After dedicating an entire issue of its print publication to attacking a single candidate, National Review is in hot water with GOP leaders.
In its most recent print edition, National Review told its readers to vote "Against Trump" in an editorial. It said, in part:
Donald Trump leads the polls nationally and in most states in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. There are understandable reasons for his eminence, and he has shown impressive gut-level skill as a campaigner. But he is not deserving of conservative support in the caucuses and primaries. Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones.
Trump's political opinions have wobbled all over the lot. The real-estate mogul and reality-TV star has supported abortion, gun control, single-payer health care à la Canada and punitive taxes on the wealthy. (He and Bernie Sanders have shared more than funky outer-borough accents.) Since declaring his candidacy he has taken a more conservative line, yet there are great gaping holes in it ...
Indeed, Trump's politics are those of an averagely well-informed businessman: Washington is full of problems; I am a problem-solver; let me at them. But if you have no familiarity with the relevant details and the levers of power, and no clear principles to guide you, you will, like most tenderfeet, get rolled. Especially if you are, at least by all outward indications, the most poll-obsessed politician in all of American history. Trump has shown no interest in limiting government, in reforming entitlements, or in the Constitution. He floats the idea of massive new taxes on imported goods and threatens to retaliate against companies that do too much manufacturing overseas for his taste. His obsession is with "winning," regardless of the means—a spirit that is anathema to the ordered liberty that conservatives hold dear and that depends for its preservation on limits on government power. The Tea Party represented a revival of an understanding of American greatness in these terms, an understanding to which Trump is tone-deaf at best and implicitly hostile at worst. He appears to believe that the administrative state merely needs a new master, rather than a new dispensation that cuts it down to size and curtails its power.
National Review's editors then reminded their readers why they should "dump Trump" in every single article of the magazine. These included:
- Conservatives Should Ask: "Does Trump Walk With Us?"
- When Conservatives Needed Allies, Donald Trump Sided With Obama
- Trump Has One Credential, and It Appears to Be Soft
- Trump: The Art of the Bluff
- Donald Trump, Ann Coulter, and 'No Apologies' Conservatism
- The Cult of Donald Trump
- Donald Trump's Birther Moment Tells Us About Donald Trump, and Not Much Else
- No Movement That Embraces Trump Can Call Itself Conservative
The online version of the editorial then linked every article—there are dozens of them—that either attacked Trump or his supporters over the past year of the presidential campaign. And, as is typical when such things have happened in the past, Trump expressed his disappointment via Twitter:
National Review is a failing publication that has lost it's (sic) way. It's (sic) circulation is way down w its influence being at an all time low. Sad!
Very few people read the National Review because it only knows how to criticize, but not how to lead.
The late, great, William F. Buckley would be ashamed of what had happened to his prize, the dying National Review!
The Republican National Committee didn't like it, either. It has removed the publication as a debate partner for the Feb. 28 debate in Houston, Texas.
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