WASHINGTON. The conservative movement is undergoing a significant shakeup. It’s no secret that The Weekly Standard, a journal that came into its own during the scandal-prone administrations of Democratic presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, has steadfastly refused to give its support to the transformative, iconoclastic, America First, Donald J. Trump.
Chronicling a new kind of conservatism
Reports are that the Weekly Standard may close its doors forever due to dwindling readership and defecting financial donors.
Such is the price of never-Trumping.
It was during the administration of George W. Bush that the Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes created a new branch of conservatism to explain Bush’s propensity to spend big on social programs. Barnes called it “big government conservatism.” He claimed it used what “would normally be seen as liberal means – activist government – for conservative ends.”
So, what separated this peculiar branch of conservatism from all the others? That it “fashioned an alliance of sorts with Teddy Kennedy on education and Medicare,” wrote Barnes.
And so, Teddy Kennedy conservatism has ruled the GOP ever since.
In April of 2016, Tech CEOs, which included Apples’ Tim Cook and SpaceX’s Elon Musk, met secretly with such Teddy Kennedy conservative luminaries as Bush policy advisor Karl Rove and the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol at Georgia’s Sea Island Resort.
It was a “stop Trump” conclave.
According to Vanity Fair magazine, Karl Rove…
“… shared focus-group findings that indicated Trump’s biggest weakness is that he can be erratic and that voters don’t consider him to be ‘presidential.’”
Rove’s anti-Trump findings proved as wrongheaded as the mainstream media’s pro-Hillary Clinton prognostications. In a very real sense, Republican voters lacked any love for the cookie-cutter Republican candidates presented them in the 2016 presidential primaries.
They also lacked any warm and fuzzy feelings for Mrs. Clinton as they later showed in the general election.
Thanks, but no thanks
GOP voters are done with the aloof, bloodless, “presidential” empty suits. Political suits big on promises like “read my lips: no new taxes” and “repeal and replace Obamacare.” And so, these voters chose a brash, in-your-face, combative billionaire real estate developer that spoke like a hardhat-wearing construction worker.
The Weekly Standard’s possible folding is yet another sign that 20th century, erectile dysfunctional, Teddy Kennedy conservatism, like the “Free Silver Movement” of the 19th century, is coming to a close. In its two short years in Washington, Trump’s patriotic, America First populism has accomplished a great deal despite opposition from Democrats and their GOP enablers.
A never-Trump dead-ender
Speaking of GOP enablers, Bill Kristol has formed a political action committee – Defending Democracy Together – to finance the campaign of a yet-to-be-named never-Trump candidate to challenge the president in the 2020 GOP primaries.
But by then, anti-Trump, Teddy Kennedy conservatives should be used to losing.