Congratulations, George Will: you’ve just been kicked out of the conservative movement.
You just knew there was going to be a profoundly negative reaction from the wingnuts to his latest syndicated column advising conservatives and Republicans to vote for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton with an eye towards throwing her out of office in 2020 rather than voting for presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. HotAir.com’s Jazz Shaw is leading the charge to have Will declared persona non grata on the right:
Will’s final argument, however, is where we come to the most bloated fly in the ointment. The original plan of defeating Trump in the primary was fully within the bounds of normal political play. True, I’ve personally chosen to try to help Ted Cruz win rather than attempting to destroy one of his opponents at every turn and view Trump losing as the be all and end all. This is because Trump has long seemed to be at least plausibly, if not probably the eventual winner and I’d prefer our nominee to go into the general election with as few battle scars from the primary as possible. But George Will pulls the mask away entirely and [declares] that the party as a whole should be working to defeat the GOP nominee in November…
This is a disingenuous argument on two fronts. First, Will himself [observes] earlier [in the column] that less than six percent of voters traditionally split tickets. Yet he turns around in his conclusion and states that this should be the strategy which Republican voters adopt. But much more to the point, he dismisses the idea of a Hillary Clinton presidency as a mere four years of comparatively mild discomfort which will somehow be wiped away when Ben Sasse miraculously wins the White House in 2020. This argument is delivered, apparently with a straight face, after an earlier paragraph in the same column where he points out how a Clinton victory will ensure Merrick Garland a seat on the Supreme Court and the uncomfortable fact that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy and Stephen G. Breyer will be 83, 80 and 78, respectively.
And none of this touches on the fact that each and every Republican and conservative reading his advice will have to walk into a voting booth on November 8th, close the curtains, stand alone in the darkness and… vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton.
As for me, I prefer to win, or at least go down swinging. Surrendering the battle for the White House uncontested is the business of cowards and I want no part of it.
Remember, right-wingers barely tolerate Will because he was presumably cordial to Barack Obama at the then President-elect’s January 2009 confab with conservative pundits (which was actually held at Will’s house). Urging conservatives and Republicans to vote for Clinton is akin to sleeping with the enemy in their minds; expect an organized right-wing effort to have Will’s column removed from many of the nation’s major newspapers, and to have him fired by Fox.
One man’s principle is another man’s career suicide, and Will’s contempt for Trump may have brought a premature end to his comfortable career as a right-wing pundit. Is Will ready to deal with the waves of hate that will flow his way from the bigoted billionaire’s boosters?
From a certain perspective, it’s odd that Will has had such a negative reaction to Trump: after all, as Rachel Maddow has noted, Trump is basically copying Ronald Reagan’s racist act from the 1980 presidential campaign–a campaign whose final debate Will infamously coached Reagan for. Unless Will feels some vestiges of guilt for his role in helping the racially divisive Reagan become the 40th president, it’s curious that he feels so chagrined by the triumph of Trump.
Let’s just take a moment to smile at this situation. In the minds of the least intelligent among us, George Will is now a liberal. Can this year get any funnier?
UPDATE: The Indianapolis Star on this Tuesday’s primary in Indiana.