There’s no doubt that excitement – some of it media-driven because they can’t help themselves – was in the air in the run-up before former President Donald Trump’s announcement earlier this month that he was throwing his hat into the ring for 2024. The general tone and tenor in the aftermath of his speech was “let’s gooo!” with many on the right, who reacquainted themselves with the knowledge they needed to fight the anticipated information war the media was getting ready to renew against Trump.
But at the same time, frustration was swirling among even some diehard Trump supporters over his attacks on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. There was also scattered blame on Trump, whether fair or not, for some Election Day losses. And then the Kanye dinner happened, and then controversy erupted over whether or not Trump knew the kind of person Kanye associate Nick Fuentes, who reportedly came along for the ride, really is.
The latter seems to be the straw that has come closest to breaking the camel’s back for some, so much so that some of the more prominent Never Trump grifters are now openly throwing tantrums on social media after it was inconveniently pointed out that the cash well may soon run dry if the discontent with Trump grows big enough to cause him to lose his 2024 primary fight.
The person who triggered the Never Trump cryathon was Dan McLaughlin, a former longtime writer for RedState. Though he considers himself a Never Trumper, McLaughlin is one who would occasionally note his agreement with Trump – which was and is in stark contrast to the likes of the Lincoln Project’s Rick Wilson, who though touting himself as a truuuue conservative nevertheless could never bring himself to acknowledge the conservative nature of many of Trump’s stances and decisions while in office, probably because Wilson was well-aware that the bulk of the funding for the Lincoln Project came from super-rich Resistance(TM) Democrats, with the much of it going straight to LP executives like Wilson.
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Here’s what McLaughlin wrote that started the meltdowns:
“Never Trump” was a statement of non-support for a candidate for election. The mounting odor of hysteria from people who turned it into their whole public & professional identity reeks of fear that he will go away some time soon & can’t be replaced.
Soon after, Tom Nichols – a self-proclaimed “expert” on everything, especially when it comes to opening his mouth and inserting his foot – chimed in, basically telling McLaughlin to shut up because he wasn’t Never Trump when it was unpopular to be so:
Pretty sure that I don’t need a lesson from you about what “Never Trump” meant, Dan. Since you were never a part of that movement, perhaps leave it to the people who began it to define it.
Except the more outfront Never Trumpers like Nichols (and Wilson) already took care of defining it, and not in a good way, as McLaughlin explained in a back and forth that concluded with this:
And that prospect – a Republican party that pursues conservative policy effectively without wrenching internal schisms or self-inflicted wounds, & can’t be held back by Trump – truly scares a lot of people who only claimed to be scared of Trump but turned him into a meal ticket.
Perhaps feeling left out, Wilson got involved with his obnoxiously narcissistic behavior, proclaiming “Good God, the projection is strong here,” to McLaughlin after first writing an entire thread about the issue in the most cowardly way – without tagging McLaughlin or anyone else who he was directing his ire towards.
“In 2016 you said, ‘Never’ and meant, ‘Do me harder, Daddy’ once Trump won. Oh, you did the ‘I hate the tweets love the policy’ bullshit but you know in your heart how false and reprehensible that was from the start. You don’t get to walk away from that,” Wilson, without a hint of self-awareness, wrote, perhaps not realizing he walked away from conservatism entirely because the money, fame, and RTs from the cocktail circuit were more important than being a pragmatic conservative who could separate their dislike for the man versus appreciation for the policy.
“To quote the political philosopher Bane, ‘Your punishment must be more severe,'” he bombastically declared in another tweet. “Here’s how it plays out. You can write a billion NRO columns saying DeSantis craps gold bullion and smells like summer rain, but the seething, hideous mass of the MAGA base is always there.”
To his credit, McLaughlin shut Wilson down by pointing out in the simplest terms the differences in his approach versus Wilson’s:
“You know as well as I do, Rick, that when Trump is finally gone from the scene, I will be right where I was before – same principles, same party, same policy goals, same audience. I haven’t let Trump change any of that. Only one of us can say that.
Ten years ago, @TheRickWilson & I both thought & said that Joe Biden was a ridiculous buffoon of low character with no business anywhere near power. Which of us is still free to say that today?
Last but not least, Wilson’s own words about Joe Biden, written at a time when Wilson at least pretended to be a conservative, were thrown back at him:
There’s so much more “there” there, but we’ll leave it at that, because there is no own so spectacular as those that come straight from the horse’s mouth.
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