NEW YORK — Putting aside the merits of Never Trump, do those who want to sink the soon-to-be-anointed Republican presidential nominee have any sense of political strategy?
The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol unleashed the biggest drum roll ever recorded in early June. He promised to unveil the greatest, wisest, most visionary, compassionate, and charismatic conservative candidate ever. This man might be even better than Ronald Wilson Reagan.
“Ladies and gentlemen, David French!”
Even the crickets were stunned into silence.
The distinguished legal scholar is a decent American and an Iraq War veteran. He deserves enormous praise, respect, and honors for that. But household name, he ain’t.
Even worse, after he pondered it for a few days, French said: Never mind!
Covered with enough egg to ply the 101st Airborne Division with omelets for a year, Kristol & Ko. continued their crusade, although never with an alternative candidate. They essentially fought something with nothing.
And then, on Day One of the Republican National Convention, four days after the Rules Committee slammed the door on any procedure that might give the Never Trumpniks a micron of an opportunity to prevail, former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R – Oklahoma) fades in as The Non-Trump.
As Quin Hillyer, my dear friend of 34 years, reported Monday morning, the obstetrician/retired lawmaker and certified budget hawk “would accept a draft from the convention floor if delegates petition successfully to put his name in nomination.” Hillyer added: “Coburn reportedly will not openly campaign for the nomination, but would accept the nomination and run with enthusiasm if nominated.”
Could Coburn not have announced this, say, the day before the Rules Committee voted? Or two weeks ago? Or maybe the day after the French Mistake? Or, maybe the day before?
This is sad, silly, embarrassing, and self-humiliating for all involved.
It’s one thing to have principled opposition to the man who, on Thursday, will become the Republican presidential nominee.
It’s another thing for Never Trump to fight this lost cause with a barrage of pratfalls, miscues, and comically poor timing.
And this charade continues even after the allegedly “liberal Democrat” Trump picked Mike Pence — a committed, savvy, tungsten-tough conservative — to become the next vice president of the United States.
It is baffling to watch the seasoned Kristol, the appealing Senator Ben Sasse (R – Nebraska), the august George Will, and the insufferable Bush family effectively prolong the Republican primaries nearly two months after Trump secured the nomination on May 26. This futile resistance of the inevitable — after Trump’s fair-and-square defeat of 16 other candidates, four of whom I supported — accomplishes just one thing: It gives aid and comfort to Hillary Clinton and her unindicted co-conspirator husband’s campaign to re-occupy the White House and spend four to eight years firing howitzer shells at what little is left of the America in which we all grew up.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is right: voters face “a binary choice.” The next commander-in-chief will be either Donald Trump (now with the added advantage of Pence’s ideas, experience, and counsel) or Hillary Rodham Extremely Careless.
Those are the two people who will win and lose the White House in November. The only question is, which one will do which?
Every joule of energy spent trying to lance Trump’s windmill boosts the odds that America’s own Imelda Peron will oppress this country and its people for 48 to 96 months.
Republicans, conservatives, and especially the Never Trumpniks need to face this inescapable reality: Trump is not Ronald Reagan, risen from the grave. But he is not the one-woman crime spree named Hillary Clinton. Very important: Trump likely will sign 75 percent of what a Republican Congress puts on his desk — assuming the GOP keeps Capitol Hill. Clinton’s veto rate would be at least that high.
Here on Earth, that is what stares us in the eyes, unblinking.
Richard Viguerie, a veteran man of the Right and another old friend of mine, recently wrote: “It is time for conservatives to start spending our energy fighting and winning the election we have, rather than wasting our time and energy wishing for one that is not to be.”
So, let’s all get it together, place Mike Pence a few doors down and a heartbeat away from the Oval Office, and keep Hillary Rodham Benghazi where she belongs: in her high-tech bunker in Chappaqua, biting her nails as she awaits her indictment from Attorney General Giuliani.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor. He is a veteran of the 1980 and ’84 Reagan for President campaigns and was a communications consultant to Forbes 2000, the presidential bid of publisher Steve Forbes.