But his latest column has exactly the same tone and message as that WSJ editorial I referred to the other day. It's a castigation of "purists," notably the House Freedom Caucus, for Congress missing a unique opportunity to repeal and replace the "A"CA. The old you-insisted-on-the-perfect-at-the-expense-of-the-good position.
I can't help but believe Ben Shapiro had Prager, among others, in mind when he penned his latest NRO piece:
the lie came from conservatives who suggested that after Trump was elected — after the Hildebeast had been defeated! — they would go back to holding Trump accountable, pushing for better public policy. Everything had to be put on hold to stop the Democrats from taking power, every heresy tolerated. But once Trump took the White House, conservatives could return to their political philosophy.
It now appears that the cognitive dissonance associated with Trump support has morphed into full-blown Stockholm syndrome, with conservatives now waiving principle not to defeat Hillary Clinton, but to back Trump down the line. Many conservatives now say that Trump’s American Health Care Act was the best available bad option. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and President Trump had presented a crap sandwich, to be sure, but it was the best available crap sandwich. Never mind its 17 percent public-approval rating. Never mind its accelerated death spiral. Never mind its new entitlement, its maintenance of key Obamacare regulations, or its increased premiums for the next few years.
Trump wanted it; thus it was good; thus it had to be passed. It was The Best We Were Going To Do™.Now, the post here at LITD immediately underneath this one is about Trump doing something right - very right. But I hold no illusions about him having a rightie epiphany.
I know what we're dealing with.
Shapiro illustrates the way that his die-hard water-carriers refuse to see:
Remember when Trump would be a great president because he was a great negotiator? That old chestnut has been discarded in favor of “Trump got played by that Machiavellian Snidely Ryan.”
Remember when Trump would know how to work with Congress, because he wasn’t tied down to ideology? That’s been tossed out the window in favor of screaming about conservative obstructionism.
Remember when Trump would be the most conservative president ever, and this whole populist shtick would merely be a cover for a Mike Pence policy? That’s gone, and Trump’s now going to be the greatest aisle-reacher in history.
Remember when Trump would know how to fix D.C., because only he knew how corrupt it was? Now we hear that Trump didn’t understand the extent of the problem in D.C.
Remember when Trump’s toughness would mean that nobody would cross him? That argument now reads, “Trump’s so tough, he knew when to walk away.”Let's add a layer of consideration to this. Let's bring in the Left and have a look at their utter ignorance of the Trump phenomenon's essence. Noah Rothman's account of the exchange between Ted Koppel and Sean Hannity will illustrate it nicely. Hannity, in full jerk mode, goaded Koppel into saying that Hannity has amassed a fan base that put ideology ahead of facts. Rothman points out that it is not ideology that gets Trumpkins salivating; it's a cult of personality, a vague populist / nationalist sentiment.
Which gets us back to the non-vote last Friday.
We have to be very careful what we send to Squirrel-Hair's desk. He looks for "wins" and is not guided by the principles that he vaguely senses in many of those he's surrounded himself with.
And we therefore can't settle for "the best we're going to do."
This whole business of electing Trump president has sure made it more complicated to enact a conservative agenda than it needed to be.
But there we are.