The #NeverTrump Right's Intellectual Dishonesty

In his essay “Yes, This Is The Face Of A Tyrant,” the left’s favorite purported conservative thought leader Andrew Sullivan, with apologies to George Will, Jennifer Rubin, Jonah Goldberg, Max Boot, and so many others, showcases the double standards and intellectual dishonesty that have, until the rise of the #NeverTrump right, been the province of the left and their mouthpieces in the Democrat media complex.

That Sullivan is a very gifted writer, though a subjective judgement, is a fact I’ll easily concede.  The way he weaves Shakespeare’s fictional Richard III narrative into his piece is brilliant.  The inevitable effort to associate the mad genius of Richard III with Trump was given away in the title.  This is where Mr. Sullivan goes off the rails.  Sullivan's essay offers a tutorial on double standard and intellectual dishonesty:

Note how he turned Congressional subpoenas into toilet paper; how he crippled and muzzled the Mueller inquiry; how he installed a crony at the Department of Justice to pursue his political enemies and shield him from the law; how effectively he stymied impeachment; how he cucked every previous Republican opponent; how he helped destroy the credibility of news sources that oppose him; how he filled his cabinet with acting secretaries and flunkies; how he declared fake emergencies to claim the power of the purse assigned to the Congress; and how he has reshaped the Supreme Court with potentially three new Justices, whom he sees solely as his loyal stooges if he comes up against the rule of law.

Barack Obama did all of these things with the exceptions of not being targeted by any Mueller type investigations by the preceding administration, and only got to appoint two Supreme Court justices whom he could count on to enforce his progressive policy agenda.  Sullivan seems to have forgotten about AG Eric Holder, Obama’s self-proclaimed "wingman," as well as Obama’s infamous “phone and pen" that he used to do end runs around Congress to dictate policy he'd repeatedly said was out of his purview -- DACA, border enforcement etc.  Sullivan also easily forgets Obama’s constant barrage of criticism of Fox News, the only major media outlet that had the temerity to offer any measure of criticism of his administration and their policies, or the Obama administration’s weaponization of the tools of the state to go after what they considered “unfriendly” media actors like James Rosen and Sharyl Attkisson.  No one in the Democrat media complex seemed to give a flying rip about any of this.  The understanding between Obama and the media seemed to be if they didn't report it, then it didn't happen.

Despite a mountain of criticism, he has not conceded a single error, withdrawn a single statement, or acknowledged a single lie. His party lost the mid-terms, but seriously, what difference did that make? His control of the Republican party, and his cult-like grip on the base, has never been greater...

Change the word "Republican" to "Democrat" and there is not a single word of this that could not be equally applied to Barack Obama!

His control of the Republican party, and his cult-like grip on the base, has never been greater than now. Yes, he has said and done racially polarizing things -- but the joke is he may yet have more support from blacks and Latinos in 2020 than he did in 2016.

More of the same.  Racial polarization was Barack Obama’s ace in the hole and we saw him go to it repeatedly during his tenure from dropping charges of voter intimidation against the Black Panthers -- a clear civil rights violation -- to statements about the Cambridge Police, Trayvon Martin, Ferguson, MO and every other racial grievance event of his tenure.  Giving a charlatan and fraud like Al Sharpton the credibility of a White House Advisor was a slap in the face of any true civil rights advocate.  That President Trump’s economic policies that, prior to the pandemic, delivered the most robust economy in decades along with the lowest unemployment rates for blacks, Hispanics, and women ever recorded would sway many to support Trump seems to eludes Sullivan, for whatever reason.

Sullivan then delivers this gem:

Think of his greatest policy failures: the appalling loss of life in the Covid epidemic and the collapse of law and order in the cities.

Trump has been pilloried by his critics for closing off travel from China and Europe early in the pandemic and equally pilloried for not imposing the draconian lockdown policies favored by the left nationwide, for which, if he had, he would be pilloried as an autocratic dictator.  On COVID-19 Trump has been, quite literally, damned when he does and damned when he doesn’t.  To think a one size fits all solution to the pandemic would work in a country the size of the USA with its diversity of population density is a conceit only a liberal could embrace.  As such, Trump wisely delegated many of these decisions to local governments.  Had Obama done the same under similar circumstances, he would be hailed as a brilliant leader.

Sullivan’s second point here simply takes the cake.  For Sullivan to blame "the collapse of law and order in the cities" on Trump is so far beyond mere intellectual dishonesty it's galling.  Trump was pilloried for suggesting sending in troops to restore law and order to these overwhelmingly blue cities, many of which haven't seen a Republican mayor since the Eisenhower administration.

A tired trope perhaps, but if not for double standards the left, and the #NeverTrump right, would have none at all.

Image: Gage Skidmore

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