Bill Kristol barks at the moon
Some #NeverTrumps won't quit. Indeed, so chained are they to their hurt pride and delusions that they can't. Foremost among them is Bill Kristol, former editor of the Weekly Standard.
Speaking at a New Hampshire gathering of businessmen called "Politics and Eggs," Mr. Kristol asserted that President Trump should be challenged in the 2020 GOP primary. That in and of itself is not a bad idea. Clearing the air between opposing philosophies has value. In this instance, it would come about in two ways. First, it allows the president to expound on his successes and ongoing efforts to MAGA and contrast them with his opponents. On the other side of the coin, as the likes of Jeff Flake, John Kasich, Mitt Romney, or any of the other establishment Republican regulars drone on, they make promises that they either never intend or lack the fortitude to keep. Their shtick is so transparent, so tedious, so yesterday. At least with Trump in the mix, there is great entertainment value when the GOPe try their old boilerplate rhetoric on him face to face.
Kristol's rationale for challenging Trump is from the Far Side. He admits that the president's approval rating is quite high – over 80 percent among Republicans. But Kristol says (hopes) that could change. And anyway, he feels that Trump's success and high approval ratings are due only to good luck. Kristol acknowledges that Trump could actually win the 2020 primary because "[h]e [Trump] could just get very lucky, that happens in life. People aren't very good pitchers, but they pitch one very good game." See, the 2016 election was the one good game Trump had in him. Now he's spent.
According the Kristol, part of Trump's good luck is that "he's had a good economy, and we've avoided any real foreign-policy disasters." Saying Trump has had a good economy makes it sound as if Trump inherited the good times. Unfortunately, Kristol's mind is so blinded by hatred of Trump that he can't see that the good economy is the "effect," and Trump is the "cause." Same with avoiding foreign policy disasters. Unlike some other NeverTrumps, Kristol is so niggling that he can't give credit where credit is obviously due. Bad form, Bill.
What would change Trump's string of "good luck" and drive the president's approval ratings down to what Kristol thinks it should be? Why, nothing less than a blue wave in November. So yet again, this self-anointed definer of what conservatism should be is rooting for a Democrat victory in the critical upcoming election. Here, Kristol is like an Allied military planner in WWII who argued strenuously for the invasion of France to be at Pas-de-Calais. When the decision was made for the Normandy site instead, General Kristol hoped in all his heart that the June 6 invasion would turn into a fiasco just to prove himself right.
Topping it all off, who do you think would be Kristol's man to take on Trump in 2020 Republican primaries? After declining the honor for himself (seriously), Mr. Weekly Standard said Ohio governor John Kasich would be the most obvious and potentially formidable challenger. Given Kasich's dismal outing in the 2016 primaries and his off-putting behavior since, this shows Kristol is hardly the political maven he fancies himself to be. He's more like a toothless dog barking at the moon.
Kristol's entire premise is that Trump can be taken by a challenger from the right. Think on that. Who, pray tell, is going to split the National Rifle Association, the military, rank-and-file first responders, and pro-life people from Trump? What potential challenger can draw white working-class former Democrats as Trump does? And more and more minorities can be expected to jump on the Trump bandwagon due to their record low unemployment rate. Kristol rhetoric says a conservative GOP must be open and inviting. These are code words for loose borders, high immigration, amnesty, foreign adventures, and adherence to the unfair trade arrangements of the past.
In the final analysis, Donald Trump is lucky to have enemies like Bill Kristol.