‘Never Trump’ Conservatives Soften to President Trump, Hail His Achievements

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
By Paul Martin

19 Dec 2017

Almost a year into the Trump administration, some conservatives who formed part of the “Never Trump” movement during the campaign are softening — even praising the president for his successes in office.

New York Times readers on Sunday were treated to a column by conservative Ross Douthat — a frequent critic of Trump — who wrote about Trump’s underrated victory over the Islamic State. In the column, “A War Trump Won,” Douthat writes:

[I]f you had told me in late 2016 that almost a year into the Trump era the caliphate would be all-but-beaten without something far worse happening in the Middle East, I would have been surprised and gratified. So very provisionally, credit belongs where it’s due — to our soldiers and diplomats, yes, but to our president as well.

Douthat also grills the press for not mentioning the success due to it contradicting the narrative of “Trumpian disaster.” He notes that many on both the left and the Never Trump right have feared Trump’s foreign policy more than anything, and yet it has wrought success so far.

In addition to the victory over ISIS, Douthat praises Trump’s restraint in the Middle East:

In particular, Trump has avoided the temptation often afflicting Republican uber-hawks, in which we’re supposed to fight all bad actors on 16 fronts at once. Instead he’s slow-walked his hawkish instincts on Iran, tolerated Assad and avoided dialing up tensions with Russia. The last issue is of course entangled with the great collusion debate — but it’s still a good thing that our mini-cold war has remained relatively cool and we aren’t strafing each other over Syria.

The Rest…HERE

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