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Cockburn US Politics

Why do NeverTrumpers think they can run the Democratic party?

The arrogance follows wherever they go

February 19, 2020

9:50 PM

19 February 2020

9:50 PM

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

The so-called ‘NeverTrumpers’ are learning this lesson the hard way after effectively leaving the Republican party only to discover that their new cohorts are on the path to nominating a socialist candidate for president. Politics does make strange bedfellows.

The likes of Bill Kristol and Max Boot, who have renounced their GOP roots to demonstrate their disgust at the party’s embrace of Trump, are aghast to discover that perhaps the orange one was right to declare the Democrats a bunch of socialists. Now, much like how they lectured their old party allies about true conservatism, these pols are now desperate to pull the Democratic party away from the progressive left. But if the side they were part of for decades didn’t listen to them, why should the one they defected to?


Max Boot, fedora still tipped dramatically to one side, warned Democrats that Trump may exploit Sanders’s history of communist praise, making him an untenable candidate for the general election:

‘Sanders carries decades of ideological baggage, having praised Communist regimes and joined a socialist party that took Iran’s side during the hostage crisis. Sanders’s Democratic opponents haven’t exploited this record. Trump won’t have any such reticence.’

Bill Kristol, who displayed his conservative principles by donating to the campaign of blackface-wearing and late-term abortion-supporting Virginia governor Ralph Northam, lamented that people like him would ‘very much prefer a choice other than Trump or Sanders.’ Kristol also recently insisted that Democrats ‘can do better than socialism,’ a rather charitable assertion from someone who just ‘came out’ as a Democrat a couple of weeks ago.

Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin sarcastically tweeted that it’s ‘just brilliant’ for Democrats to nominate a socialist who just had a heart attack, while former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt declared a Bernie candidacy a ‘death sentence’ for the Dems. Alongside Schmidt, the potty-mouthed Rick Wilson and slovenly George Conway have launched the Lincoln Project, a group dedicated solely to defeating Trump, even if it elevates Democrats.

‘If I were still doing the Republican job I used to do, I would be rubbing my hands together and dying for Bernie Sanders to the be nominee,’ Wilson said, apparently forgetting that he hasn’t advised a winning campaign in two decades.

Cockburn imagines this behavior is quite similar to one of the contestants on the Great British Baking Show insisting they know more about a Victoria sponge than Paul and Prue.

It is wild to watch the individuals who pilloried the idea of Trump winning in 2016 now offer their unsolicited advice on how to defeat him. The arrogance required to be consistently wrong about the political developments of the past decade and then still insist they know better is really quite something.

The exiles are even throwing their own event in DC next weekend, after being ostracized from CPAC. Kristol, Wilson, Tom Nichols, David Frum and many more will address the National Summit on Principled Conservatism. Cockburn wonders how the numbers will measure up to another fringe affair for CPAC rejects: the slightly alt-righty America First Political Action Conference, which takes place the previous day.

Even more amusing is that these NeverTrumpers were practically driven out of their party for being too cozy with the elite establishment, but have now made the same move on the other side, allying with the Democratic establishment against Bernie Sanders. Nearly three-quarters of Democratic voters believe Bernie will defeat Trump in a general election, and by all measures so far, the Vermont senator is the favorite for the nomination.

But that simply isn’t good enough for the whiny NeverTrumpers who, much like a child crying over getting fish sticks instead of chicken fingers, must always have it their way. It won’t be long until Democrats get sick of them too.

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