Wajahat Ali, Don Lemon, and Rick Wilson

NYT contributing op-ed writer, Wajahat Ali, “CNN Tonight” host Don Lemon, and Never Trumper Rick Wilson – 1/25/2020. Screen grab via CNN.

For a group claiming to be ‘’conserving conservatism,’’ they never seem to espouse a single conservative view.

This weekend, as Sister Toldja detailed, Florida political operative Rick Wilson was on with Don Lemon, beclowning himself as he and a New York Times writer, along with Lemon, went on a lengthy mocking streak of calling Trump supporters dumb rubes. It was a contempt-rich display of elitism and it was a prime example of not only the bubble-dwelling media’s lack of regard for our citizens but it also exposed many of the problems with President Trump’s opponents.

Namely those purportedly from the right. Wilson is a major voice in what is collectively regarded as the Never-Trump movement. This herd of pundits who formerly claimed a Republicaan/conservative position have spent the past four years loudly declaring their opposition to Trump. This much is not the issue. Political opposition is accepted and expected. But the messaging from this troupe is what is the revealing detail.

Along with Wilson there is a clutch of primary names — Bill Kristol, Jonah Goldberg, Charlie Sykes, Max Boot, to list a few — who make very loud pronouncements about all that is wrong with the president, and by extension the republican party. What is notable but far less acknowledged — they rarely, if ever, provide viable solutions or alternatives that would support their claims of their values.

The Kristol-Sykes outlet ‘’The Bulwark’’ laid claim to the phrase that has been promoted as the mission statement of all right-of-center opponents to Trump — ‘’Conserving conservatism’’. This is a dubious claim for an outlet funded by Silicon Valley leftist billionaire Pierre Omidyar. However there are two very distinct realities with the NT crowd that defies this banner; they rarely ever promote a conservative position, and they exclusively seem to curry favor with Democrats and left-leaning media. Wilson’s appearance on CNN continues this practice.

Wilson, and many others, have been on this years-long effort, managing to curry favor with the distinctly leftist news outlets for being Trump opponents from the right. What is revealing is how they are not on the air based on being correct. This is a group that begins with opposing Trump on any position, not what they regard to be a core belief. Their entire messaging is to declare how Trump/Republicans are in the wrong without ever declaring what is actually supposedly correct. It’s fine to say ‘’He’s not conservative’’, but to never espouse the conservative position is their flaw.

In 2017 Florida saw an influx of Puerto Rican residents fleeing the aftermath of a destructive hurricane. At the time Rick Wilson had declared this was the doom of the Florida GOP, which had the majority in Tallahassee at the time. “If you put an influx of 100,000 Puerto Ricans who vote Democratic eight times out of 10 in the Orlando area, there you go,” he said. I wrote a piece for a Florida political outlet refuting this prediction.

Residents had been migrating in large numbers well ahead of the storm due to the Democrat-run economy on the island, I noted. Many were registering to vote in Florida as independents, these professionals arriving being disenchanted with the liberal policies. I also noted Governor Rick Scott and Marco Rubio were leading in hurricane recovery aid, earning respect from those residents.

The result — In the 2018 midterms Florida actually strengthened its GOP hold in the legislature. The biggest rebuke came in the US Senate. Longtime office holder Bill Nelson lost his seat to Governor Rick Scott. Nelson’s home base is the Orlando area, a huge enclave for Puerto Rican residents, but this group never did deliver the wave of support Wilson promised. Florida now has two GOP senators for the first time since the reconstruction.

Following this electoral success Wilson had a thread in April of last year that was also revealing. He was giving a list of ways the Democrats in Florida had made errors in the acquisition of support from those voters. But what is clear now is that he was not delivering a withering rebuke on how the opposition failed — this was a series of directives on how the Democrats could repair things and win. The GOP political player was actually coaching the opposition.

Just to follow suit, the brave Trump-slaying warrior Wilson has a new book out, ‘’Running With The Devil’’. The subtitle says it all: The plot to save America from Trump — and the Democrats from themselves. So more conservatism is going to be preserved, by showing the party that despises conservative values. We have seen this same strategy play out repeatedly with the Never Trumpers; throw all their support to the Democrats in the name of defeating the scourge.

Recently it was shown that a pair of names who declared they would oppose Donald Trump in the GOP primary — Joe Walsh, and Bill Weld — were foundering in their attempts. Both candidates were failing to qualify for the ballot in many states. This is a blatant example of the failings of the NT pundits. While they might come out and state how they never actually backed either of these candidates this faction has failed significantly in this regard — they have not brought forward anyone to oppose Trump.

It is one thing to decry the state of the GOP, but to not lend anything approaching a viable alternative within the party reduces you to simply being a loud crank, and nothing more. They might claim to be the holders of true conservatism but if no one is offered up as a sound conservative choice on the ballot exactly how influential do you think you can claim to be?

In the days just ahead of the 2018 midterms NT soldier Max Boot begged for attention by stating boldly that Republicans needed to send a message to Trump by voting for Democrats exclusively. Yet following the election, when Democrats made gains, Boot came out and loudly bemoaned the number of victories by the Dems, and how it was a sign of GOP problems. Boot was actually complaining about the result that he had lobbied for and declared was needed.

This may be the best summation of all of the Never Trump contingent; even when things go according to their plan they declare the results to be unacceptable. No wonder the liberal media love them so much.

Brad Slager
Covering politics, as well as the business side of Show Business. Expert in fine bourbons, good cigars, competent hockey teams, and horrible movies.

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