Of blacklists and #NeverTrump

posted at 10:41 am on March 21, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

I was somewhat tempted to begin this particular segment of the Trump fueled Republican Civil War Journal by saying we’ve reached a new low point, but that phrase seems to have lost most of its meaning these days. It goes without saying that any supplications to those who would rather see the building burn down around them than accept the new tenant have been flatly rejected, but there are signs that the divisions within the party are in danger of cracking the foundation well beyond this November. Perhaps the best (worst?) example of this showed up in my mailbox over the weekend in the form of a new proposal from former Ted Cruz communications advisor and speechwriter Amanda Carpenter.

While we’ve had our differences of opinion at times, Amanda and I actually have a few things in common. Chief among those is that we’re both supporting Ted Cruz in this primary battle. But one area where we definitely reach a parting of the ways is in deciding whether or not the real problem to be dealt with is a primary contender who we don’t view as the best choice for the GOP or everyone who is willing to support him. Amanda has clearly laid out the battle lines now by calling for a permanent blacklist of anyone and everyone who endorses or supports Donald Trump.

Call it a boycott, call it a blackball, call it a blacklist, call it whatever you want. I’m done with these folks and other conservatives should be, too. Anyone who will defend a man condoning random acts of violence at his rallies has lost his morals; he will defend anything at all.

So, I’d like to remember who supported Trump so I never give any kind of credence to their judgment. “Never Trump” means never those who support him as well.

Here is the list of current federal and state GOP officials, former Republican officials, and private citizens who have formally endorsed Trump if anyone else is interested in joining me. Each and every one of his endorsers should be held accountable in their future elections or political ventures.

That’s not a proposal to agree to disagree… it’s a declaration of war. And some of the names already on Carpenter’s enemy list should give everyone in the party pause before continuing. Pam Bondi? Jan Brewer? Jeff Sessions and Tom Marino? And, for the love of Tea Party history and rogues around the nation… Sarah Palin??? You’re seriously asking the conservative movement to never again let Sarah Palin darken their doorways.

But it’s not just a blacklist of everyone who has already actively endorsed Trump. As Robert Costa reported yesterday, the #NeverTrump Super PACs are staking out Trump’s movements in DC to collect the names of any Republicans who dare to even meet with him.

Among those who might so much as consider having a conversation with Trump is Tom Cotton. You remember Tom, right? I seem to recall quite a few of you having him on the short list for a future VP slot or even an eventual GOP presidential bid. And also on Amanda’s list are a host of state and federal lawmakers who, in the not too distant future, may be friendly voices with votes which could be desperately needed on conservative agenda items.

Our colleague Leon Wolf at RedState was quick to jump on board with this proposal, but as my friend Chris said on Twitter last night, some of these people seriously need to chill the **** out. This disease has spread far and fast enough by now. It’s insanity.

This has been a hallmark of this boisterous season in general and the #NeverTrump movement in particular. In a typical year, various factions of the GOP base will line up behind the candidate they prefer and try to ensure they win the contest. This year it’s primarily about crushing someone running for the nomination within our own tent, no matter the cost or the need to switch from supporting one candidate to the next like most people change socks. All thoughts of stopping Hillary Clinton have pretty much gone out the window in this new, ostensibly conservative doctrine.

Given the abject failure I’ve encountered in the past when trying to find some sort of path to peace for the warring tribes when this is finally over, I’m not at all optimistic that this message will have any impact on the various conservative “thought leaders” who are jumping on board. But it’s a big country full of many, many people who count themselves as part of either the conservative movement or the Republican Party. Perhaps our one saving grace is that they don’t tend to suffer from herd mentality syndrome. It’s at least worth hoping that the vast majority of the rank and file aren’t completely in thrall to these loud voices with powerful megaphones in social media. That hope is reinforced by the fact that nobody could have predicted that so many of them would be voting for Trump in the first place.

Look… this is all going to be over sooner or later. Trump may (very likely) wind up being the nominee. Or perhaps he won’t and Ted Cruz will. Somebody will win the general election in November and then this will all be over one way or the other. And when it is we’re going to have to pick up the pieces and move on as we always do. Do you really want to carry around an enemies list for the rest of your life like some tawdry scene out of a 1950s Hollywood script? Do you seriously think you’re going to split off and go reform the Whig Party or join the Libertarians in their lonely club of perpetual electoral losers? Oh, the Democrats must be absolutely wetting themselves over the prospect.

Calm down, citizens. This too shall pass.

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