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January 24, 2018

BYRON YORK: NeverTrumpers face vexing question: What to make of Trump successes?

The start of President Trump’s second year in office has given Republicans and conservatives an opportunity to review a solid list of achievements: corporate and individual tax cuts; economic growth; wage growth; a conservative Supreme Court justice; a record number of circuit court confirmations; deregulation; the defeat of Islamic State, and more. Each is a development worth celebrating, either by the standards of conservatism, or the general welfare, or both.

But for NeverTrump conservatives, the list presents a challenge. Many support the actions, like cutting taxes and reducing regulation, on Trump’s list. Yet some have also staked their credibility and prestige on declaring Trump’s election an unmitigated, historic disaster that will lead to an autocratic, dystopian future. Many want to force Trump out of office, either by impeachment, the 25th Amendment, or, at least, defeat in 2020.

So how to deal with the current good news?

The most extreme NeverTrumpers, like the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin, simply rail against everything the president does. But more sophisticated NeverTrumpers are looking for nuanced ways to recognize the president’s accomplishments while maintaining that he remains a menace — and that they have been right about him all along.

Jennifer Rubin, like Ana Navarro, is just a Republican-for-media-purposes.