But it was under Bush 43 that Republicans lost control of Congress. It was under his watch that the United States went into Iraq and Afghanistan, with no end in sight. The Bushes, Trump implied, with their emphasis on civility and manners, were good losers. Bushies within Never Trump were willing to lose to Hillary Clinton; Trump beat her.

When Bush stopped winning, conservatives became more willing to take issue with his policies and decisions. Some pent-up conservative criticism was let out after Bush nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, but as it became clear the 2006 elections were going to result in a Democratic landslide, the dam finally burst.

Right now, Trump is the winner. He won states Republicans haven’t carried at the presidential level since the 1980s. While his boast that he has set some kind of Electoral College record is false, he is the first Republican to clear 300 electoral votes since 1988. Democrats have done it four times in that time period.

Trump’s wins have improved conservative morale. So has the fact that while his tweets and temperament might have been as anti-Trump conservatives, he has done more conservative things in office than his right-wing detractors led them to expect.