The Corner

Politics & Policy

Personality vs. Party

Pretty much every day, I hear or see people arguing, shouting, screaming, or even threatening that all Republicans must give Donald Trump more or less unqualified support. Some very smart people even suggest that “sniping” at Donald Trump is out of bounds. I’m not going to revisit all those arguments.

But one thing I find interesting is how so many people couch these arguments in terms of party loyalty. Wade through the replies in my Twitter feed someday and you will find literally hundreds of people shouting, “It’s us or them! If you don’t like Trump, become a Democrat or a liberal!” And, of course, a thousand varieties of “RINO!”

So, actually, that’s not the interesting part. That’s old news. What does intrigue me is how most of these same people feel no reluctance whatsoever to heap scorn and ridicule on the Republican House and Senate — and the GOP leadership, in particular — whenever it helps Trump.

Do you see the disconnect? If the anger from Trump defenders was really about defending the party, you wouldn’t expect this much vitriol against elected Republican leaders — a great many of whom outperformed Donald Trump in 2016 and outpoll him among Republicans.

Now, when the criticism is valid, I have zero problem with criticizing any Republican, be it Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, or Donald Trump. But that doesn’t seem to be the rule for a lot of Trump supporters. They seem to have mirrored Trump’s own stance of always finding someone other than Trump to blame. That’s annoying and silly on its own terms. But it is particularly pathetic to wrap yourself in partisan loyalty when it helps Trump and then instantly opt to piss on the party from a great height when that suits his purposes.

If you always end up arguing that one leader can do no wrong, you aren’t really a member of a party, you’re a member of a cult of personality.

Most Popular

Economy & Business

The Swamp: Navarro Nucor Edition

The Wall Street Journal has a story today about the ties between President Trump's trade adviser, Peter Navarro, and the biggest steel company in the U.S. -- Nucor Corp. It is particularly interesting in light of the stiff steel tariffs successfully pushed by Navarro, which he championed ever since he joined the ... Read More


EMPIRICAL   As I can fathom neither endlessness nor the miracle work of deities, I hypothesize, assume, and guess.   The fact that I love you and you love me is all I can prove and proves me. — This poem appears in the April 2 print issue of National Review. Read More

Nancy MacLean Won’t Quit

One of the biggest intellectual jousting matches last year was between Duke history professor Nancy MacLean, who wrote a slimy, dishonest book about Nobel Prize–winning economist James Buchanan and the whole limited-government movement, and the many scholars who blasted holes in it. If it had been a boxing ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Rolling Back Dodd-Frank

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would roll back parts of Dodd-Frank. The vote was 67–31, with 17 members of the Democratic caucus breaking party lines. If the legislation passes the House and is signed, it will be the largest change to the controversial financial-reform package since it became law in ... Read More

How Germany Vets Its Refugees

At the height of the influx of refugees into Germany in 2015–17, there was little doubt that mixed among the worthy cases were economic migrants taking advantage of the chaos to seek their fortunes in Europe. Perhaps out of instinctive pro-immigrant sentiment, Germany’s Left obscured the difference. Its ... Read More