What conservative movement?

I must take issue with the claim here that NeverTrumpers were rooting for an Ossoff victory last night. I for one had the time of my life on social media watching Democrats light $23 million on fire.

Other NeverTrumpers did rue Handel’s victory but not out of mere spite for Trump. They see midterm disaster ahead if the GOP doesn’t produce a more salable health-care bill and rein in Trump’s self-destructive tendencies on the Russiagate probe. An Ossoff win would have been a bucket of cold water in Ryan’s and McConnell’s faces, sobering them up. As it is, they may stumble right off a cliff:

But a big win is not the same thing as good news. The special elections of May and June 2017 offered Republicans a last chance for a course correction before the 2018 election cycle starts in earnest. A loss in Georgia would have sent a message of caution. The victory discredits that argument, and empowers those who want Trumpism without restraint, starting with the president himself.

Trump has practiced rare circumspection over the past week. When he departed for Camp David on Saturday, journalists prepared themselves for a weekend firing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Instead, the president for once kept cool. Whatever intervention was staged, it worked. Will it now continue to work? Remember when Donald Trump tweeted that outlier Rasmussen poll showing him with 50 percent approval? Not many people took that poll seriously, including Trump’s own people. But the president believed it, and his belief has now seemingly been ratified. Trump will hear loud and clear the message: “I’m getting away with this. My voters are sticking with me. Let Trump be Trump. Dial it up!”

Point taken but I think the unspoken promise of a Trump presidency is that he must, at some point, get as crazy with the proverbial cheez whiz as he can get. Fire Mueller, fire Rosenstein, pass a health-care bill with a few trillion in Medicaid cuts — let’s see where this roller-coaster’s going. A reined-in Trump presidency is like an “Apprentice” episode that ends with nobody being fired. What’d you watch for, then? There’s supposed to be a payoff.

Rush, by the way, is admirably blunt here about “anti-leftism” lying at the core of what remains of “conservatism.” That’s exactly right. You can like it or lament it, but it is what it is.