cut; they’re edging toward Trump but are still fundamentally opposed to his “protectionist” and “crony capitalist” positions. But within the other tendencies that have been wishy-washy—social conservatism, functionalist conservatism, and traditionalist conservatism—voices opposing Trump are getting louder and more insistent. And Trump’s shit is hitting the fan with breathtaking speed, supporting his opposition, and weakening his support.

Jane Coaston, “Bill Kristol thinks ‘people are just too unhappy with the status quo,’” Vox, January 10, 2018, https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/policy-and-politics/2018/1/10/16865502/bill-kristol-trump-status-quo?__twitter_impression=true

Jonah Goldberg, “Authentic Asininity,” National Review, January 12, 2018, http://www.nationalreview.com/g-file/455420/trump-shithole-comments-authenticity-misunderstanding

Michael Scherer, Josh Dawsey, and Sean Sullivan, “New alarm among Republicans that Democrats could win big this year,” Washington Post, January 14, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/new-alarm-among-republicans-that-democrats-could-win-big-this-year/2018/01/13/9be31acc-f8a8-11e7-beb6-c8d48830c54d_story.html


  1. [1]Michael Scherer, Josh Dawsey, and Sean Sullivan, “New alarm among Republicans that Democrats could win big this year,” Washington Post, January 14, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/new-alarm-among-republicans-that-democrats-could-win-big-this-year/2018/01/13/9be31acc-f8a8-11e7-beb6-c8d48830c54d_story.html
  2. [2]Jacqueline Thomsen, “Pastor condemned Trump’s ‘s—hole’ in service Pence attended: report,” Hill, January 15, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/369068-pastor-condemned-trumps-shithole-countries-comments-while-pence
  3. [3]Jane Coaston, “Bill Kristol thinks ‘people are just too unhappy with the status quo,’” Vox, January 10, 2018, https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/policy-and-politics/2018/1/10/16865502/bill-kristol-trump-status-quo?__twitter_impression=true
  4. [4]Bill Berkowitz, “Are Right-Wing Evangelicals True Christians or Just Another White Identity Cult?” Truthout, March 4, 2016, http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/are-evangelicals-true-christians-or-just-another-white-identity-cult; Rod Dreher, “An Evangelical Crack-Up?” American Conservative, December 15, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/an-evangelical-crack-up/; Mark Galli, “The Biggest Loser in the Alabama Election,” Christianity Today, December 12, 2017, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/december-web-only/roy-moore-doug-jones-alabama-editorial.html; David Goldstein, “Evangelicals have qualms with Trump, but see nowhere else to turn,” McClatchy, June 10, 2016, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article82901192.html?rh=1; Bethania Palma Markus, “Christian leader: Trump reveals that progressives were right about evangelicals all along,” Raw Story, March 1, 2016, http://www.rawstory.com/2016/03/christian-leader-trump-reveals-that-progressives-were-right-about-evangelicals-all-along/; Russell Moore, “Why this election makes me hate the word ‘evangelical,’” Washington Post, February 29, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/02/29/russell-moore-why-this-election-makes-me-hate-the-word-evangelical/; Napp Nazworth, “Conservative Evangelical Author Matt Lewis on Trump, Evangelicals and Stupid Republicans (Interview),” Christian Post, January 26, 2016, http://www.christianpost.com/news/conservative-evangelical-author-matt-lewis-donald-trump-evangelicals-stupid-republicans-155688/; Ray Nothstine, “Who Are the Evangelicals Supporting Donald Trump?” Christian Post, August 30, 2015, http://www.christianpost.com/news/who-are-the-evangelicals-supporting-donald-trump-143997/; Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Baile, “After Trump and Moore, some evangelicals are finding their own label too toxic to use,” Washington Post, December 14, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/after-trump-and-moore-some-evangelicals-are-finding-their-own-label-too-toxic-to-use/2017/12/14/b034034c-e020-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html
  5. [5]Michael Scherer, Josh Dawsey, and Sean Sullivan, “New alarm among Republicans that Democrats could win big this year,” Washington Post, January 14, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/new-alarm-among-republicans-that-democrats-could-win-big-this-year/2018/01/13/9be31acc-f8a8-11e7-beb6-c8d48830c54d_story.html

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