News & Politics

What, Exactly, Is the #NeverTrumpumpkins' Problem?

Lead, follow, or get out of the way: Marine General James Mattis (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The GOP now controls both elected branches of governments and, if the president-elect makes good on his promises, will soon (ideologically, at least) control the Supreme Court. So why are the Vichycons — the collaborationist #NeverTrump crew whose views are increasingly indistinguishable from the hard Left — so miserable? The Wall Street Journal‘s Dan Henninger details just how conservative the incoming administration is shaping up to be:

In the seven days since Thanksgiving, President-elect Trump has named the respected schools reformer Betsy DeVos from Michigan as Secretary of Education. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and a committed reformer of ObamaCare, is Secretary of Health and Human Services. Elaine Chao, who was George W. Bush’s reformist Labor Secretary for eight years, is the new Secretary of Transportation.

Two businessmen will enter the cabinet. Former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchinis Treasury Secretary and Wilbur Ross, an investor in distressed industries, will be Commerce Secretary. Retired Marine Gen. Jim Mattis, one of the most able officers to serve in Iraq and later head of the U.S. Central Command, is within a hair of being Secretary of Defense.

If instead of these individuals, the visitors to Trump Tower had been the alt-right activists of so many progressive night sweats, it would have been reported across the New York Times’ front page and on CNN round the clock, as if Godzilla and Mothra were trundling up Fifth Avenue.

Instead, the Trump transition has been talking to and appointing some of the most accomplished and serious individuals in Republican and conservative politics. Donald Trump isn’t pulling rabbits out of a hat. Somebody at team Trump has a first-rate Rolodex.

Meanwhile, the #NeverTrump tantrums continue apace. But the longer their temper tantrum goes on, the more damage the Never Trumpers are going to do to themselves and to their publications. Like Martin Luther, they’ve nailed their theses to the cathedral door, except that nobody cares about their Checklist Conservative “preenciples” when far larger issues are at stake, and now are simply walking away, shaking their heads in sorrow.

Besides, what more do the die-hard dead-enders want? The misguided flap over Carrier is emblematic of their total lack of political savvy and, frankly, Christian morality. So what if, as NRO argues:

Every dollar spent subsidizing Carrier in Indiana is a dollar that could have been invested in a more productive enterprise that does not require government support, that could have put food on a family’s table or helped to fill up its retirement account. The benefits of the deal are easy to account for, but the costs are dispersed and diffused and difficult to account for, which is what makes these sorts of deals seem attractive: It is an exercise in one-sided accounting.

True conservative principles do not endorse abstract capitalism in favor of beggar-thy-neighbor when thy neighbor lives right across the street. If “true conservative principles” can live with a nation of hollowed-out towns and villages, and laugh at the inhabitants left behind, then to hell with them.

The point here is twofold: 1) Trump made a very vivid political point at minor cost to the taxpayers (who may find themselves in a similar position someday). And 2) he instantly fulfilled a campaign promise even before he has taken office. Meanwhile, poor Obama is now a shadow president, whose utterances no one takes seriously any longer, while the Left has been reduced to stuttering, incoherent rage. I’d call that a win-win.

Finally, as Henninger points out, there’s a practical, Games of Thrones application here as well:

As for Kellyanne Conway’s supposed anti-Romney rampage Sunday morning, I’m more inclined to see it as Thomas Cromwell going on television to explain the requirements of loyalty to Henry VIII’s associates.

The Tower, the hangman and the axeman tend to concentrate the mind wonderfully. Something for the #NeverTrumpumpkins to ponder.