Charles C. W. Cooke offers up a cri de coeur, imploring conservatives to get serious about taking down Donald Trump. Among the profusion of recent anti-Trump commentary, Cooke's piece stands out. He laments the enormous opportunity the GOP is close to squandering by not rejecting the vulgar demagogue and he suggests a war strategy - he calls it a Manhattan Project - to attack Trump with everything the anti-Trump forces have at their disposal. And, as he makes clear, there is much they could use. One hopes that his words are heeded and that it is not too late.
Far from being at the bottom of its fortunes, the GOP is in fact coming to the end of a long, slow, tough effort to rebuild after the disaster of 2008 — an effort that would benefit everybody involved if it could be completed. At present, the party’s primary national problem is that it does not run the White House, and, therefore, cannot overcome the final constitutional hurdle to ushering in significant nationwide change despite its huge power in the House, its small advantage in the Senate, and its considerable presence in the states. If Donald Trump were to be the party’s nominee — and if his being so were to do to both the presidential and down-ballot races what polling suggests it would — this problem would not be solved so much as reset from scratch.
...And if that should happen? Well, suffice it to say that it would be an unmitigated, unalloyed, potentially unsalvageable disaster. For the first time in years, the Right’s defenses would be completely destroyed, perhaps never to be rebuilt. Swiftly, the courts would be packed with ideologues; immediately, Congress would run through the remaining items on the Obama-Clinton laundry list; before the voters had a chance to stop them, the White House would usher in an irreversible amnesty; and, Trump having been turned into a pariah by a hostile press, his “anti-PC” attitude would be rendered toxic in perpetuity. The likely result of Trump’s selection as the Republican nominee, in other words, would be the entrenchment of all that his supporters claim vehemently to hate. That thrill that his acolytes would feel when they saw Trump named the winner of the primaries? It’d be gone in a matter of minutes.
If I sound frightened or eschatological in my tone, that’s because I am — not, pace Trump’s obsessed chorus, because I am worried about the security of my job or scared that I will lose some mythical umbilical link to Reince Priebus’s champagne parties, but because we are fighting for everything here and a plurality of the Right’s voters are sleepwalking in lockstep with the other side.
Tom Nichols at The Federalist (!!) declares that he prefers Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton is despicable but Donald Trump is worse. My hands almost could not type those words, because I think Hillary Clinton is one of the worst human beings in American politics. She has few principles that I can discern, other than her firm conviction that she deserves the Oval Office for enabling and then defending her sexually neurotic husband. She lies as easily as the rest of us breathe. She has compromised national security through sheer laziness at best, and corrupt intent at worst. If elected, she will enrich Wall Street and raid the public coffers while preaching hateful doctrines of identity politics to distract America’s poor and working classes.
Morally unmoored, emotionally unstable, a crony capitalist of the worst kind, Trump will be every bit as liberal as Hillary. But Trump will be worse. Morally unmoored, emotionally unstable, a crony capitalist of the worst kind, Trump will be every bit as liberal as Hillary—perhaps more so, given his statements over the years. He is by reflex and instinct a New York Democrat whose formal party affiliation is negotiable, as is everything about him. He has little commitment to anything but himself and his “deals,” none of which will work in favor of conservatives or their priorities.
His judicial appointments will likely be liberal friends from New York. His Great Wall of Mexico will never be built, and employers will go right on hiring cheap labor and outsourcing jobs, just as Trump does with his made-in-Mexico suits. His China Smoot-Hawley Tariff will never be implemented. His administration, led by a vulgar, aging man-child who is firmly pro-abortion, who jokes about having sex with his daughter, and brags about his wealth, will hurt the poorest and most vulnerable among us—including the unborn.