There’s no Republican civil war

There is no GOP civil war. Tuesday’s terrible attack and Monday’s indictments knocked the meme of such a conflict off the front pages, but it will return. When it does, recall that it just isn’t true.

There’s a loud, persistent group of President Trump critics who apparently never learned the concept of “sunk costs,” and there’s former Trump strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who knows that there’s profit and power to be found in exploiting the anger of the Never Trumpers and the anti-Never Trumpers. But this doesn’t amount to a civil war, only a series of skirmishes on the fringes of the party and among its chattering Manhattan-Beltway class estranged from Trump.

The Never Trump movement has become a long-running version of “Saturday Night Live’s” “More Cowbell” skit. It seems every column, editorial, television appearance, panel participation and probably every trip to Safeway must include a Never Trumper’s own version of Cato the Elder’s “Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam” — “Furthermore, I consider that Carthage must be destroyed.” Admiring lookers-on then respond via tweet or Facebook post: “Well done! But it could use more cowbell.” And so more cowbell we get.