UPDATE: Cooke objected to one characterization of his column. Fair enough. His tweet is at the end. I try to be fair.
Charles C. W. Cooke of the National Review penned, "Trump Has Succeeded in Convincing Conservatives to Discard their Principles Overnight." The piece was full of strawmen and false assumptions, of course. My favorite:
If you have in the last few years become vexed and frustrated by the Republican base’s penchant for political purity, you should perhaps be breathing a little easier. A handful of months ago many of those who now make up Trump’s rank-and-file were ideological perfectionists who hated the GOP’s leadership, believed to their souls that the country was becoming a socialist hell-hole, and insisted vehemently that they had sat out the 2012 election because Mitt Romney was such a terrible squish. Today, by dint of some dark and unholy magic, these wannabe purists have hitched their wagons to Donald Trump, the greatest shape-shifter of them all.He is wrong. Cooke should stick to facts. Conservatives showed up at the polls in November 2012 just as they have in every quadrennial election for president. It is the moderates who sit out elections. Goldwater in 1964, for example. I do not doubt that many Republicans voted for Obama in 2008 and again in 2012. Cooke would have you believe that conservatives -- the people who withstood eight years (going back to 2007) of being called klansmen because they opposed Barack Obama's election as president -- stayed home on Election Night 2012, after showing up in big numbers in 2010 and later in 2014?
In his piece. Cooke lumped all Trump supporters as sellouts:
Thus it is that an array of self-described “true conservatives” have put themselves in the awkward position of supposing that an “assault weapons” ban isn’t that big a deal after all. Thus have the pioneers of litmus testing lined up obediently behind a guy whose position on Planned Parenthood is identical to Hillary Clinton’s. Thus have the Scalia-citing “constitutional conservatives” taken to lionizing a man whose primary criticism of the liberty-shredding Kelo v. New London ruling was that it didn’t go far enough. Thus have the screaming eagles of Twitter and beyond taken to contending that the class-conscious tax hikes that the America-hating communist Bernie Sanders proposes are akin to apple-pie-and-motherhood when they’re floated by Donald Trump.Let us review those issues.
1. President Reagan supported the assault weapons ban of 1994. It expired in 2004. There is no credible effort to revive it, even under Barack Obama. Trump will not revive it.
2. Trump's position on Planned Parenthood is identical to Hillary Clinton's? Well so is every Republican president and every Republican Congress before, because until the videos of selling body parts of babies surfaced, de-funding Planned Parenthood was a non-starter. And of course, the Omnibus Budget bill funds Planned Parenthood.
3. Kelo? Really? The decision came down in 2005 when Republicans controlled the White House, the House, and the Senate. And it was not overturned. Not at all. Bush and company barely mentioned it.
4. Saying Trump's tax policy is the same as Bernie Sanders is an outright lie. Trump's plan is here. He cuts taxes across the board. And as the Reform Party presidential candidate in 2000, Trump had an even lower tax proposal.
Conservatives keep electing Republicans who talk the right way, but who walk the left way. In Trump, there will be no broken promises. He is what he is, a man of his word.
As for me, I am sitting the primaries out. Let the people in Iowa and Florida figure this out. By the time it gets to West Virginia in May, we will be making bets on the vice presidential nominee. But let's stop trashing Republican voters. Trump's supporters are not racists, ignorant, xenophobes, or fools. They just happen to see something in Trump that Mister Cooke does not see.
I am really disappointed to witness the National Review trash the people who buy it or read it online.
@donsurber You misread this. I know conservatives showed up in 2012; I argue that all the time. But Trump's fans keep insisting otherwise.— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) December 30, 2015