The onset of impeachment proceedings has brought some “Never Trump” zombies out of the shadows. They haven’t suddenly regained relevance, though; this is their swan song before they fade back into obscurity for good.
Until House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decreed the start of an “impeachment inquiry,” the Never Trump brigade was well on its way to permanent irrelevance. The trio of former GOP backbenchers mounting quixotic primary challenges against President Trump illustrated the movement’s impotence perfectly — two of the challengers left office in disgrace, and the other is best known as the Libertarian vice presidential candidate in 2016. One newspaper even went so far as to ask, “Will Trump’s primary challengers remain the most ignored people in politics?”
Trump’s sky-high approval rating among Republicans, together with the unpopularity of the neoconservative ideology espoused by the pre-Trump GOP establishment, relegated Never Trumpers to the status of political pawns for the left, since nobody on the right wants anything to do with them.
Of course, they’ve continued to emerge periodically whenever the Democrats needed their help to spin a new fake scandal designed to take down the president, but the public has long since grown bored with that schtick. Now, with the “whistleblower” debacle in full swing, the Never Trumpers are once again coming out of the woodwork to spew vitriol at Trump in the media.
Former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, for instance, seized the opportunity to write an op-ed for The Washington Post exhorting Republicans to “save [their] souls” by not supporting Trump’s reelection effort. Flake — who concluded his Senate career by disgracefully helping to facilitate the Democrat smear campaign against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — has obviously strayed even further from the conservative principles he once espoused since taking his new post at Harvard University, inhaling the rarefied air of Cambridge and exhaling banal Democrat talking points.
Bill Kristol, a Never-Trump ring-leader and former editor-in-chief of the now-defunct Weekly Standard, was given space in the pages of The New York Times to launch his own broadside against the president and his supporters. Like Flake, Kristol promised Republicans redemption and salvation if they back a primary challenger to the president.
It’s no surprise that the notoriously anti-Trump New York Times and Washington Post were both willing to devote prime journalistic real estate to the ravings of discredited Republican politicians and pundits — Flake and Kristol have been the left’s favorite useful idiots for years, and in this case their input was needed to create a false veneer of bipartisanship around the Democrats’ politically-motivated impeachment “inquiry.”
As Trump leads the nation to new heights of strength and prosperity, the Democrats and their media allies are growing increasingly nostalgic for the days when Republicans would dance to any tune the left called, and giving a platform to Never Trumpers such as Flake and Kristol lets them relive their glory days.
It’s just a charade, though, because the Never Trumpers don’t represent today’s Republican Party.
Trump transformed the Republican Party when he overcame the arrayed forces of the Republican establishment and led the most significant political movement in a generation. He competed against what was then called the most talented Republican primary field in history, and he won convincingly. Republican voters don’t want the endless wars, outsourcing, and unfettered illegal immigration that Flake and Kristol represent; they want to keep America great.
Liberals would undoubtedly love to keep trotting out the Never Trumpers every time they come up with a new angle of attack against President Trump, but at this point it’s clear that they simply have no credibility left with the Republican base. Serving as lackeys for the Democrats’ politically-motivated campaign to take down the president of the United States will turn out to be the last gasp of the Never-Trump movement.
Harlan Hill is president of the Logan Circle Group and an advisory board member for the Trump-Pence 2020 re-election campaign.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.