NeverTrump Republicans may gain a disproportionate amount of air time on cable news shows, but the new breed of Republican blame-gamers deserve their own opprobrium from those who care about America’s future.
As just one of many examples, take Mediaite’s conservative columnist, John Ziegler. While declining a ride on the NeverTrump bandwagon, he attacks those who support Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, a binary choice.
Ziegler recently claimed that Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham “will be responsible for whatever Hillary Rodham does in office.” That’s quite a stretch, given that Hannity and Ingraham waste no opportunity to decry Mrs. Clinton’s flawed policies, dishonesty, corruption and incompetence.
Hannity, Ingraham and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough are trying to “take cover from blowback for their obvious promotion of Donald Trump during the primaries” and “absolve themselves from the coming general election disaster,” Ziegler says.
Last I checked, Election Day is November 8, and Mrs. Clinton’s victory is far from certain. It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings, as fans of the Washington Bullets (now Wizards) know quite well.
When Ingraham said, “it’s actually immoral not to vote for Trump” if you are conservative and a Republican, Ziegler called her statement “the most asinine thing.”
But Ingraham has so much to draw on in urging her audience to vote against Clinton. There is Mrs. Clinton’s corrupt pay-to-play scheme with an ostensibly charitable family foundation; a congenital inability to tell the truth, recently on display in her Chris Wallace interview when she claimed that the FBI director said she gave “truthful”statements about her email; deliberate use of a private email server to evade federal law; violations of the Espionage Act and endangering of national security; avowed attacks on first amendment protections of core political speech; her promises to restrict religious liberty; her failed Libyan and Syrian policies which have emboldened radical Islamic terrorists and groups like ISIS and Boko Haram; her deadly decisions, whether incompetent or worse, on Benghazi, culminating in “four dead Americans” (her phrase) near whose coffins she stood while lying to their grieving family members; her promise to nominate Supreme Court justices and federal judges who will restrict First and Second Amendment rights; her promise to deliver a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants within 100 days of taking office; and an unyielding devotion to the most extreme abortion-on-demand regime that would deny protection to infants up until live birth.
Zeigler’s logic is that anti-Trump conservatives cannot hurt Trump in the general election because they failed to stop him in the primaries. He predicts that the general election will not be close, and voters do not care what conservative leaders may say about Trump.
He misses the point that high-profile attacks against Trump generate negative buzz and will influence public perceptions. He ignores evidence such as the Time for Change forecasting model, which predicts a narrow Trump victory of 51.4% to 48.6%.
He claims that America is a “Democrat leaning country,” despite the fact that Republicans hold over 60% of state governorships and legislative chambers.
He claims that Hannity, Ingraham and others are duping “the very same naïve customers they fooled into supporting Trump in the primaries,” and looks favorably on “their chances of at least partly pulling this scam off.”
If the anti-Trumpers succeed they will have only themselves to blame. Shifting responsibility from themselves to those who are backing Trump, the anti-Trump conservative crowd, if successful, must hope that Americans will forget that their group of blame-gamers will have passed up an opportunity to stop Mrs. Clinton’s pattern of corruption and her harmful agenda.
Gayle Trotter is a writer, lawyer, and mother of six who lives in Washington, D.C.