Has NYT NeverTrump Bret Stephens come back from the dark side?
The miserable spectacle of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bowing like a little pawn to her far-left Squad and calling for impeaching President Trump, something she's known better than to do up until now, seems to have snapped some sense into NeverTrump New York Times columnist Bret Stephens.
He's got an excellent one out, pointing to the pattern of Democrats stewing in their own rage, firing into the dark without information, and then moving to impeach. Fire first; find out what was shot at later. And as he notes, they're doing it a lot.
Once upon a time, prominent Democrats called for the impeachment of a powerful conservative officeholder, only to be embarrassed into silence when it turned out that the basis for their calls was arguable and incomplete, handing their Republican opponents a P.R. coup.
That conservative was Brett Kavanaugh, and the time was two weeks ago. How well did that work out for liberals?
Now prominent Democrats have begun an impeachment process against Donald Trump, based on information that, while potentially devastating, remains arguable and even more incomplete. They do so because they appear to be certain that the full set of facts will vindicate their belief that the president is manifestly guilty of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
But what if the facts don't vindicate that belief?
That's a thought that should have at least delayed Nancy Pelosi from announcing the impeachment inquiry on Tuesday afternoon, a few hours after Trump promised to release the unredacted transcript of a July phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
He points out that their motives suggest increasing derangement over Trump's election, a failure to distinguish between disgraceful and illegal, the public's opposition to impeachment, and how the whole thing can and should blow up in their faces, same as happened when Republicans tried to take out Bill Clinton. And he leaves just one conclusion to this Wile-E-Coyote plan that is absolutely sure to wind up like all the other Democratic plans to oust Trump: that they are downright stupid. He concludes that part of his argument with this:
The upshot is that Democrats have fired a salvo — their largest and potentially their last — in the near-dark, in an uncertain hope that it will find its target.
It's a remarkable piece coming from Stephens, because he's been a pretty strong NeverTrump for a few years there, yet he never actually "transitioned" to the left side. With this piece, the hoity-toity intellectual in him has hurled the ultimate reporter's insult to someone he means to take down, which is making the Democrats look stupid, and the piece is so well argued that no one can disagree with him.
Now, Stephens does hasten to assure his New York Times buddies that he still thinks Trump is a disgrace at the end of his piece. But he saved that boilerplate for the bottom. We read what he said up top.
It's enough to make one wonder if sense is coming to the sane parts of the NeverTrump camp.
RealClearPolitics' Frank Miele must have felt something in the air when he called for the NeverTrumps' return to the fold a few days ago with this argument:
If you've been paying attention since Trump was elected on Nov. 8, 2016, you surely know by now that you were dead wrong about him. This is a president for the times we live in. Try to imagine the founding of our nation without George Washington to steady it. Try to picture the outcome of the secession of the Southern states without Abraham Lincoln there to stand against it. Think of the Apollo moon shot without John Kennedy to launch it.
Now think of the war against the Fake News Media without Donald Trump to fight it. Think of the Supreme Court without Trump's conservative appointments to balance it. Think of the economy without the Trump administration's tax cuts or its war on restrictive regulations. Think of the wasted billions of dollars if Trump had not pulled the United States out of the idiotic Paris climate accords. Think of the porous border without at least the promise of a wall. Think of the FBI still being run by corrupt James Comey and Andrew McCabe.
Or just look at what has transpired in the past two weeks, and ask yourself how you could ever allow a Democrat back in the White House rather than vigorously support the reelection of Donald Trump.
Perhaps Stephens is looking at his options and thinking for himself these days.
The piece was noticed by Kellyanne Conway, who obviously liked it and retweeted it.
"Pelosi’s Bad Impeachment Call" by anti-Trumper in @NYT. "A Q-PAC poll found 57% of Americans oppose impeachment; 37% support it...significant bloc of voters who otherwise disapprove of Trump nonetheless oppose impeaching him." Pelosi risks swing voters. https://t.co/IY422L7k1i— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) September 25, 2019
So did a lot of us. More like this, Bret! Let's hope the Bretster is finally making it back from the dark side.