Never Trumpers still put off by Trump's style instead of focus on substance of his policies

Julie Kelly:
While the president worked during the holidays—including surprise trips with the first lady to greet U.S. troops in Iraq and Germany—anti-Trump “conservatives” worked hard on their laptops to warn Americans of impending doom for Trump’s presidency.


In an uncharitable Christmas Day screed, National Review senior editor Jonah Goldberg served up some flashbacks from his NeverTrump past to yet again warn that Trump’s presidency will “end poorly.” Goldberg again condemned Trump for his lack of character; again blasted Trump supporters for emulating his bellicose style; and again unleashed a litany of alleged offenses—such as the president’s “rants against the 1st Amendment”—as evidence of why Donald Trump is, like, the worst president ever.

Goldberg is lashing out lately: From his borderline-misogynistic diatribe against a female journalist who outed National Review for accepting donations from Google while possibly suppressing negative stories about the tech giant, to an attack on his NR colleague Andrew McCarthy (which eventually elicited an apology from Goldberg), he seems more unhinged than usual.

Which makes his lazy harangue about Trump’s name-calling and mean-spiritedness all the more ironic. Please, Jonah, tell us more about character and manners just days after you called a woman reporter an “idiot,” a “McCarthyite,” a “failed-actress-turned-faux journalist,” and a “MAGA infomercial hostess.”

Goldberg isn’t alone. His fellow NeverTrump travelers are certain it’s really over for Trump this time.

“We should be deeply troubled,” insisted Goldberg’s sidekick, David French, after the December 20 resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis. “Now is the time for Republicans in Congress to declare their independence from the Republican in the White House and refuse once and for all to rubber-stamp Donald Trump’s whims and desires.”

Tom Nichols—who seizes on every real or imagined scandal du jour to warn his fellow Americans that the end is (again near—fumed over Mattis’s resignation.

“The world’s jackals and hyenas already sense our weakness and are circling closer,” Nichols wrote, presumably with a straight face. “Our national security has never—not even during the Cold War—been in this much sustained danger.” This is the same guy, by the way, who just last year criticized the presence of so many military men in the White House because “generals and admirals do not decide national priorities.”
I have always liked Jonah Goldberg.  His Liberal Fascists is a brilliant book that demonstrated the real character of the left.  During the campaign, I was not a strong Trump supporter and wound up reluctantly voting for him.  While some of his stylistic moves still make me wince, I think overall Trump has been a good President who has made needed changes in US policy.  He has spurred the economy benefitting Americans who were left behind by Democrat policies. 

Trump was able to defeat ISIS in short order by unleashing the military commanders and removing tactical decisions from amateurs in the White House which stymied the efforts under Obama.  Some of the same Never Trumpers, such as Max Boot who thought his ISIS policy would be a disaster now think his withdrawal from Syria is a disaster.  My concern about the withdrawal is focused more on Turkey and the Islamist despot Erdogan.  I question his motives for wanting the US withdrawal.  I suspect he would like to make a genocidal attack on the Kurds and would like US troops to be out of the way for such an operation.

I think Trump is right on the immigration issue.  The Democrat policy to the extent that they have one on border security would be costlier than a fence and significantly less effective.  It would require greater manpower to actually secure the border than the fence would.  By focusing only on detection, the Democrat policy would need more boots on the ground to actually stop the migrants once detected.  To be effective it would require a significant increase in the force to space ratio of the Border Patrol along the border.  Without the additional patrols the detection system, the Democrats favor would be worthless.

The bottom line is that I support most of the President's policy goals and the means he is employing.  I think it is a distraction to become too focused on the style points in achieving those goals.


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