Meanwhile, the National Review went all in against Trump in its latest edition, drawing praise from Washington insiders. The magazine lined up 22 writers who railed against Trump, repeating the same arguments they have made the last six months, arguments which have hurt The Donald about as much as Whoopi Goldberg's threat to leave the USA. Chris Christie will help you pack.
The cover delighted Jeb Bush.
Welcome to the fight, all. Trump is not a conservative. pic.twitter.com/Fri8reAEx1— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) January 22, 2016
But the real winner was The Donald. He got another news cycle out of the deal, and gets to shed conservative baggage at the same time. True, he lost 22 votes there, but Mona Charen and Ed Meese were never going to vote for him.
However, I am not saying the race is over. Ted Cruz is hanging in there, and Marco Rubio still has a shot at it. I am not calling this race for anyone. Let me make that clear.
But the editors at the National Review are.
This is a White Flag edition that shows the people at the National Review now believe the Republican presidential race has become a referendum on Donald Trump -- which is exactly what he wants it to be. In a field of 17 candidates, The Donald rose to the top. He is the only one anyone talks about. That has been the case since June 16, 2015, when he entered the race. The magazine cover is a tribute to his success, and a concession of defeat because those writers -- from Glenn Beck to Cal Thomas -- have been through too many presidential elections not to be able to see and read the handwriting on the wall.
All summer and fall and winter, everyone at The Weekly Standard and the National Review screamed to conservatives that Donald Trump is not a conservative.
Guess what? That's fine. This year many conservative voters don't care. Certainly moderates and liberals don't.
It is not that these conservatives are sellouts, or stupid, or mesmerized by a carnival barker, or racist, or whatever other label that conservative writers in Washington, D.C., wish to pin upon those who dare have the nerve to support someone who is not a conservative.
Let us look at this from a conservative voter's perspective. Not a conservative pundit, who gets paid win, lose or draw.
Having elected Bush 43 in 2000, what did conservative voters get? Another Cabinet office -- the Department of Homeland Security -- and a doubling of the national debt, after having spent the 1990s finally getting the budget balanced again. Oh and they got that jackass John Roberts as the chief justice and chief defender of Obamacare.
I left out No Child Left Behind, which further expanded federal control of local schools. Also, Bush championed the right to home ownership in 2006, which resulted in mortgages for the unworthy in 2007, which led to the financial collapse of the Western world in 2008, which led to President Obama and the restoration of the House of Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Then, came 2010. Tea Party conservatives flipped the House with the best showing in 64 years for Republicans -- a net gain of 63 seats in the House and 7 in the Senate. And what did the Tea Party get? The blame for not taking the Senate -- an effort that would have required an 11-seat gain. That slur -- that slam -- came after the Republican Party abandoned Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, and John Raese.
Many conservative voters no longer care to play by the rules set down by George Will, who derided Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell for drawing the wrath and ridicule of the cast of "Saturday Night Live."
Oh dear. Oh my.
This time, many conservatives just want the wall built. Trump has not always been pro-life and pro-guns, but he is now and that is what counts. He also is unapologetically politically incorrect, to the point of being rude, but being polite has not gotten conservatives a damned thing. Trump is bringing Democrats, independents and unregistered people into the party. Losing just to meet some conservative purity test is a luxury Republicans no longer can afford.
Washington conservatives -- Cable News Conservatives -- overlook the fundamental principle of conservativism, and that is giving everyone the same opportunity. America is best when she is a capitalistic society that builds railroads and industry. The idea that only career politicians are qualified to hold public office is not conservative.
But this year's election is not about conservativism or liberalism. The survival of the nation is. It's not about entitlements or foreign policy or balancing the budget. It is about protecting the borders. We are reduced to that basic an issue because Washington has failed to protect the nation from two simultaneous invasions. Trump's response to Muslim terrorism in San Bernardino led to a chorus of clucked tongues on cable TV, but the people watching at home cheered.
American Lives Matter.
Trump is forming a third party. It is called the Republican Party. His plan is to have his coalition of conservatives, moderates and liberals take over the party. If he wins and Will and the National Review don't like it, too damned bad. They had their chance for 28 years after Reagan departed. They blew it. Maybe Karl Rove can milk a few million more from the trust fund saps and form a third party. Call it the Milk Party, and use a cash cow as a mascot.