I mentioned yesterday that I’m spending the weekend reading a couple new releases that came out last week – Julie Kelly’s Disloyal Opposition: How the #NeverTrump Right Tried – and Failed — to Take Down the President and Kurt Schlichter’s The 21 Biggest Lies About Donald Trump (and you!).
Well, Saturday afternoon I plowed through Disloyal Opposition, which is columnist Julie Kelly’s first (but not last, I’m sure) book.
Kelly’s columns at American Greatness are always a must-read for me. I’ve linked to her writing frequently over the last several years. In fact, her column “The Swamp’s Swingline Stapler” even inspired a couple Dianny ‘Shop images.
Julie is clever writer, smart as a whip and has just the right amount of biting humor to drive a point home. And her book Disloyal Opposition is no exception.
Back in August of 2016, I compared the NeverTrump movement to those Japanese soldiers who were found living on remote Pacific islands twenty/thirty years after World War Two ended. Those guys had no idea the war was over and Japan lost.
The same was true of NeverTrump. Despite Donald Trump’s resounding primary victory, and despite his accepting the nomination in late July, NeverTrump continued on as if the primaries were still raging.
It’s been four years, and it seems these guys are still wandering around on that remote Pacific island.
Disloyal Opposition takes a look at the genesis of the NeverTrump movement and how it transformed from a political movement seeking to influence the 2016 Republican primaries into the current crop of dead-enders who now openly campaign for the Democrats.
These guys no longer want to “save” the Republican Party or “conservative principles.” That cruise ship sailed years ago. Now, they’re nothing but bitter, angry failures who want to burn conservatism to the ground because conservatism rejected their particular brand of losing.
Reading Disloyal Opposition, I realized they aren’t remote island dwellers anymore. Instead, NeverTrumpers have morphed into the bitter ex who, after fighting like crazy to get her guy back, now spends her time ruining every social gathering with her endless bitching when she isn’t holed up in her home sending out a vicious stream of revenge porn.
Despite touting their much-revered “principles” as their reasons for opposing Trump, these guys refused to accept their fears were unwarranted even after it was abundantly clear that President Trump was probably the most conservative President since Reagan. Instead, rather than applaud Trump’s conservative governance, they simply jettisoned those so-called “principles” in order to attack him from the Left.
They wrapped the ResistanceLOL movement around themselves like a warm, comfy blankie.
They fell for every faux “scandal” promoted by the anti-Trump media. And they attacked any Republican who worked with President Trump while at the same time lionizing cretins like Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi.
When you read the entire history of NeverTrump in one book, it’s impossible not to conclude that “principles” had little or anything to do with this movement.
Disloyal Opposition is exhaustive and well-researched. Frankly, I’m surprised Julie still has a full head of hair after having to read through all the moronic, insipid and insufferable “think pieces,” interviews and tweets she compiled.
The sheer viciousness and spite that fuels these guys is hard to take in when it’s only in dribs and drabs. So seeing it all laid out in such meticulous order is breathtaking.
What struck me in reading Disloyal Opposition is just how consistently wrong the NeverTrump movement has been from the get-go. Whether it’s RussiaGate, UkraineGate, the Covington kids, these guys got it wrong. And despite this track record of failure, they just can’t stop barreling down the wrong path.
But as Kelly put it in the book “What NeverTrump lacks in integrity, class, and political instincts they make up for in hubris.”
Julie Kelly has spent three years writing about these guys – not to mention being a target of them. If there is anyone who has them figured out, it is she.
Her description of Washington Post “conservative” columnist Jennifer Rubin is, in addition to hilarious, absolutely spot-on:
Like an aging call girl willing to perform any contortions to titillate unimaginative clientele, Rubin became a parody of herself with her over-the-top diatribes against Trump and reversal of nearly every view she held prior to 2016.
Yup. That about covers it.
As the old saying goes, “Trump broke them.”
Kelly spends an entire chapter following the money that’s funding the current NeverTrump movement, and let’s just say it isn’t coming from stalwart conservatives.
So maybe it’s more appropriate to say “Trump exposed them.”
For a lot of the NeverTrump folks, promoting conservatism was less about “principles” and more of a meal-ticket. And once it became more profitable to pander to the ResistanceLOL on Twitter and on cable news, NeverTrump dropped the “conservative” pretense like a hot rock in order to keep the gravy train going.
As Kelly describes it in Disloyal Opposition:
A movement that began as a reasonable if misguided opposition to an outlier Republican candidate amid fears he wasn’t conservative enough had deteriorated into a race-baiting, name-calling, grudge-airing claque of humorless scolds appeasing the Left and doing whatever is required to extend the coda of their fading chorus.
But as Australian pundit Rita Panahi often says, “Trump is blessed with truly moronic opponents.”
The louder NeverTrump howls and the further they careen to the Left, the more moronic they become.
Since my conversation with Martina Markota was such a hit, I figured I’d close out my review of Disloyal Opposition with a brief Q&A with Julie Kelly. Fact is, the first column of Julie’s I ever read left me thinking, “Oh, my gosh! There’s someone who thinks just like I do!” I’ve enjoyed Julie’s columns ever since.
Your columns during the Trump era have covered a wide array of subjects — RussiaGate, FISAGate, UkraineGate, SpyGate. What made you decide to focus specifically on the dead-enders of NeverTrump?
Oddly, no other book has taken on NeverTrump so it was an uncovered topic whereas Russia/SpyGate continues to earn coverage by authors far more knowledgeable and capable than I! I’ve covered NeverTrump since early 2017 and my articles seem to hit a nerve with people who feel the same way I did at first: disappointed then betrayed then outraged now amused at their incompetence.
Yes, I’m definitely at the “amused” stage. Maybe it’s time to add my trademark LOL to the end of NeverTrump the same way I do for the ResistanceLOL.
When the NeverTrump movement first began, their goal was to persuade Republican voters. You point out in the book that many of those who contributed to the “Against Trump” issue that National Review did in early 2016 have since become Trump supporters. But at some point, the goal of persuasion stopped entirely. Do you think the split between the pre-election NeverTrump and the current crop of dead-enders leading the “movement” is because the dead-enders stopped trying to persuade anyone of anything?
The dead-enders realized that their schtick as “conservatives” against Trump would revitalize struggling careers and earn newfound affection from the media and Democrats who’ve mocked them for decades. Honestly, who else would pay attention to someone like Jennifer Rubin unless she’s on MSNBC spewing her venom against Trump and his base every week to the intense gratification of MSNBC viewers? It’s careerism — which is fine — but it’s cloaked in a phony veneer of principles and values, a veneer I rip off in my book.
Like I said in my title, you definitely pull the curtain back on these guys.
Other than completely abandoning conservatism in order to beg for ResistanceLOL praise while campaigning for the Democrats, what exactly is the goal of NeverTrumpLOL? Does anyone even have a clue? Do they have a clue?
One chapter is entitled “Useful Idiots.” That’s the role of NeverTrump right now. We see again through efforts like the Lincoln Project how money, likely from the Left not the Right, flows into these patriotic-sounding nonprofits populated by longtime losers like Rick Wilson and Steve Schmidt to hoodwink the media into believing a large swath of the GOP is against Trump. The media buys into it — a few stories posted on the New York Times and other outlets over the weekend insisting this latest NeverTrump ruse is REALLY THE END FOR TRUMP NOW!
Yeah, I saw the tweet from the Washington Post last night that read “The once-mocked ‘NeverTrump’ movement becomes a sudden campaign force.” I had to laugh at the absurdity of that statement.
It’s a total head fake. NeverTrump knows it but that’s how they get their name in the New York Times, otherwise they’d be toiling at some unknown outlet making squat.
Immediately after the book’s release, David French launched one of his infamous “I’m going to tag the person I’m about to attack so all my Twitter followers can swarm like bees and attack her on my behalf” Twitter threads. What strikes me as all manner of ironic, having now read Disloyal Opposition, is by doing that, French inadvertently proved a lot of the points you made about him in the book.
David French is the prime example of someone who no one had ever heard of before he perfected his gig as the holier-than-thou NeverTrumper. Pastor French, as some mock him, is the worst of the bunch in my opinion. The way he condemns evangelicals for supporting Trump borders on religious bigotry. He’s an online bully who can’t take a dose of his own medicine. He and his wife weaponize their personal experiences, such as the adoption of their daughter from Africa, to score cheap political points. (I find this particularly outrageous as the adoptive mother of a foreign-born daughter.)
His jealousy of people like Tucker Carlson manifests itself in a vile, ugly way, such as calling Tucker a racist or enabler of white supremacy. How he grovels for attention from the Left is embarrassing and I look forward to the day his latest venture with Jonah Goldberg and Steve Hayes goes down in flames. NeverTrumpers are, at their core, fundamentally dishonest people.
While you cover a lot of ground in Disloyal Opposition, the one central point that strikes me is just how consistently wrong NeverTrumpLOL has been on just about everything — not just about Trump, but about the Americans who support him. You’d think that with this unbroken record of getting it wrong, these guys would have developed a little humility. But they don’t. They just double-down.
The irony is that NeverTrump needs Trump to stay in office so they can continue their schtick. Donald Trump is NeverTrump’s host—without him, that parasite dies. What will they do if Biden wins? They’ll never be welcome into that circle, they’ll go back to being war mongers and prolific losers and all the things the Left used to say about people like Bill Kristol before Trump. They will have no influence in a Biden White House or Democrat House/Senate. And they won’t be welcome back into a Trumpified GOP. As I conclude in my book, Disloyal Opposition must act as a Do Not Resuscitate order for NeverTrump — they must never have a place of power in this party ever again.
You’ll definitely want to pick up a copy of Disloyal Opposition: How the #NeverTrump Right Tried – and Failed — to Take Down the President. You’ll find yourself seething one moment and laughing out loud the next. It’s a great read.
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