The part of Iceberg in this evening’s performance will be played by David French.
One of the core tenets of the then-loosely organized “Never Trump” group back in 2016 was a supposed commitment to telling the truth as inconvenient as it was in what ultimately ended up being failed attempts at countering claims from Trump supporters that the then-presidential candidate was the type of tough-as-nails Republican we needed in the White House.
After Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, what happened in the Never Trump movement was all-too-predictable. Over a period of time, many “principled” conservatives like the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin and the frauds that eventually banded together to form the Lincoln Project train wreck became indistinguishable from Democrats by doing complete 180s on the conservative positions they held to consistently over the 8 years of Obama’s presidency.
But while some Never Trumpers wholeheartedly embraced leftist causes and exposed themselves as pseudo-conservatives in the process, there were others who while not totally abandoning conservativism nevertheless began embracing the very type of tactics they claimed in 2016 to abhor: passing off dishonest arguments as factual in order to prove their opposition wrong.
The latter brings me to David French, formerly of NRO and now the senior editor for The Dispatch. Much has been written about French by my colleagues here over the last couple of years, but I’ve long resisted doing so in the naive hope that maybe he’d one day get around to seeing things from the perspective of a former Never Trumper like myself.
Not long after the election, I went from being a conservative idealist to a realist when it came to Trump. I wasn’t a diehard supporter but I began to understand the arguments people who did enthusiastically support him were making about how he was a conservative leader befitting of the times in which we were living. I saw myself over the Trump years as an “explainer” more so than a “defender,” although I did defend him from false attacks when the occasion called for it (which, of course, was quite often). I got where he was coming from most of the time, and in my social media posts on him as well as articles I’d write, I would lay out my case honestly and let the chips fall where they may.
The keyword there is “honestly.” Honest is something a person can be no matter what side of the aisle, no matter what level of “TRUEEEEE conservative” they happen to be. I don’t use the word “dishonestly” lightly but in this case of I feel I have no choice because David French is once again choosing to take that route rather than to honestly assess Trump’s last year in office.
It all started after this tweet earlier today from conservative author J.D. Vance which made a valid point about “mean tweets” that others including my buddy Bonchie have made in recent weeks in response to the various crises America finds herself in under President Biden’s “leadership”:
We have a border crisis, inflation, and gas shortages in Florida, but what’s really important is that the president is nice on Twitter.
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) May 11, 2021
It’s absolutely true that some people voted for Biden primarily because they believed the lie about how “unity and healing and civility” would return under a Biden administration. But instead of acknowledging that point, here was French’s response:
Trump left us with the worst wave of death in a century, the worst crime increase in years, the first net job loss in generations, and an insurrection attempt based on an avalanche of lies told across all forms of media. Twitter was one of his least important problems. https://t.co/dcEIkow96r
— David French (@DavidAFrench) May 11, 2021
It was just absolutely breathtaking in its dishonesty, and from a guy who for four years has held himself up to be the standard-bearer of what it meant to be an honest Trump critic on the right.
You’re blaming Trump for a virus that came from China, an increased wave of violent crime caused by Democrats cutting police budgets, and job loss because of mostly state government imposed economic lockdowns…? https://t.co/9dMTdA5G9S
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 11, 2021
I’ve said this about mainstream media journalists and will also say this about “true conservatives” like French, the ones who were supposed to be “above” the clown show antics of the Jennifer Rubins and Rick Wilsons of this country: When it comes to the point where fellow conservatives can’t discern your political commentary from what comes out of left-wing fever swamps and CNN “news” segments, then perhaps it’s not those conservatives who are the problem. Maybe, just maybe, the problem is you.
Think about it.