Patterico's Pontifications

12/7/2020

Jonah Goldberg: The Never Trumpers Have a Right to Gloat (Plus Bonus Praise for Allahpundit)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



Jonah Goldberg is saying he told you so, and he’s right:

For nearly five years now, it has been obvious that Trump was unfit for the job and the arguments marshaled in his defense were cynical rationalizations that, for some, eventually mutated into sincerely held delusions. Sure, some deluded themselves from the beginning, but I’ve talked to too many Republican politicians and conservative media darlings who admitted it in private. And even the griftier gibbons going full Gorka as they fling their own feces for fun and profit in Trump’s defense knew it. At least Steve Bannon, whose greatest contribution to political discourse has been to introduce the concept of “flooding the zone with shit,” is fairly straightforward about seeing Trump as a tool—in every sense. He’s leaked more anti-Trump tales to more anti-Trump journalists than anyone.

For the Bannonistas, following the wrong path wasn’t a hard choice, but an easy one. You think Jenna Ellis, who rates as a Z-team legal talent only because our alphabet is limited to 26 characters, would become a legal adviser to a president under normal circumstances?

. . . .

Now, America isn’t in Hell, but the people who did nothing, or far too little, are daily beset by lesser, fresher, hells of their own making—and I’m making popcorn. The gloriously entertaining spectacle of Trump and his ambitious progeny suddenly having to deal with their own mini-Trumps in the form of Wood, Powell, and their minions is enough to turn their home-brewed dumpster juice into a delicious elixir sweeter even than liberal tears. Mike Pence fading into the shrubbery like Homer Simpson is a profile in strategic cowardice of schadenfreudtastic proportions.

. . . .

I understand that this all sounds awfully self-righteous. But I’ll tell you, I feel like I deserve my gloating. I’m not alone in my right to it, but I deserve my share. I’ve been saying “don’t do this” for five years and I’ve been mocked and shunned for it. So forgive me if I enjoy my I-told-you-so moment. Or don’t forgive me. I’m used to it.

Jonah is correct to take a victory lap and to declare that he was right all along. He’s correct that he deserves his share and he is also correct that he is not alone. One person who doesn’t get enough credit is my favorite blogger on the Web: Allahpundit of the Hot Air blog.

Allahpundit writes at a site where, like most right-leaning sites, the comment section is populated by, to borrow a phrase from Montgomery Burns, slack-jawed troglodytes. His voice has been consistent. His criticism of Trump is everything Trump superfans claim to want (praise Trump when he does right, criticize him when he does wrong) but commenters there throw rotten fruit at him because his criticism is not what Trump superfans actually want (ignore the fact that most of what Trump does is stupid and self-involved, and just praise him no matter what). I can think of no higher compliment to a writer than to say that I model myself after him but I know I’ll never be as good. That’s definitely true of Allahpundit. He deserves to be more widely known. He’s as good a writer as anyone on the Web.

It’s relatively easy for someone like me to stick to his guns on Trump. I don’t earn my living writing this blog. Sure, it kind of sucks to lose readers and receive constant insults for one’s lack of fealty to the Great Orange Buffoon, but that’s fine. If I were a professional writer like Jonah or Allah, though, I’d really be putting something on the line. I admire these guys quite a bit. I don’t see Allah taking a victory lap like Jonah, but he deserves to whether he takes it or not. And so does Jonah. Few have stuck to their guns and remained level-headed and entertaining like him. Hats off to both of them.

116 Responses to “Jonah Goldberg: The Never Trumpers Have a Right to Gloat (Plus Bonus Praise for Allahpundit)”

  1. Very much agreed with basically everything you wrote. The hatred of AP by the commenters there is insane but also funny in a morbid way. Always tough to know how many actually believe what they write. I like to pretend many are trolling because it’s hard to understand people actually think that way.

    Stephen (050ce6)

  2. All hail Allahpundit. He’s great, though a conservative.

    Kyle (a00aa2)

  3. Gwain’s Ghost here on PP is also a very good writer.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  4. This part is really funny.

    The president is a deeply flawed and crude person with a thumbless grasp of the Constitution, the duties of his office, and the most rudimentary tenets of religion and traditional morality. Because this is so incandescently obvious, casting the Democrats as an existential threat to All We Hold Dear makes it a lot easier to overlook these things. Hence all of that “He’s our King David” gibberish from the early days of the Trump presidency. When you’re in a Manichean existential battle with the unholy Forces of Darkness, it’s much easier to overlook the adultery, greed, deceit, and corruption of your anointed champion.

    Thank you for linking!

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  5. @3, he and Dustin would make good guest bloggers.

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  6. Not sure he is correct.
    Election was all about Covid.
    He would have won in a landslide otherwise.

    J Morris (ae9309)

  7. Covid and (in)competence.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  8. Sure, spike the football.

    At some point we all need to move on and focus on the Biden Administration as a collective.

    Will we be able to?

    whembly (537f99)

  9. I vote with my bookmarks. Patterico’s Pontications! Allahpundit only when it’s linked here.

    He [Allah]may be good
    He may be fine
    He may get love
    But he won’t get mine
    Cause I got Patterico’s!

    nk (1d9030)

  10. At some point we all need to move on and focus on the Biden Administration as a collective.

    After January 20, 2021.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  11. I, too, have long been a fan of Allahpundit. He’s the very opposite of hackery: he’s willing to call out faults of people on any part of the political spectrum. As our country becomes increasingly polarized and drawn into political tribalism (party ueber alles), it’s refreshing to find such voices. I would include our gracious host, Patterico, in that number as well.

    Roger (782680)

  12. @11 Sure. Agreed.

    whembly (537f99)

  13. Goldberg is right that the NeverTrumpers won, but it would all the sweeter if at least one GOP Senator wins in GA next month.
    There’s a good reason AllahPundit doesn’t engage in his comment sections, but he’s been nailing it for months, years even.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  14. Whembly,

    It sure doesn’t sound like they want to work with the majority of the party, does it?

    NJRob (b51969)

  15. Sure, spike the football.

    At some point we all need to move on and focus on the Biden Administration as a collective.

    Will we be able to?

    whembly (537f99) — 12/7/2020 @ 9:41 am

    What Biden administration? Rudy and his crack team of lawyers are going to show that Trump really won. If the MSM won’t admit it Trump will immediately start running for the the 24 election and make sure to keep himself front and center in the news. 😀

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  16. Whembly,

    It sure doesn’t sound like they want to work with the majority of the party, does it?

    NJRob (b51969) — 12/7/2020 @ 10:24 am

    Using GOP congress as a representative the majority of the party is unwilling to speak out against unfounded accusation of election fraud and is instead supporting a conspiracy theory that’s toxic to our way of life. It’s hard to work with people who are deranged, dishonest, or lack enough love of country to admit the process produced a result they dislike.

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  17. Not sure he is correct.
    Election was all about Covid.
    He would have won in a landslide otherwise.

    J Morris (ae9309) — 12/7/2020 @ 9:29 am

    Trump’s been losing to a ‘generic democrat’ for over a year in the poling. So the dems found a Dem who was generic, non-threatening to the middle, and willing to sit in his basement and let Trump remind everyone why they can’t stand him.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  18. I am one who opposed Trump full-throatedly here in 2016, then woke up one day to see that he’d actually gotten elected. At which point the question became “is there a pony in here somewhere?” and I proceeded to see what parts of the sh1t sandwich seemed least inedible.

    Jonah, Allahpundit and Patterico didn’t budge. Maybe they were right, maybe not. We did get some things, notably judges, and we didn’t get some things, notably tax hikes and suffocating regulations.

    While any GOP president would have offed that, and more, this was the one we had and I tried to support what I could. The tax reform, in decreasing corporate rates, probably was good for the economy. The trade war was necessary. Still is, but I doubt we’ll continue. But the administration’s racism and limited respect for people will be the lasting impression people have, and its “management” of complex issues like health care left me thankful only for its ineffectiveness.

    This last year, though. Not only did Trump not rise to the occasion — handed a crisis that could have made a good president into a great president, instead it changed a poor president into a verkakte one.

    And, after losing, he compounded his failures by playing Sampson-in-the-temple. The only thing I will say in my defense is NO ONE had the imagination to say just how bad this would end.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  19. Trump’s headstone should read:

    NO PONY

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  20. Election was all about Covid.
    He would have won in a landslide otherwise.

    The election was about the president failing to handle a crisis. TFB.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  21. The challenge is that for most politics is just an exercise in spin and tribalism….we have major news networks that just don’t come to different conclusions, but can’t agree on basic facts. This breeds a severe lack of good faith….especially with respect to assessing Trump.

    Does Trump come across as:
    1. knowing a lot of facts and policy detail?
    2. having a clear and focused agenda?
    3. being a clear and inspiring communicator?
    4. maintaining the dignity of the office?
    5. being ethically scrupulous or at least working to appear it?
    6. finding ways to unite the country and work with our allies?
    7. having deep core beliefs?
    8. having learned from his mistakes and criticisms?
    9. taking his job with the utmost seriousness and responsibility?
    10. respecting the Constitution, our laws, and political norms?

    I think he rates low on everything….independent of what I think of Obama or Hillary. He was an awful choice. But lack of good faith frustrates an honest appraisal…because politics isn’t about that for many….it’s about being a fan….and it’s not clear how we get out of this.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  22. You know, if I had, or managed, a few billion dollars of investments it sure would have been helpful these past years to know what Trump was going to tweet each night. Over time you could have some decent gains.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  23. The trade war was necessary.

    I would narrow that, Kevin. A trade confrontation with China was necessary. Problem is, Trump’s so-called prescriptions–tariffs and more tariffs–were wrong. There were multiple other levers he could’ve used other than taxing the American people.
    We didn’t need a trade war to re-work NAFTA. We didn’t need a trade war with the EU.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  24. Trump lost but he isn’t done. Until he is done, I don’t think it’s time to gloat. Now, if you want to mock…

    Appalled (0d2a83)

  25. @15

    Whembly,

    It sure doesn’t sound like they want to work with the majority of the party, does it?

    NJRob (b51969) — 12/7/2020 @ 10:24 am

    Frankly, I don’t care if they want to gloat or spike the football at this time.

    But, coming January 20th, we’d better get over it and collectively come together to face the fact that the Biden Administration will be pushing crap we don’t like.

    whembly (537f99)

  26. Would have won in a landslide? At no point in his four year term did Trump have a positive favorability rating. Right now Biden is more popular than trump ever was. Even if you insist that all the polls are always wrong, it is still hard to see from where you get the positive evidence of his popularity. His campaign rallies.

    As to the theory of moving on, well

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKGjOE_7bYI

    Victor (4959fb)

  27. Sigh, there was supposed to a question mark at the end of “rallies”.

    Victor (4959fb)

  28. Frankly, I don’t care if they want to gloat or spike the football at this time.

    But, coming January 20th, we’d better get over it and collectively come together to face the fact that the Biden Administration will be pushing crap we don’t like.

    whembly (537f99) — 12/7/2020 @ 11:21 am

    Agreed, and it will be easier to do if Trump follows the norm of presidents who lost retreating from public life.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  29. Decades from now, while nut job Biden judges will still be issuing their nut job rulings, few will care or hardly remember what got NeverTrump so worked up.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  30. It’s too bad the GOP didn’t run a candidate that wasn’t an incompetent and corrupt garbage person so that we could avoid a president Biden.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  31. At some point we all need to move on and focus on the Biden Administration as a collective.
    Will we be able to?
    whembly (537f99) — 12/7/2020 @ 9:41 am

    If the media has its way, we won’t. The media knows Biden was a weak candidate and most likely will make a milquetoast president. They also know Harris won’t be popular with centrists and the right.

    So expect a barrage of Trump stories, even through the Biden administration, to distract from Biden himself.

    Hoi Polloi (3bc019)

  32. I would narrow that, Kevin. A trade confrontation with China was necessary. Problem is, Trump’s so-called prescriptions–tariffs and more tariffs–were wrong. There were multiple other levers he could’ve used other than taxing the American people.
    We didn’t need a trade war to re-work NAFTA. We didn’t need a trade war with the EU.
    Paul Montagu (77c694) — 12/7/2020 @ 11:02 am

    Don’t expect much push the Biden administration to do anything on China – trade, civil rights, etc. Trump may have handled it the wrong way, but at least he was willing to confront Beijing. Biden and the Democrats don’t have the stones to do it.

    Hoi Polloi (3bc019)

  33. #30 And the historians will recall — Mitch could have held up those guys. But Trump messed up the Georgia senate race with his rally and all the big Trump fans voted for Trump in the runoff and had their ballots tossed out.

    Appalled (0d2a83)

  34. I was somewhat surprised that Goldberg stayed consistently NeverTrump. As you note, it was certainly against self-interest. He’s just such a tribal creature from a line of tribal creatures with connections to several of Donnie’s fellow-travelers that I didn’t expect it. He does deserve credit for it.

    Spines grow in strange places.

    john (cd2753)

  35. Today, the 79th anniversary of “a day that will live in infamy,” Machinist’s Mate First Class Robert R. Scott, was among 15 Sailors awarded the Medal of Honor (of which 11 were awarded posthumously) for acts of valor on that day:

    “For conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and complete disregard of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. The compartment, in the U.S.S. California, in which the air compressor, to which Scott was assigned as his battle station, was flooded as the result of a torpedo hit. The remainder of the personnel evacuated that compartment but Scott refused to leave, saying words to the effect “This is my station and I will stay and give them air as long as the guns are going.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  36. Decades from now, while nut job Biden judges will still be issuing their nut job rulings, few will care or hardly remember what got NeverTrump so worked up.

    There won’t be any Biden judges.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  37. @37

    Decades from now, while nut job Biden judges will still be issuing their nut job rulings, few will care or hardly remember what got NeverTrump so worked up.

    There won’t be any Biden judges.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 12/7/2020 @ 11:45 am

    Rip… of course there will be Biden judges.

    Unless you’re advocating that Mitch McConnell (provided he’s still the Senate Leader) flat out refuse to confirm any judicial nominees?

    whembly (537f99)

  38. @3 Thank you for the compliment, Rip Murdock. It is very much appreciated.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  39. If the media has its way, we won’t. The media knows Biden was a weak candidate and most likely will make a milquetoast president. They also know Harris won’t be popular with centrists and the right.

    So expect a barrage of Trump stories, even through the Biden administration, to distract from Biden himself.

    Hoi Polloi (3bc019) — 12/7/2020 @ 11:39 am

    Even worse, Biden is boring and unlikely to drive an increase in advertising revenue due to increased viewership in the way Trump does. Combine this with Trumps already stated desire maintain his celebrity status and you don’t need a conspiracy theory.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  40. I would narrow that, Kevin. A trade confrontation with China was necessary. Problem is, Trump’s so-called prescriptions–tariffs and more tariffs–were wrong. There were multiple other levers he could’ve used other than taxing the American people.
    We didn’t need a trade war to re-work NAFTA. We didn’t need a trade war with the EU.
    Paul Montagu (77c694) — 12/7/2020 @ 11:02 am

    Don’t expect much push the Biden administration to do anything on China – trade, civil rights, etc. Trump may have handled it the wrong way, but at least he was willing to confront Beijing. Biden and the Democrats don’t have the stones to do it.

    Hoi Polloi (3bc019) — 12/7/2020 @ 11:41 am

    The Obama approach was the TPP; a multi-nation trade deal with China’s immediate neighbors that favored our interests (mostly around IP) and could have been used to bend China to our will as a price of entry without causing them to lose face. We won’t know if it would have worked but that was the strategy.

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  41. If there is a serious third party candidate for president in 2024, and Trump is the Republican nominee, he could come in third.

    But getting someone who could be taken seriously, who doesn’t have major drawbacks or limitations, is the problem.

    Sammy Finkelman (190428)

  42. Jonah Goldberg is irrelevant.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  43. Unless you’re advocating that Mitch McConnell (provided he’s still the Senate Leader) flat out refuse to confirm any judicial nominees?

    Sounds good to me.

    Rip Murdock (a048af)

  44. @44 Yeah… not going to happen. McConnell may prevent the truly looney left judges from being seated, but judges needed to be filled eventually. Maybe not as fast as the last 4 years, but judges are going to be confirmed.

    My hope is that McConnell exact some “price” for other things in good ol’ fashion horse trading.

    whembly (537f99)

  45. What incentive does Mitch have to approve any judge or any appointment? It’s not as if the success of the federal government will rebound to the credit of the Republicans or help in 2022 when he points to federal dysfunction as another reason to elect yet more obstructionists to Congress.

    Victor (4959fb)

  46. @15. ‘Birch! Birch! Birch!’ 😉

    “Well, that leaves just one thing… You’ve gotta evict some of the tenants.” – Frank Kelly [Lloyd Nolan] ‘Abandon Ship!’ 1957

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  47. The Never-Trumpers gloating should not matter to anyone.

    What should matter is the number of Never-Trumpers seeking to hand the Senate to the Democrats.

    Also commenting on news dishonestly based on how it would reflect on Trump (and/or his opponents).

    Also completely ignoring the potential of a Biden/Harris administration.

    They voted for it so I hope they enjoy it.
    _

    harkin (8fadc8)

  48. @46

    What incentive does Mitch have to approve any judge or any appointment? It’s not as if the success of the federal government will rebound to the credit of the Republicans or help in 2022 when he points to federal dysfunction as another reason to elect yet more obstructionists to Congress.

    Victor (4959fb) — 12/7/2020 @ 12:44 pm

    Because those seats has always been filled to certain degree. NOT filling ANY during the 4 years of your opponent’s administration is unheard of.

    The sh!tstorm McConnell faced for handling Garland would be a dust devil compared to any efforts to block any/all future Biden Judicial nominations.

    whembly (537f99)

  49. Never trumpers have one the battle (defeat of trump second term) ;but lost the war for the soul of the republican party. The republican party is now a trump led populist party. Free trade economic libertarian conservative never trumpers are not welcome back into the republican party. Their free trade donor class will be trumped by the progressive base of the republican party. I keep saying this ;but never trumpers think they will be welcome back into the republican party like trump thinks he won the election.

    asset (c9276d)

  50. The sh!tstorm McConnell faced for handling Garland…

    And blithely ignored. It didn’t cost him or the Republicans anything.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  51. @51 Rip… you’re hoping for a strategy that just hasn’t been done historically.

    Judges (and political appointees!) will be filled under the Biden administration, there’s no escaping that. Advocating for McConnell to block them ALL has never been done and would set an appalling precedent for when Senate and Whitehouse are held by opposing party. As such, I doubt the GOP Senate would entertain that.

    Now, a GOP Senate SHOULD flex their muscles such that whackadoos don’t get seated.

    If McConnell wants to maintain his divided governance/obstructionist preference, he simply needs to continually feed his graveyard of any Democrat passed House bills.

    whembly (537f99)

  52. I owe a big apology to Allahpundit. Back in the day, I considered him a squish and an elitist. I remember really hating him for throwing water on Fred (Fred!) Thompson’s campaign. Turns out he was totally right, and I was totally wrong. He saw what was happening with the right’s move toward populism and with it’s fetish for D-list celebrities.

    Atomic Amish (8bb82f)

  53. I keep saying this ;but never trumpers think they will be welcome back into the republican party like trump thinks he won the election.

    Saying it repeatedly doesn’t make it true. The NeverTrumpers I’ve heard & read are more likely to say they don’t want to belong to a party that overwhelmingly refuses to acknowledge (publicly, at least) the results of an election because they’re afraid of offending Dear Leader and his fanatical followers, or because they’ve gone deep into conspiracy territory themselves.

    Radegunda (b63b53)

  54. Jonah Goldberg is irrelevant.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 12/7/2020 @ 12:19 pm

    Guys like Goldberg and Bill Kristol have always been far more comfortable with the GOP working as controlled opposition than in actually being in charge of things. The NeverTrump stance was particularly beneficial for them because they could operate in the political realm where they felt the most at ease–complaining about stuff while not having to answer for whatever garbage results their supported policies brought about. As I’ve pointed out before, these guys haven’t actually gotten a win, politically speaking, since 2004 when Dubya was re-elected. Two years later, they got curb-stomped in the mid-terms, and then had to run McCain as a sacrificial lamb in 2008 because Bush had left the neocon brand politically toxic. Any wins the GOP has had since 2004, like it or not, have all been populist-driven, whether it was Tea Party candidates or Trump. Romney took what should have been a winnable contest and punted it, and then the corporate class had the brilliant idea to run Jeb in 2016, which is exactly what finally prompted Trump to declare his candidacy.

    What’s more pointed is this idea held by the Bush-era Republicans in the broader punditry that they’re going to be able to re-establish the GOP as a neo-Bush party. Working to get Democrats elected out of spite the last four years is not really the way to take back control of a party, especially when there is a history of bending over and giving in to the Democrats when the media says mean things about you. Why, honestly, should the GOP base trust them going forward? What have they empirically done for them in the last 16 years, and the last four in particular, that indicate that GOP voters would be better off working alongside the old guard?

    These guys are better off just starting up a third party promoting corporate globalism as a specific political platform, since they’ve willingly ceded the socio-cultural battlefield to the left over the last 30 years, whether it be in the government bureaucracies, education, mass media, or the corporate boardroom. They won’t win a thing because that will split up the conservative vote for the medium-term until the next political realignment takes place, but the last 16 years shows that they’re perfectly content to not win elections, anyway.

    Factory Working Orphan (31b64d)

  55. The only thing I will say in my defense is NO ONE had the imagination to say just how bad this would end.

    I generally avoid prognostication, but I’ll give myself credit for having responded to the “policy not personality!” mantra (before Covid) by observing that any president will probably be tested by unforeseen events, and that character and temperament are key to handling them in the best possible way, and that Trump had not demonstrated good character or a steady temperament.

    And while some dire predictions for the Trump presidency were certainly overwrought, the prediction that he would not accept electoral defeat with maturity and wisdom were spot-on.

    Radegunda (b63b53)

  56. the last 16 years shows that they’re perfectly content to not win elections, anyway.

    I think most of them would have preferred a GOP nominee who could have won the popular vote the first time around and then sustained enough public approval to get reelected.

    Radegunda (b63b53)

  57. I think most of them would have preferred a GOP nominee who could have won the popular vote the first time around and then sustained enough public approval to get reelected.

    Radegunda (b63b53) — 12/7/2020 @ 2:34 pm

    Based on their track record, the Bush-era Republicans certainly became rather passive about finding someone who could actually do that. Considering Dubya actually lost the popular vote in 2000 and was saved primarily in 2004 by GWOT anxiety, the party itself hasn’t actually managed to do what you assert since 1984.

    Corporate Republicans are a constituency without a party unless they want to join the Democrats, who fully control that segment of the socio-economic board now.

    Factory Working Orphan (a5a5b1)

  58. I would think NeverTrumpers’ gloating would be short, unless they want the GOP to fail. At some point, the political right will have to come together and rebuild the GOP at the presidential level. The GOP did better than expected in the 2020 election, presidential election aside. So there is an audience for what the political right can bring to the table. The problem lies with unifying the party for the next presidential election.

    Hoi Polloi (3bc019)

  59. @55. He’s been Buckley’d – and either refuses to realize it; or is terrified that he has.

    Glorious.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  60. @55.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Never_Trump_movement

    The entry on JG is most… entertaining. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  61. the party itself hasn’t actually managed to do what you assert since 1984.

    I wasn’t asserting anything beyond a belief that “they” would probably prefer winning over losing — though probably not “winning” at the expense of all other values. And I noted the obvious fact that Donald Trump is not the solution for getting a popular majority behind a GOP presidency.

    So when Trump defenders accuse Trump critics of being too content to lose elections, I don’t take them seriously.

    Radegunda (b63b53)

  62. I’ve heard “NeverTrumpers” in serious conversations about how the GOP can expand its electoral appeal, while the AlwaysTrumpers are trying to overturn an election and painting any pushback against Trump as a form of treason.

    Radegunda (b63b53)

  63. I wasn’t asserting anything beyond a belief that “they” would probably prefer winning over losing — though probably not “winning” at the expense of all other values.

    Where exactly has the GOP won on its “values” in the last 20 years, though? The last substantive policy document where these were even laid out was the Contract With America in 1994, and even that one ignored social issues almost entirely–an indication that the party leaders realized they were getting stomped in the culture war, and any engagement on that front was going to result in a loss, because they had no clue how to alter the media narrative in their favor. What ended up happening was they and Clinton decided to compromise on the fiscal front while the GOP conceded the social front entirely to the Democrats. Has ceding that battlefield ultimately been to the benefit of the GOP’s base, or has it resulted in their voice becoming increasingly marginalized if they don’t go along with the left-liberal consensus?

    It wasn’t the corporate Republican wing that got a lot of these abortion restriction bills passed at the state level, for example. It was the populist wing pushing them, and it was entirely in response to the Democrats going full-hog on abortion-on-demand in blue states.

    It’s one thing to appeal to a vague plank like “values,” but when was the last time the corporate Republican wing held the line and defeated the Democrats on that front, rather than look for some way to get half a loaf and give up 3/4 of it in the process?

    Factory Working Orphan (31b64d)

  64. Jonah, Allahpundit and Patterico have been my beacons of hope and sanity these last four years.

    Dave (1bb933)

  65. @55. He’s been Buckley’d – and either refuses to realize it; or is terrified that he has.

    Glorious.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 12/7/2020 @ 3:08 pm

    Goldberg’s greatest weakness is that he’s always argued like someone who thinks that policy is the only thing in politics or culture that matters. Waaaay back when Dennis the Peasant was still blogging, he pointed out that “Liberal Fascism” completely ignored the left-wing’s Will to Power in favor of a “librulz r da reel racists”-type of narrative. He thinks that by pointing out left-wing hypocrisy or inconsistency on policy, he can convince moderates to be more sympathetic to right-wing policies, because of the question-begging pretense that the right-wing is supposed to be more “principled.”

    He seems to seriously believe that ordinary people won’t look at the last 40 years of Republican politicians failing to live up to those supposed conservative principles, failing to defend conservative values in anything but the most milquetoast bromides, or pointing to a single success while deflecting from multiple defeats or betrayals. Granted, they were able to control the party for a good 25-plus years based on that one success–winning the Cold War–but in the end, the Democrats were always far better at answering the question Janet Jacksom proposed: “what have you done for me lately?”

    Factory Working Orphan (124f11)

  66. An asset to this comment section wrote:

    I keep saying this ;but never trumpers think they will be welcome back into the republican party like trump thinks he won the election.

    The Never Trumpers won’t be welcomed back into the Republican Party, but I doubt many want to return. After all, President Trump, sadly, lost the election, but there were still 73,000,000+ people, the vast majority of whom are Republicans, who voted for him. Surely the Never Trumpers wouldn’t want to associate with such boorish people.

    But they won’t be welcomed by the Democrats, either, because they are too conservative for the left, and they’d always be viewed with suspicion. The left were happy to have their votes and their money, but their actual policy opinions? Nope, no thanks.

    Does anyone think that there’s a political home for the likes of Max Boot or Jennifer Rubin? Bill Kristol lost his old magazine, The Weekly Standard, when he went all out Never Trump, and alienated his audience, but the Democratic Party of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has no place for a neo-conservative.

    The American political system of single-member districts with pluralities winning elections naturally defaults to a two-party system; we’ve had no successful party other than the Democrats and Republicans since the Whigs, and the GOP exists as the replacement for the Whigs. The Libertarian Party was ‘officially’ formed in 1971, but has not won a single gubernatorial, state legislative or congressional seat in all of that time. If you bother to look at the Libertarian Party’s website and list of elected Libertarians, you will never see a more thorough list of borough auditors, water commissioners and dogcatchers. The only success the Green Party has had was to deliver Florida for George W Bush in 2000. 🙂

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  67. Time123 (b4d075) — 12/7/2020 @ 11:28 am

    if Trump follows the norm of presidents who lost retreating from public life.

    He’s more likely to be retweeting things that come from public life.

    Sammy Finkelman (a1f34f)

  68. Mr Murdock wrote:

    The sh!tstorm McConnell faced for handling Garland…

    And blithely ignored. It didn’t cost him or the Republicans anything.

    Despite being outspent $88 million to $55 million by Amy McGrath Henderson, Senator McConnell won re-election by a larger margin than over any of his previous opponents except the token one in 2002, and even there, it wasn’t by much.

    Instead of Merrick Garland, we got Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. And the Court has now instructed the lower courts to review the rejections of injunctions for California churches in light of the ruling in Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v Cuomo.

    Does anyone think that our freedom of religion would have been protected had Mr Garland been on the Court rather than Mr Gorsuch? Remember: it still took Ruth Ginsburg going to her eternal reward to protect our rights.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  69. One of the most obnoxious things about Trump, and something that is a big tell, is his use of exclamation points in his tweets. The President of the United States should never, ever, have a need to use this form of punctuation. The leader of the most powerful country in the world does not need to add emphasis to his words; the words are inherently powerful because of the office. Thus, a simple period will suffice to end a sentence. Anything else just looks buffoonish.

    What ever happened to “speak softly and carry a big stick”?

    norcal (a5428a)

  70. @64 Most of the time over the last 20 yrs “conservative values” culture war issues have won on “I want the right to decide what I want to do with my life” issues and lost on “I want the right to tell you what to do with your life” issues. Interesting this seems entirely consistent with the conservative American value of individualism, so, theoretically speaking, you could say that conservative values have most often won, even while the culture war values have often lost.

    Nic (896fdf)

  71. Off topic, but I’m guessing that our esteemed host will not be able to comment on this one: LA County DA Gascon To Eliminate Cash Bail, Will Re-Sentence Death Penalty Inmates.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  72. 70. He didn’t have any black person in the top four cabinet positions.

    This is a form of patronage except it doesn’t really help the people lobbying for these jobs to be given to a person of background N.

    Biden has two goals:

    1) To make sure that people who voted for him see themselves represented.

    2) Not to allow that to affect policy.

    With policy, he also wants to give people the feeling that he is aware of them and their situation. That;s one reason actually for 1)

    Sammy Finkelman (a1f34f)

  73. @64 Most of the time over the last 20 yrs “conservative values” culture war issues have won on “I want the right to decide what I want to do with my life” issues and lost on “I want the right to tell you what to do with your life” issues. Interesting this seems entirely consistent with the conservative American value of individualism, so, theoretically speaking, you could say that conservative values have most often won, even while the culture war values have often lost.

    Nic (896fdf) — 12/7/2020 @ 5:59 pm

    That sounds downright libertarian, Nic. 🙂

    norcal (a5428a)

  74. Interesting this seems entirely consistent with the conservative American value of individualism, so, theoretically speaking, you could say that conservative values have most often won, even while the culture war values have often lost.

    Nic (896fdf) — 12/7/2020 @ 5:59 pm

    “The Uncoventional Conservatism of Giving Four-Year-Olds Hormone Blockers.”

    Factory Working Orphan (f2abc6)

  75. @76 “Imaginary things that don’t actually happen.”

    Nic (896fdf)

  76. Whembly @52-
    @51 Rip… you’re hoping for a strategy that just hasn’t been done historically
    So what? A lot of things have been done during the past 4 years that haven’t been done in the past. The best thing McConnell has done is protecting the judiciary from Democrat judges.

    Rip Murdock (ca74e6)

  77. Government ruining one business at a time. We used to understand government was the problem, not the solution. What changed?

    Naturally, surviving business owners are irate.

    “I’ve been walking around the city nonstop talking to small businesses owners and every story is sadder than the next,” said Rory Cox, the founder of the newly-formed San Francisco Small Business Alliance. “Everyone is like, ‘I wake up every day and I don’t know how much longer I can do this. I had 60 employees but now all I have is six, or now it’s only me.’ These are family businesses, these are moms and dads, brothers and sisters. I feel firmly we’re the backbone of the city. And they’re destroying us, they’re ripping us apart, they’re tearing out the heart and soul of the city.”

    “I’m most frustrated by the level of investment and commitment my teams and I have made to safety, sanitation, distancing and the like, only to be rewarded by this shutdown,” Don Berger, the owner of Sport Clips Barbershops’ three locations in the East Bay, wrote in an email. “We’ve worked diligently to install new protocols and spent thousands of dollars on supplies and training. We’ve not ONE known virus outbreak in our business, yet, we must close.”

    https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Bay-Area-stay-at-home-lockdown-small-business-new-15778317.php

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  78. @77 “We’re already normalizing it, and you’ll accept it or we’ll call you a bigot.”

    Factory Working Orphan (f2abc6)

  79. @80 Honest question: Are you a QAnon believer?

    norcal (a5428a)

  80. It’s one thing to appeal to a vague plank like “values,”

    When did the GOP say its plank was, vaguely, “values”?
    The latest GOP plank was essentially “We support Donald Trump.”
    Now the GOP is supporting his refusal to accept the results of an election and indulging his efforts to overturn it. Which is not really a way to promote conservative values.

    Radegunda (b63b53)

  81. @79 It troubles me greatly that businesses are being destroyed by these Covid restrictions. Government leaders face a difficult decision. Let ICU beds fill up to the point that hospitals can’t care for the very sick, or wipe out businesses with draconian health mandates.

    I’m on the side of letting businesses do their thing, and letting the chips fall where they may, but keep in mind that all too many Americans will trade freedom for the barest hint of safety. Plus, a TV news story about people dying because the hospitals are full will likely cause a greater public furor than a story about businesses failing.

    norcal (a5428a)

  82. You know, Radegunda, if there’s one thing that comes to mind when I hear “values”, it’s Donald Trump. 🙂

    norcal (a5428a)

  83. @80 Nobody is going to give hormone blockers to 4 yr olds. Hormone blockers would be entirely ineffective in 4 yr olds.

    Don’t make up extreme and non-existent scenarios to try to make your point, the only people who will take you seriously are those already pre-disposed to panicking about whatever issue you are discussing.

    Nic (896fdf)

  84. Norcal,

    when people who owned or worked at these businesses are destitute and bankrupt, where will they turn? Do you think they’ll be grateful that they didn’t “die from the virus?”

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  85. I agree with you, Rob.

    Alas, all too often lefty authoritarians don’t understand the economic impact of their decisions. They’ve studied too much philosophy and not enough economics. They don’t see the hidden suffering and death that results from bad economic policy.

    norcal (a5428a)

  86. Pfizer tells U.S. officials it cannot supply substantial additional vaccine until late June or July

    Pfizer has told the Trump administration it cannot provide substantial additional doses of its coronavirus vaccine until late June or July because other countries have rushed to buy up most of its supply, according to multiple individuals familiar with the situation.

    That means the U.S. government may not be able to ramp up as rapidly as it had expected from the 100 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine that it purchased earlier this year, raising questions about whether it can keep to its aggressive schedule to vaccinate most Americans by late spring or early summer.
    ……..
    Last summer, Pfizer officials had urged Operation Warp Speed to purchase 200 million doses, or enough of the two-shot regimen for 100 million people, according to people knowledgeable about the issue who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the situation. But the Warp Speed officials declined, opting instead for 100 million doses, they said. The New York Times first reported that federal officials passed on the opportunity when Pfizer offered to sell more doses.
    ……..
    Putting Americans first!

    Rip Murdock (ca74e6)

  87. When did the GOP say its plank was, vaguely, “values”?
    The latest GOP plank was essentially “We support Donald Trump.”

    Radegunda (b63b53) — 12/7/2020 @ 8:04 pm

    So you’re conceding that “values” was nothing more than a buzzword?

    Factory Working Orphan (f2abc6)

  88. @85 Yeah, it’s not like the left is promoting transgenderism for young children as a positive good or anything like that.

    Factory Working Orphan (f2abc6)

  89. Yeah, it’s not like the left is promoting transgenderism for young children as a positive good or anything like that.

    Exactly, no one on the left, nor anyone else, is doing the thing you keep implying that is happening, it’s not a thing, it’s people like you trying to gaslight people by building a straw man (child) then touching it in icky ways. Please, provide a reputable example of a 4 year old being given hormones for the purpose you are discribing.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  90. @90 It’s literally not forcing hormone blockers for 4 yr olds. My original point remains true. Recent court decisions have reinforced traditional American individualism rather than cultural issues, which is a win for American political conservatism.

    If you want to have a real discussion on transgenderism in children re child development and psychology, I would certain be willing to talk with you about the various medical and psychological viewpoints, but IMO it shouldn’t be about politics at all.

    Nic (896fdf)

  91. “Lie and keep lying.” — Roy Cohn to Donald Trump.

    The lesson took and Trump passed it on to his fanbois.

    nk (1d9030)

  92. Exactly, no one on the left, nor anyone else, is doing the thing you keep implying that is happening, it’s not a thing, it’s people like you trying to gaslight people by building a straw man (child) then touching it in icky ways.

    Woof, the denial here is off the charts.

    Factory Working Orphan (f2abc6)

  93. Anyone touching a child and trying to change their biological sex should be castrated. Yes, I went there.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  94. Just a sample of articles in the last five years:

    NPR: “At Age 3 — Transitioning From Jack To Jackie”
    Reuters: “U.S. parents accept children’s transgender identity by age three”
    Mirror: “My girl became the youngest trans toddler… at just three years of age”
    Forbes: “Texas Is Afraid Of A 7-Year-Old Transgender Girl”
    CBS (from 2012): “Sex-change treatment for kids on the rise”

    Conservative values!

    Factory Working Orphan (f2abc6)

  95. BTW, I disagree that NeverTrumpers have a right to gloat. They should be hanging their heads in shame for losing early on. That Trump got the nomination was the result of competing self-centered opponents who each “used” Trump to get over on the others until there were no others to get over on.

    This is a mistake that NeverBernie didn’t make. Not in 2016 and not in 2020.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  96. @97 Are you sure, Kevin? Trump was such a sensation in 2016 that he may have prevailed even if his Republican opponents culled themselves. I guess we’ll never know.

    norcal (a5428a)

  97. @96 So you want the government to tell families how to treat their child’s transgender issues, rather than have it be a private decision by the family? Having the government make decisions for a family doesn’t seem very politically conservative.

    @95 Like most issues, the issue itself is more complicated than the rhetoric. There can be legitimate and complicated medical and psychological issues that don’t lend themselves to sloganizing.

    Nic (896fdf)

  98. The only thing I will say in my defense is NO ONE had the imagination to say just how bad this would end.
    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/7/2020 @ 10:40 am

    I don’t fault you for being surprised, but don’t say no one imagined it. To many, myself included, Trump has been exactly what we expected him to be, and nothing more or less than his prior history suggested he would be.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  99. and the republican slime {mitch and his gang} will never win again
    i am sending money to the two dems in the peach state. Go dems go.

    mg (8cbc69)

  100. I remember Steve Bannon exactly the same thing 4 years ago. I think Mitch will be where Mitch wants to be, much as many of us don’t like it.

    JRH (52aed3)

  101. #101

    This Georgian thanks you.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  102. Nic wrote:

    @80 Nobody is going to give hormone blockers to 4 yr olds. Hormone blockers would be entirely ineffective in 4 yr olds.

    Don’t make up extreme and non-existent scenarios to try to make your point, the only people who will take you seriously are those already pre-disposed to panicking about whatever issue you are discussing.

    While the details are wrong, then 11-year-old “Jazz” Jennings was given puberty blockers when he was 11 years old. This stupid [insert slang tern for feces here] does happen when stupid liberals are parents.

    He didn’t want to be a boy, and his parents went along with his mental illness. Eventually, when he was old enough to undergo castration and mutilation ‘gender reassignment surgery,’ his prepubescent male genitals led to problems. There wasn’t enough of his child’s penis to form it into a faux vagina. Mr Jennings isn’t the first ‘male to female’ transsexual to have this problem.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  103. JRH wrote:

    I think Mitch will be where Mitch wants to be, much as many of us don’t like it.

    But many of us Kentuckians do like it! Senator McConnell received 1,233,315 votes, or 57.76%, while Amy McGrath Henderson pulled in just 816,257 votes, 38.23%. Libertarian nominee Brad Barron win 85,386 votes, or 4.00%.

    And yes, of course I voted for Mr McConnell.

    The Dana in Kentucky (facd7c)

  104. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/7/2020 @ 10:40 am

    And, after losing, he compounded his failures by playing Samson-in-the-temple. The only thing I will say in my defense is NO ONE had the imagination to say just how bad this would end.

    Some predicted he would contest the results. What they didn’t predict is how many people he would fool.

    https://www.denverpost.com/2020/12/07/why-do-so-many-americans-think-the-election-was-stolen (no pay wall)

    Also here: https://www.startribune.com/how-can-so-many-americans-believe-the-election-was-stolen/573324161/

    There have been few surprises this past month in how Donald Trump has dealt with the reality of his electoral defeat.

    Anyone familiar with his career could have predicted that he would claim to have been cheated out of victory. Anyone watching how he wielded power (or, more often, didn’t) as president could have predicted that his efforts to challenge the election results would be embarrassing, ridiculous and dismissed with prejudice in court.

    And anyone watching how the Republican Party dealt with his ascent could have predicted that its leaders would mostly avoid directly rebuking him, relying instead on the inertial forces of American democracy, the conscientiousness of judges and local officialdom, and Trump’s own incompetence to turn back his final power grab.

    So far, so predictable. But speaking as a cynical observer of the Trump era, one feature of November did crack my jaded shell a bit: the sheer scale of the belief among conservatives that the election was really stolen, measured not just in polling data but in conversations and arguments, online and in person, with people I would not have expected to embrace it….

    Now his analysis isn;t really so good.

    It’s happening because it’s coming to them from a lot of sources, and people are ignorant of the way voting systems are set up, and the “argument” actually goes over people’s heads, but the people making the arguments talk like they make sense, and because it’s not getting point by point rebuttals all across the board.

    Sammy Finkelman (63d78b)

  105. You do know that dry breakfast cereals (“milk provides substantial nutrition”) are animal feed — pig swill and chicken feed — sugared, colored, flavored, packaged prettily, and heavily advertised, right? And have made Kellogg’s very rich and Battle Creek, Michigan famous? And people not only buy them and serve them to their kids every day but wouldn’t even dream of not doing so? Well …?

    nk (1d9030)

  106. nk,

    I can’t even remember the last time I had that kind of gussied up junk food masquerading as breakfast. It has to be sometime in the 70s. I thought it was fabulous as a kid, but now it’s just repulsive.

    norcal (a5428a)

  107. @104 There are a lot of reasons for transgenderism. some of them are biological, some of them are societal, some of them may be mental illness. I can’t say what Jazz’ issues were, I’m not the parents or their doctor. I have noticed that men are most squicked out by boys transitioning to girls. D’you think the problem is the idea of the penis surgery? 😛

    @107 Mostly I find it amusing that breakfast cereal was invented to prevent.. er.. self-love.

    Nic (896fdf)

  108. Mostly I find it amusing that breakfast cereal was invented to prevent.. er.. self-love.

    Say what?

    nk (1d9030)

  109. Never mind.

    nk (1d9030)

  110. @110 Look up why Kellogg invented breakfast cereal. No, I am not kidding.

    Nic (896fdf)

  111. I did. That’s why I said “Never mind.”

    nk (1d9030)

  112. Ah, sorry then.

    Nic (896fdf)

  113. nk (1d9030) — 12/8/2020 @ 6:32 pm

    And people not only buy them and serve them to their kids every day but wouldn’t even dream of not doing so? Well …?

    They usually add vitamins to them – sometimes too much.

    I stopped eating them, with few exceptions, a long long time ago. I used to have salmon or sardines after that, and later stated woth that. but now they don;t taste good

    Third is farmer cheese or cottage cheese.

    But now I usually start with some cakes – the better, more solid, nutritious ones. Only some.

    As for what corn flakes was supposed to do, that is clearly snake oil. Wasn’t it supposed to help digestion?

    Sammy Finkelman (63d78b)

  114. As for what corn flakes was supposed to do, that is clearly snake oil.

    My thought exactly, Sammy. There was a lot of that going around at the time, which led to the Pure Food and Drug Act and to the FDA.

    nk (1d9030)


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