The Left is still looking for scapegoats for his 2016 victory, and the coterie of critics on the right — loosely referred to as Never Trump — often sound like they are in denial.
.. A serious primary challenge is not in the offing. For that to change, it would probably take a smoking-gun revelation in the Mueller probe or some other jaw-dropping scandal, plus a significant political betrayal. And if Trump crashes and burns, it is doubtful the 2020 nomination would be worth having. This means that Trump’s welfare is inextricably caught up with the party’s... Ronald Reagan wouldn’t have been the potent figure he was in the late 1970s if he hadn’t pounded away at the premier populist-nationalism issue of the time, resistance to giving up the Panama Canal: “We bought it. We built it. We paid for it. It’s ours.”
We can argue about what role populism and nationalism should have in conservative politics, but that they have a place, and always have, is undeniable.
.. Trump is not seriously engaged enough to drive this himself, while congressional Republicans lack interest in immigration restriction and oppose Trump on trade. But make no mistake: On immigration and China trade, Trump is closer to the national Republican consensus than his conservative detractors... By all means, criticize him when he’s wrong. But don’t pretend that he’s just going away, or that he’s a wild outlier in the contemporary GOP.