Charles Krauthammer, Fox News fixture and neocon propagandist, announced late last week the #NeverTrump movement is officially dead now that increasing numbers of Republicans are flocking under the presumptive’s wing and the party gears up for a final battle in November against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
During a talking heads round robin at Fox News—the media bastion for both Republicans and their neocon comrades—Brit Hume said the end came Saturday when Trump appeared at the National Rifle Association convention in Louisville, Kentucky.
“I think it’s one of a number of signs that Donald Trump is well on his way to pulling nearly all of the Republican Party behind him. There will be holdouts and there will be conservatives who were conservatives first and Republicans second that will not be reconciled to him, but the Supreme Court list that he put out, the meeting with Paul Ryan, all these things are pointing in the same direction, that—that Republicans and most conservatives are increasingly ready, particularly because they so fear the alternative, to back him and I think that’s—that’s where we’re going,” Hume said.
Indicating the end is nigh for the fledging movement, on Saturday Sen. Lindsey Graham—a stalwart neocon and formerly one of Donald Trump’s fiercest and pugnacious critics—urged GOP donors at a private fundraiser Saturday in Florida to get behind the Trump campaign. The call was important because the fundraiser was hosted by former U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Al Hoffman, a former Republican National Committee finance chairman who also co-chaired Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid, according to a CNN report.
Graham was encouraged by a tête-à-tête with Trump last week. The Islamic State and Syria were reportedly discussed.
Not all neocons, however, are changing their tune.
Neocon and senior editor at the consistent financial failure, the National Review—the magazine lost over $25 million over the span of fifty years—Jonah Goldberg reaffirmed his unwavering commitment to oppose Trump.
Describing the decision by many Republicans to support Trump as “some sort of rapture-like event where the anti-Trump Remnant vanished in the blink of an eye,” Goldberg wrote last week he has a “custodial obligation to the conservative movement.” He means the neoconservative movement, of course, since many of those self-described as conservative are now lining up behind Trump, well aware what four or eight years of Clinton portend.
Goldberg’s bitterness shines through. Those who listened to and gave credence to Trump from the start are dismissed as “the benighted… conned by a conman.” He then turns on the “alt-righters” who make excuses for Trump’s supposed nativist racism and “new white-nationalist takeover of the party and the country,” a stale meme floated months ago that fell flat on its face—except over on the left where Trump is ludicrously cast as a Hitleresque figure. In addition to the “false priests,” the “fake moderates,” the “establishment of whores,” and other “distinct subspecies” of “quislings, opportunists, lobbyists, remoras, and mercenaries,” Goldberg denounces those of his own #NeverTrump allies who have found “a strange new respect for our orange-hued national savior. I find this sort of thing disgusting and always have.”
Goldberg’s rancor may signal the final defeat of the post-neocon dream of reassuming power in the White House and taking over the all-war, all-the-time crusade. Donald Trump, while condemning the Islamic State and saying he will resume waterboarding, has rightfully cast plenty of aspersion upon the Bush and Obama war on terror and, in particular, the rotted crowning jewel of that effort—the illegal and disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Goldberg and the neocons, however, will not merely fade into the sunset. Having failed to create a viable (let alone rational) anti-Trump movement, many will crawl hat-in-hand over to the Democrat side and embrace Hillary Clinton.
She is, after all, more than any other candidate, representative of the neocon philosophy. While many neocons disagree with her approach to Libya and Syria, they certainly admire her zeal and commitment to bomb small countries and wage an endless war against designated enemies such as Bashar al-Assad, Hezbollah, Iran and, alarmingly, Russia.