Like father like son? What conservatives are writing about Donald Trump Jr

Some are aghast at Trump campaigns almost cartoonish ineptitude, while others offer up parallel universe of distraction and whataboutism

Donald Trump is currently dividing America into warring factions, and even subfactions. Its not just that the right cant agree with the left; they cant reach agreement among themselves.

Pro-Trump diehards when theyre not giving Don Jr softball interviews are insisting that Trumps campaign-season meeting with a Russian lawyer is unexceptionable, and the media storm around it is proof of a witch-hunt. Others are aghast at the cartoonish levels of ineptitude, mendacity and opportunism that every member of this family seems to display. Some are even following the Democrats, right up to the point of saying that morally, if not legally, this is something like treason.

No, You Dont Take the Meeting

PublicationNational Review

Author David French was a high profile #nevertrump conservative who even toyed with running for president against him. He complained of harassment from Trump fans in the wake of his non-run. Despite the temptations of anti-anti-Trump left-bashing, hes usually been on hand to voice something approximating sanity in the wake of Trumps many scandals.

Why you should read it French is aghast that Trump the younger would even make time for someone claiming to have information on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. Hes equally appalled at those on the right who are accepting the administrations excuses.

Extract As an initial matter, its amazing that anyone on the right or left is taking any talking points from the Trump administration at face value. After months of deception and misdirection, why should anyone believe the Trump administrations account of the meeting? Why should anyone believe that this is the last shoe to drop or the only shoe to drop demonstrating an effort to collude with Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election?

And yet conservatives are rallying across the Internet, ignoring all previous false statements, and essentially saying, Now we know the truth, and the truth is that nothing happened. This isnt analysis; its wishful thinking.

A Conspiracy of Dunces

PublicationThe New York Times

Author Ross Douthat is one of the New York Timess resident conservatives. One of his colleagues in that enterprise, David Brooks, came unstuck this week with a column about sandwiches, but Ross has his eyes firmly fixed on the prize.

Why you should read it Douthat struggles to convey his disgust and alarm within the constraints of his habitually genteel prose. He cant quite come out and say the Trumps are crooks and morons, but you can read between the lines pretty easily. He also thinks they are going to take down the congressional GOP, and that that body is not going to do anything to save itself.

Extract In the end, impeachment is political, not legal, and the House GOP probably wont impeach for anything short of a transcript of a call between Trump and Putin in which the words Yes, I want you to hack their servers big-league, Vladimir appear in black and white. And even then But right now, the 2018 congressional elections promise to be a de facto referendum on impeachment. There are enough sparks in the smoke; there will probably be fire for some of Trumps intimates before another year is out.

Levin: Dems want to take down the American people

PublicationThe Mark Levin Show

Author: Mark Levin the nationss shouty rightwing uncle was a harsh Trump critic, and a Cruz guy. In the months since the inauguration, whether due to pressure from his audience or his own overwhelming hatred of Trumps enemies, he has become a staunch defender of the administration.

Why you should listen Part of Levins defence here is pretty funny: he compares Trump to Nixon and Reagan, and claims that the corruption scandals each has faced is evidence not of a problem with the Republican party, but with the Democrats. The effort to take down Trump, he has been arguing in recent days, is an attempt to subvert democracy itself. By this logic, we could never impeach a president at all, or at least not a Republican. Levins audience is the hardcore Republican base, and he reserves a lot of ire for them, perhaps hoping that his listeners will keep them in line, and prevent them from even thinking about moving against the president.

Extract From 1:02 on the Soundcloud recording, caller Tim calls in to blast congressional Republicans for allegedly teaming up with congressional republicans, and Levin lets fly.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met last June with Donald Trump Jr. Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

Trump & The Smoking Yawn

PublicationThe American Conservative

Author Rod Dreher, old friend of the column, is not angry any more, just very very tired.

Why you should read it Dreher reacts to the Don Jr situation with his mtier: Christian-conservative despair. For him, the latest news is no big deal, not because there is nothing wrong with the meeting, but just because its no surprise given the ambient level of corruption in the administration. Perhaps hell be taking the Benedict Option sooner, rather than later.

Extract Heres the thing that dogs me, and thats a measure of my own cynicism about Trump: Im struggling to care about this story at this point. Me, Ive priced this corruption into my estimation of the man. He is morally unfit to be president. By the time his presidency is over, he will have made Richard Nixon and Warren G. Harding, previously thought to be considered the two most corrupt American presidents, look like Captain Kangaroo and Mr Green Jeans (sorry, millennials; you have to be of a certain age to get the reference). I guess its Trump fatigue. He has so lowered the bar on presidential behavior that this latest revelation comes across as just one more damn thing.

Donald Trump Jr did nothing wrong

Publication Infowars via Periscope

Author Alex Jones inimitable, redoubtable, certifiable.

Why you should watch it Leave it to Jones to provide the raw essence of the pro-Trump response complete with distraction, whataboutism, and, naturally, a conspiracy theory (Infowars is claiming the lawyer was a Soros honeypot). His cellphone video, shared live on Periscope, provides a template, and marching orders, for every account with a visible Maga hat in its profile pic (Thousands of them watched). How long can they keep this up?

Extract Watch the first couple of minutes of apologism, and stare into a parallel universe. Keep an eye out for the comments in the lower left hand corner to remind yourself that what he says might be crazy, but Jones isnt talking to himself.

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