If Your NeverTrumpism Made You Oppose Kavanaugh, You’re Doing it Wrong

It's best to oppose Trump when he does bad things, but support Trump when he does good things - like nominate Kavanaugh.

Most respectable conservatives I know who were lumped in as “NeverTrumpers” recognized, as I did, that the label was officially dead the moment that Trump won the presidency. Given that the title meant by definition a principled decision to never support Trump in his 2016 campaign for the presidency, it had to be null the moment that campaign ended (either in victory or defeat). As I wrote about a long time ago, “Never Trump” never meant a refusal to ever support a policy, statement, order, or effort in his presidency.

This has been the understanding of men like Jonah Goldberg, Rich Lowry, Erick Erickson, and Ben Shapiro.

Still, there appear to be some holdovers from the original group who never got the memo that the election has ended and it’s far more useful to support Trump when he does good things, and oppose Trump when he does bad things, then it is to blindly oppose anything and everything the President touches.

Conservative professor and author Tom Nichols is one of those guys. Nichols loathes Trump and is committed to resisting his presidency, even in the area where Trump is performing perhaps most admirably to this point: the judiciary. Almost inexplicably, Nichols seemed to be leading a charge against the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Even after Senator Collins’ speech and the die had been cast, Nichols wouldn’t give up. He offered this warning to Republicans who supported Kavanaugh through the smears against him:

“Republicans are the new Democrats: determined to get via the courts what it cannot achieve at the ballot box, at any price, ignoring any principle. The GOP of 2018 has internalized the lessons of the culture wars in the 1960s and 1970s and has become the thing it fought against.”

Frankly, I’m not really sure what Tom is talking about. Actually, I’m not sure that Tom even knows what Tom is talking about. Republicans dominate state legislatures, state governorships, both houses of Congress, and the presidency. They have owned the ballot box and are capable of advancing whatever legislation they can unify enough to advance, whether at the state or federal level.

Conservative determination to secure a safe majority on the highest court in the land isn’t born out of a desire to legislate from the bench, it’s born of a desire to prevent the bench from legislating. The right doesn’t need the Supreme Court to advance their agenda; the public has voted for it. The right needs the Supreme Court to prevent the tyrannical undermining of that agenda by judicial activists on the left.

Everyone knows that, including Tom and others who feel compelled to oppose everything Trump does. I’m not sure what they see as the benefit of this kind of silly rhetoric – either for the cause of conservatism, the security of constitutional order, or their own standing amongst staunch conservatives who (like them) don’t particularly care for Trump, but who can certainly appreciate his critical contribution to good government with the Kavanaugh appointment.

Comments
No. 1-5
Still Jules
Still Jules

Anyone who used the term NeverTrump after the convention was doing it wrong.

America 1
America 1

I am sick of hearing this horsecrap that Kavanaugh lied! He did not, but Dr. Ford most certainly did!

Wayne_Peterkin
Wayne_Peterkin

I would agree with opposing bad things but I can't think of many except for his provocative tweets, and that is simply not bad enough to make a big deal over. Criticize, yes, but nothing more.

merseyyank
merseyyank

DKBarton, I totally agree with your comment. Most of us who were/are NeverTrump had no problem with Neil Gorsuch when he was nominated and approved. The problem with Brett Kavanaugh, if you can look at him without rose colored glasses, he was fast and loose with the truth during his hearing. I have no idea if he assaulted Dr. Ford when he was 17 years old, but I know he lied about other things from his youth. He stated that when he was 18 years old, the drinking age in Maryland for beer was 18. That's not true. When he was 18, the drinking age for beer was 21. Most of us may not remember a lot of things in our youth, but I bet most of us remember how old we were when we could legally drink in a bar or buy beer from a liquor store, especially if you like beer as Kavanaugh does. That's just one example, but there were other things he said about his youth that to say the least, stretched the truth. If you lie about the little things, what does that say about character? He's a perfect fit in Trump's America.

DkBarton
DkBarton

My NeverTrumpism did not make me oppose Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh’s liberalism made me oppose Kavanaugh. The fact that Trump apologists and many conservatives chose the binary (and juvenile) argument that whoever Democrats oppose must be a conservative...didn’t make Brett Kavanaugh a conservative Supreme Court nominee. His record and his answers to liberals’ questions revealed otherwise. To insult your readers’ intelligence by hyperbolically accusing them of “blindly opposing anything and everything the president touches” is no way to win an argument. Perhaps that wasn’t your intent? Whatever your point, you may as well have said: “all you NeverTrumpers can go suck eggs ‘cos Trump won! MAGA!” Now. Release the Trump Trolls in 3...2...1...