Since before Donald Trump was even elected, and continuing since he took office as president, there has been a contingent of “NeverTrump” establishment conservatives and Republicans who have stood in staunch and highly critical opposition to the 45th president of the United States.
Those NeverTrumpers seemingly lambaste President Trump for everything that he says and does, even when those things that he says and does align with the supposed goals and ideals the NeverTrumpers have advocated for years.
That blatant duplicity was called out on Saturday by British Fox News host Steve Hilton on his “The Next Revolution” program, which focuses on the rise of anti-establishment populism in the U.S. and around the world.
Hilton began by referencing a recent column in The New York Times with two authors, one a senior fellow at the liberal Brookings Institution, the other a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative think tank.
Hilton said the column, co-authored by a member of the Washington conservative establishment, encapsulated the “prejudice and hate of the NeverTrump Republicans,” and proceeded to unload on several prominent members of that dubious collection of Trump-haters over the next several minutes.
He admitted that the screed was really nothing new in light of the past several years, but said this column “annoyed” him more than usual because “(T)hese people dress themselves up as intellectually and morally superior, but in reality, all they care about is style, not substance.”
Hilton first pointed to former President George W. Bush’s speechwriter David Frum — who has repeatedly accused Trump of being a puppet of Russian President Vladimir Putin — and pointed out how that Bush administration had tried to reach out a friendly hand to Putin and essentially ignored the 2008 Russian land grab in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.
Hilton then cited several examples of how Trump has been tougher than past presidents toward Russia.
“Those foreign policy geniuses, the NeverTrumpers, can’t take the fact that President Trump is actually succeeding where they failed,” Hilton said.
Hilton then turned to Trump-hating conservative author and commentator Bill Kristol, and criticized him over his pushing of the Iraq War, which ran from 2003-2011 and, combined with the war in Afghanistan, was part of roughly $6 trillion spent on post-9/11 military engagements.
He then shifted his focus to libertarian icon Ron Paul, the former congressman who has called Trump’s economy an “illusion.” Hilton pointed out that that, to working-class Americans, the 5-plus million jobs added during Trump’s term, low inflation, historically low unemployment and rising wages and gross domestic product growth rate have not not illusions at all.
“The Trump boom is not some kind of cosmic coincidence,” Hilton said. “It’s the result of having a pro-enterprise, pro-worker president in the White House, driving his team and Congress to implement the most pro-growth policy agenda anyone can remember.”
Hilton also played a clip of “snooty” conservative author and pundit George Will, who routinely insults Trump as some sort of idiot, and said that folks like Will have “lost the argument” when they resort to “personal insults.”
“But the NeverTrumpers aren’t interested in facts,” Hilton said. “All they care about is a chance to do some self-righteous moral preening.”
Hilton also called out MSNBC host Nicole Wallace — a former communications director for the George W. Bush White House as well has Bush’s re-election campaign.
Wallace has called Trump a liar and a racist, but Hilton noted that she had been part of Bush’s communications team that pushed the narrative about stockpiled weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, as well as the fact that Trump pushed into law the First Step Act, aimed at reducing high incarceration rates of minority Americans.
Sticking with the “Trump is a racist” narrative, he turned his attention to CNN commentator and resident “Republican” Ana Navarro. Hilton noted that, despite her vehement opposition to Trump’s “racist” border wall, Navarro had been all-in on border walls when she was an adviser to the 2008 presidential campaign of the late Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain.
“On immigration, just as on almost every other issue, President Trump is in fact dealing with the decades-long policy failures of the NeverTrump Republican establishment,” Hilton said. “On the facts, they should be praising him, but these snobby elitists don’t care about substance. For them, it is all about style.
“With pompous self-regard, they see themselves as the guardians of true conservatism against the assault from the barbarian Trump,” he said as he listed off a number of issues that Trump is dealing with that were the result of failed policies from the “decadent and incompetent” establishment over the past several decades.
Hilton’s entirely justifiable rant against the NeverTrump establishment Republicans was dead-on accurate and much needed.
Too many of these folks have abandoned the substantive policy goals and ideals they used to champion simply because they don’t like Trump’s style.
In the process though, they’re revealing how worthless they really are when it comes to getting anything accomplished.