Ross Douthat of the New York Times has admitted that Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton passed up the opportunity to reach out to “#NeverTrump” conservatives in her convention speech, offering them “nothing” to entice them to switch.
Douththat writes in his Sunday column (original emphasis):
Yes, the convention’s showmanship was strikingly unifying, bipartisan, moderate — but Hillary Clinton’s domestic agenda is not. She’s running as a liberal, full stop, with a platform well to the left of where her party stood five or 10 or 20 years ago.
She’s happy to make right-leaning voters feel a little better about fleeing Trump, but she isn’t offering them substantive concessions, or seeking a grand centrist coalition. Instead she’s telling them: It’s me or Trump, and you know you can’t put the nuclear codes in his undersize hands, so my offer is … nothing.
But here’s a flag to cheer you up.
… the absence of outreach is still notable, especially in a campaign that the Democrats are casting as a kind of national emergency.
Douthat’s admission is remarkable, given a number of dubious and inflammatory conclusions he reaches about Republicans.
For example, he compares Republican Party nominee Donald Trump to George Wallace, the segregationist Democrat and former Alabama governor who ran for president on a third-party ticket in 1968.
Douthat also approves of the “grand finale” of the Democratic convention and its “appropriation of conservative tropes and themes — God and country, the flag and 9/11, the founding fathers and the Constitution,” concluding: “Anyone who came of age with Ronald Reagan found more to recognize in the Democratic Party’s rhetoric last week than in Donald Trump’s self-aggrandizing George Wallace imitation.”
“Anyone”? No one who had actually been to both conventions would have said something so woefully false and ill-informed. Democrats’ hollow imitation of patriotism was nothing new — and could not undo the jeers for veterans, the protests against police, and the complete lack of American flags in the early part of the convention.
Still, Douthat’s admission is a sign that #NeverTrump may have to rethink the “Never,” and take the more responsible path of voting for Trump while preparing a conservative opposition to keep him in check.
Read Douthat’s full article, “Liberalism’s Big Bet.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.