Let’s talk about Mona Charen, the conservative writer who got WAY up on her high horse at CPAC last weekend to virtue signal to the six or seven other NeverTrumpers who still haven’t come to their senses.
Charen was on a panel with others to discuss a variety of topics, including the #MeToo movement. The host asked the guests to talk about liberal hypocrisy when it comes to issue of sexual harassment and assault – the kind of softball question that Charen could have easily knocked out of the park. Instead, she decided it would be a good time to show some “courage” and speak out against the direction of conservatism under Trump.
“How can conservative women hope to have any credibility on the subject of sexual harassment or relations between the sexes when they excuse the behavior of President Trump?” Charen asked in a New York Times op-ed on her appearance. “And how can we participate in any conversation about sexual ethics when the Republican president and the Republican Party backed a man credibly accused of child molestation for the United States Senate?
“I watched my fellow panelists’ eyes widen,” she wrote. “And then the booing began.”
Charen insisted that she was “glad” to be booed at CPAC, though. She said the conservatism that has taken root in the party since the rise of Trump is not one she wants anything to do with.
“For traditional conservatives, the past two years have felt like a Twilight Zone episode,” she wrote. “Politicians, activists and intellectuals have succumbed with numbing regularity, betraying every principle they once claimed to uphold. But there remains a vigorous remnant of dissenters. I hear from them. There were even some at CPAC.”
Super duper. And no one can necessarily argue that when it comes to issues of sexual…whatever…Republicans have as many skeletons in the closet as Democrats.
But really? A Twilight Zone episode?
That doesn’t jibe with what we’ve seen. Yes, economic nationalism has taken a front seat in the Trump Era, and there are aspects of the Trump Doctrine that mesh poorly with the war-hawkishness of the Bush years, but we have to say: When you get down to the bare bones of it, this is conservatism in action.
No less an authority on the matter than the Heritage Foundation agrees. According to Thomas Binion, the director of congressional and executive branch relations, President Trump is actually making faster progress on a list of 334 agenda items recommended by Heritage than Ronald Reagan did in his day. In a conversation with Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner, Binion said that any conservative should be proud of what Trump has accomplished.
“We’re blown away,” he said. “Trump is very active, very conservative, and very effective.”
Maybe Charen would be more comfortable with a “nice” kind of conservatism – the kind that loses elections to the likes of Barack Obama twice in a row – but the rest of us are quite pleased to see some real progress.