Can conservatives be a loyal opposition?

What hope is left for conservatives who oppose Donald Trump? If Michael Gerson is a reliable barometer of what the Never Trump crowd is thinking these days, it’s clear from his latest Washington Post column that he has as little to offer now as any of the other die-hard opponents of the president did last year as they watched in horror as a populist reality star took possession of their political home.

The problem isn’t just that Gerson hasn’t any non-disastrous options to offer Republicans who are appalled by the president’s unpresidential behavior and largely dysfunctional administration. It’s that he believes their top priority must still be to exorcise the specter of Trump from their party at all costs. But in doing so, they would be forgetting that the focus of their political thought and action should not be on keeping their distance from Trump but on how best to advance conservative principles and those of the nation. And like it or not, that means coming to terms with the fact that Donald Trump is president.

The premise of Gerson’s piece is that Trump is an irredeemable creature whose numerous faults are such that they will destroy not only him and his administration but also all who are associated with it. He sees no possibility for compromise and thinks that to do anything other than to oppose Trump is to “be corrupted and stained” and ultimately “morally and politically discredited.”