I don’t know. The news of the day is that Trump loyalist Rudy Giuliani is joining Trump loyalist Chris Christie on the unemployment line while NeverTrumper Mitt Romney remains a top contender for Secretary of State. How badly could we be doing, really?
I guess Romney no longer counts as a NeverTrumper, though, which will remain true (for awhile) even if he ends up being passed over for State. He’ll have sold out for a pat on the head. What a pity. But no worries: The spirit of Trump-skeptic conservatism continues to burn brightly in all sorts of people. There’s me, Ben Shapiro, Rick Wilson, Tom Nichols, Evan McMullin, uh….
Come to think of it, that might be it. It’s certainly not burning in the Republican caucuses in Congress:
To understand the spell Trump has cast on the Republican Party, just listen to the members of the House Republican Conference these days: The same gang that made slashing spending their singular cause in Congress are now entertaining — and in many cases embracing — the president-elect’s pitch to pump billions into the economy in the form of a massive infrastructure package…
The irony, expressed privately by lawmakers and leadership aides, is glaring. Privately, House Republicans complain that Trump’s infrastructure plan reeks of Obama’s stimulus package (though some argue that Trump, unlike Obama, is likely to rely on public-private partnerships, not just federal dollars, and is likely to be paid for). They say his tariff proposal is ridiculous and using the White House to force companies to stay in the U.S. is inappropriate.
Many are afraid to publicly oppose Trump because of his fondness for retribution and use of Twitter to publicly shame his critics. So now, they’re left crossing their fingers that his rhetoric doesn’t translate into actual policy proposals next year.
Reacting to that same excerpt, Shapiro remembered that during the campaign righties were encouraged to put aside ideological objections to Trump in the interest of defeating Clinton. Supposedly, once the White House was safely won, then conservative discipline could and would be imposed on him. That was also a reason not to worry about Trump’s authoritarian tendencies, allegedly. Republicans in Congress would check him. We NeverTrumpers thought it was more likely that congressional Republicans would roll over and let Trump scratch their bellies, but we lost the argument. Now here we are, still weeks away from his inauguration, and House “conservatives” are already worried that they may have to rubber-stamp a gigantic infrastructure boondoggle or else Trump will be mean to them on Twitter. I had to laugh this morning as I read this new op-ed by Ted Cruz (and Rep. Ron DeSantis) calling for a constitutional amendment that would limit senators to two terms and representatives to three. This Congress, which is going to trash everything it supposedly believed about small government in order to avoid Trump-inspired primary challenges, is then going to turn around and impose term limits on itself? Is Cruz kidding? Is he going to oppose a trillion-dollar stimulus? If his term-limits amendment goes nowhere, will he voluntarily limit himself to two terms in the Senate?
I’ll leave you with another quote from Trump’s rally today: “President Obama, who by the way I’ve gotten along with so well. No, no, no, he’s really doing great. He’s been so nice.”