the persistence of liberal Trump Derangement Syndrome is a big part of the defend-Trump-no-matter-what dynamic. Because the mainstream media and the Democrats are so unhinged in their criticisms of Trump, they give no room for thoughtful criticism. Lots of normal Trump voters are frustrated with his presidency so far. But the partisan inanity of Trump’s left-wing critics makes it difficult not to run to his defense.
.. Take, for example, Sean Spicer’s “Not even Hitler” gaffe. I made fun of the guy, because the statement was so painfully dumb. (I like to imagine a homunculus Spicer in the control room in his head completely freaking out as he loses control of Spicer’s speech center. “I’ve got no brakes! I got no brakes!!”) But liberals had to take it straight to eleven, by calling Spicer a Holocaust denier and an anti-Semite. C’mon. Some even claimed the statement was a deliberate attempt to signal . . . something.
This reminds me of one of my biggest gripes about Bush Derangement Syndrome. His critics would simultaneously argue that Bush was a blithering idiot, but also an evil mastermind
.. for a lot of his rank-and-file supporters, it’s more complicated. They’re invested in Trump first and Trumpism second, if at all.
.. The danger .. is that Trump could end up redefining conservatism .. as “whatever Trump does.”
.. Trump isn’t an ideological or philosophical conservative. He has no ideology or philosophy, rightly understood.
.. I have zero confidence that Trump will reliably and consistently trade opportunities for political success — “wins” — for conservative victories over time. I also never bought that he was a particularly good manager.
.. that hope rests, as I said last week, on conservatives restricting his range of possible political options solely to conservative policies.
.. in conservatives in Congress defining what counts as a win in the realm of the possible and then nudging, coaxing, flattering, or tricking him in that direction.