The Dean of Never-Trumpers, George Will, Unloads on the President
I met George Will in Washington's BWI airport on my way to New Hampshire for their primary in 2000. He was on his way to cover the event and I was there to campaign for former Sen. Bill Bradley. I complemented him on a piece he had written about baseball. His love for the game reflects my own, but in those days I rarely agreed with his policy positions. Still, it was impossible not to appreciate the intellectual heft he gave to the conservative movement. And, since the death of William F. Buckley in 2008, Will has been the preeminent voice of American conservatism.
Will broke from the Republican Party because of Bush's disastrous handling of the occupation of Iraq during the second Gulf War, ridiculed Sarah Palin's policy chops, opposed the nomination of Donald Trump and became so disenchanted that he re-registered as an unaffiliated voter in 2019. He is now the dean of the "Never-Trumpers," what's left of public intellectuals within the conservative movement. Will and other "Never-Trumpers" like Bill Kristol who writes for the "Bulwark", David Frum from the "Atlantic," and Max Boot from the Washington Post are fighting a rear-guard action to prevent the GOP from fading into its deserved obscurity, bereft of ideas, hugging tightly to elderly white men, isolationists, xenophobes and evangelicals for its last gasps.
Today, Will mostly focuses his writing on conservative and libertarian policy prescriptions, hoping to refocus and revitalize the national debate, but his disdain for Donald Trump and the President's Republican sycophants is never far from the surface. Yesterday he wrote a piece for the Washington Post which excoriates Trump's decision to abandon the Kurds as well as the President's arguments for not cooperating with the House's impeachment probe. It's a superb piece.
George Will, Washington Post: "Donald Trump, an ongoing eruption of self-refuting statements (“I’m a very stable genius” with “a very good brain”), is adding self-impeachment to his repertoire. Spiraling downward in a tightening gyre, his increasingly unhinged public performances (including the one with Finland’s dumbfounded president looking on) are as alarming as they are embarrassing. His decision regarding Syria and the Kurds was made so flippantly that it has stirred faint flickers of thinking among Congress’s vegetative Republicans"....
... "Trump’s gross and comprehensive incompetence now increasingly impinges upon the core presidential responsibility. This should, but will not, cause congressional Republicans to value their own and their institution’s dignity and exercise its powers more vigorously than they profess fealty to Trump. He has issued a categorical refusal to supply witnesses and documents pertinent to the House investigation of whether he committed an impeachable offense regarding Ukraine. This refusal, which is analogous to an invocation of the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, justifies an inference of guilt. Worse, this refusal attacks our constitutional regime. So, the refusal is itself an impeachable offense."
The column is classic George Will, dense, funny, intelligent, and compelling. It's worth a read...or two.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore