October 10, 2018

MATT LEWIS: Kavanaugh Killed the ‘Never Trump’ Movement.

Consider the dichotomy that has emerged in the last week: We saw people like Erick Erickson, who once wrote a piece headlined “I Will Not Vote For Donald Trump. Ever,” suggesting they will vote for Trump in 2020, and people like Tom Nichols, formerly of The Federalist, saying Kavanaugh’s confirmation was the final straw (he quit the GOP).

Nichols and Erickson reacted to the exact same news in exactly opposite ways.

The Kavanaugh hearing essentially radicalized Never Trumpers. Some—as part of the GOP base’s backlash against the left’s attacks—are coming home and supporting Trump. Others—perhaps because their hatred of Trump has only intensified—were pushed completely from the fold. This process has been going on for a long time, but one gets the sense that the fight over Kavanaugh was the end of the road.

Where you stand on this probably depends on where you sit. Personally, I see the group who submitted to their Trumpy fate as making an understandable submission to the inexorable forces of tribalism and partisanship. Consider Erickson’s plight. If you are a conservative, you, too, might well be repelled by the left’s behavior last week.

Might?

The allegations against Kavanaugh were never shown to have any merit — that is, those that weren’t debunked, refuted, or recanted. Nevertheless, the Left’s smear job was as nasty as it was vociferous, and amplified around the world, 24/7, by the Resistance-MSM.

So no matter what else anyone might think of President Trump, the fact that he stood by his nominee throughout this unprecedented savaging is itself unprecedented — and praiseworthy in the extreme. I can’t imagine how Trump’s selection and protection of a good man and a well-qualified jurist could cause any conservative or right-leaning libertarian to put more distance between themselves and Trump.

Except of course, for those whose iron rice bowls or NOKD-snobbery have become more important than their oft-stated principles.

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