And yet, even at this particular nadir, the conservative intellectual forces rallying against the president remain dispirited and divided. There is dispute within the ranks, not just over how best to make the case against Trump but whether there is a coherent case at all. Looking forward, they don’t see salvation. It is an article of faith among the ranks that Trump will be challenged by a Republican in the 2020 presidential election.
But there is no agreement on who is best to do it, save for the emerging consensus that he (or she) will almost assuredly be trounced.
“We are going to have another primary election at some point and someone is going to run against him, that’s a lock. And the question then is going to be: Are all those people going to fight over who the best person to oppose him is, or are they going to support the person who could best beat him in a primary?” said Rory Cooper, a former staffer to one-time House majority leader Eric Cantor. “If there was a movement, there would be some definition of what the goals are rather than just screaming from the highest rooftop about how terrible Trump is.”