Hugh Hewitt, the conservative commentator behind such op-ed hits as “Clinton’s the real risk. If we want to stop her, we can’t dump Trump,” is back with a barn-burner in the Washington Post arguing that even if you, a red-blooded American, “loathe Trump,” you should still vote Republican. What an interesting and not at all self-serving piece of advice!
He begins (emphasis added throughout):
The traditional post-Reagan GOP is not what it usually is.
Those modifiers are doing a lot of work! The “post-Reagan GOP,” meaning, the party of Bushes I and II? Most likely, Hewitt is just using this as a signifier to evoke “real” Reagan Conservatism while reminding you that he worked in Reagan’s administration one million years ago.
Currently it is the minority partner in a coalition government with the president — a “party of one” with a fervent following in the tens of millions. But that “party of one” has a number of significant accomplishments while also acting as a giant wrecking ball on assumptions, standards, unwritten rules and codes of conduct.
Many of those unwritten rules are better off demolished — or at least left naked in the public square — including, especially, the overwhelming liberal bias in legacy media, save for Fox News. Twitter feeds have become the best indicator of what the members of the media actually think. The collective mask hasn’t just slipped, it’s been ripped off.
Wait so, what you’re saying is that Trump is good, because he’s laid bare all the people who are mean to you on Twitter??
Hewitt goes on to gesture at Trump’s “political hardball” while praising his “superb Cabinet members, especially on matters of national security,” the only issue hawks like Hewitt really care about. He fails to mention, yet again, that he’s very good friends with one of those Cabinet members he deems worthy of praise.
He then says that Trump’s rhetoric—and, you know, policies—is basically as bad as Obama:
He has radicalized both into engines of extremist rhetoric and policy. They will blame Trump, of course, for their outrage and sputtering, and he deserves a lot of the blame (or credit, depending on your point of view). Trump intentionally incites his opponents with mockery and disdain. So did Barack Obama. So did all of the legions of George W. Bush opponents when politics began going off the rails.
Then Hewitt finally reaches the meat of his argument: what a Democratic majority would mean for the country. Even with his spin, it sounds pretty decent.
Electing Democrats to a majority in the House or the Senate at the height of the party’s lurch left would be a disaster: Impeachment, demands for massive income tax hikes and the effort to abolish ICE would follow, while also throwing the military rebuild into reverse and the economy into paralysis because of the inability of business to predict the future with anything like certainty.
He finally ends: “So even if you loathe the president, vote Republican.” OK, sure, honestly, whatever.
Based on Hewitt’s own trajectory—hosting multiple presidential debates, voicing serious concerns about Trump, eventually capitulating and doing a very public 180 to shill for him—as a spineless member of the “prognosticator” class he claims to so despise, this is a good strategy. It doesn’t matter what you believe or even who’s in power, as long as they keep rich people’s taxes as low and dream about bombing the hell out of Iran. Hewitt has made a career out of being the serious guy in the room who wants credit for critiquing Trump’s aesthetic (if not his substance). What people like him refuse to admit is that Trump is the Republican Party and the Republican Party is Trump—and that’s not going to change anytime soon.