Thursday, December 20, 2018


Going back to find out what Megan McArdle has been up to is always an unpleasant duty, like checking on an incontinent dog you haven't seen for several hours, and it's exaxctly the shitshow you'd expect. The latest has McArdle, who has opposed Obamacare with hot fury for years and resorted to poignant affirmations to temper her sorrow when the Supreme Court upheld it, now telling Republicans that they better get used to Obamacare. She does not mention that 20 million more Americans are insured since the ACA took effect, but does say it was "fewer people than expected." (Another phrase missing from her column: "pre-existing conditions.")

Apparently McArdle has sniffed the wind and feels she must be part of an imaginary anti-Trump conservative consensus. Hell, some days ago she even worked this angle when writing about the demise of the anti-Trump conservative Weekly Standard, and emitted this concatenation bomb of delusion:
Some of the movement’s stalwarts did turn into Trump boosters, if only half-hearted ones. What was stunning was how many refused, including those at the Weekly Standard.
...Another acknowledgment is also due: The past two years have given the lie to many of the nastiest accusations the left levels against conservative intellectuals — that conservative ideas are little more than veils for personal greed, that conservative institutions are nothing but a grift racket, selling self-justification to the richest bidder.
If that were true, there would be no civil war shattering the movement, and there would certainly be no #NeverTrump conservatives holding firm. I’m certainly not suggesting that everyone in the movement has stood fast against the Trump incursion. What’s impressive is how many did.
!!!!! A civil war shattering the movement! Let's get in the Wayback Machine and see what was going on with conservatives all the way back in... October, when Brett Kavanaugh was before the Senate. Didn't see a lot of breakage with Trump, there. It was all hands on dick!

Let's also take a quick look at National Review, flagship pub of the conservative movement, to see how they've abandoned Trump. There's Kevin Williamson saying "there is not going to be a coast-to-coast [border] wall, nor would such a thing be desirable," but that's okay because Trump sent billions to Mexico so they could beef up enforcement on their *southern* border:
It’s fine to sneer at U.S. foreign aid, much of which is simply a money-laundering operation for U.S.-based military contractors and other politically connected businesses. But progress in Mexico and in Central America is of real, immediate, and lasting interest to the United States: economically, politically, and socially.
In other words, like any good wingnut Williamson disapproves of foreign aid -- it's foreign, and even worse it's aid! -- but when Trump does it, it's bound to work. Wonder how he got that past the NeverTrump NR editors!

(Ha, kidding -- EIC Rich Lowry, onetime NeverTrumper and post-election author of "The NeverTrump Delusion," is represented today at Politico by "The Insufferable James Comey," and if you think he speaks on Hillary's behalf you must be new here -- his defense of Flynn and the President against Comey [who he says, get this, "bent over backward to get to the conclusion that President Barack Obama and his Justice department wanted in the Hillary Clinton email investigation"] would get Rudy Giuliani thinking "ugh, what a suck-up." To keep up the Sorry-Charlie affect of independence, though, he does stick in comments like "A lot of people have been diminished by the Trump years," which I like to think is a rueful reference to himself.)

Meanwhile for readers who are not cool with Williamsonian subtext, there's full-on Trumpkin Victor Davis Hanson, who tells us
Sheer numbers have radically changed electoral politics. Take California. One out of every four residents in California is foreign-born. Not since 2006 has any California Republican been elected to statewide office... 
Salad-bowl multiculturalism, growing tribalism and large numbers of unassimilated immigrants added up to politically advantageous demography for Democrats in the long run... 
Latin American governments and Democratic operatives assume that lax border enforcement facilitates the outflow of billions of dollars in remittances sent south of the border and helps flip red states blue.
In other words, the Democrats are importing Messicans to vote for them, and the only way to thwart their race-treason is a wall, which "would radically change the optics of illegal immigration" and "remind the world that undocumented immigrants are not always noble victims but often selfish young adult males..."

These days, with Mueller seeming to close in, one does see prominent conservatives hedging their bets a la McArdle. But all that's meant to accomplish is the possible preservation of their jobs once people start hunting Trumpkins down like dogs: Trump correctly assesses that the actual policy danger of pseudo-outrage from Sorry-Charlie Conservatives With Good Taste is meaningless, which is why he just followed his mood-swing and announced America was leaving Syria. I'm for pulling the U.S. out of everywhere, but I must admit I'm almost as pleased by the resulting homina-homina of dopes like Jeff Flake whose Brave Sir Robin act has been spoiled by this. It's one thing to pretend to want to save citizens' health care, but by God this is the permanent war Trump's fucking with! These people have always been useless, and now everyone knows it -- which it why they're running for cover.

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