The frustration of the anti-Trump Republicans

Commentators from the #Resistance are furious. Evidently they believe they can claim ownership of conservatives who articulate even a slightly Trump-ambivalent position. Online, here’s how this usually goes down: Rogue Republican speaks out against an ill-advised initiative of the president’s. Twitter user shares message to the effect of “If you’re serious about X issue, prove it. Caucus with the Democrats and remove the Republicans from the Senate majority.”

What these progressives miss is that Republicans who speak out against the president don’t do so in spite of their conservative credentials; they act to maintain the consistency of their beliefs. Jeff Flake, for instance, received a score of 100 percent on the Club for Growth’s annual report card in 2017. Corker boasted a 100 percent pro-life rating on his campaign website before he declined to seek reelection last fall. Renegade members of the GOP caucus speak out on different issues at different junctures, but their efforts are not necessarily a revolutionary stand against the president, just an attempt to conserve what they know to be right — and Right.