In War and Peace Tolstoy captures the hubris which led Napoleon to launch his catastrophic invasion of Russia:
The Never Trump conservatives have inverted this mental and moral failure but still suffered dire consequences. failure with dire consequences.
To his mind everything he did was good, not because it agreed with any notion of what was good and bad, but because he did it.
No matter what President Trump does they oppose and deride it. They speak of principles and standards yet the only standard they seem to hold to is Orange Man Bad. They praise intellect and expertise yet their own arguments on TV and twitter are little more than “irritable mental gestures.”
Never Trump “libertarians” announce that they will support socialism with a heavy infusion of Stalinism. “Constitutional conservatives” sing the praises of nanny-staters who are eager to gut the First and Second Amendment.
What we have here is a severe deficit of lightness of being.”
Gaddis sees this quality as invaluable for strategists. The lack of it among NeverTrumpers helps explain so much.
'Lightness of being,' then, is the ability, if not to find the good in bad things, then at least to remain afloat among them, perhaps to swim or sail through them, possibly even to take precautions that can keep you dry.
John Lewis Gaddis, On Grand Strategy
As FDR said “It is a terrible thing to look over your shoulder when you are trying to lead – and to find no one there.”
From political consultants who are no longer consulted to writers who are no longer read, this is the Woodstock for conservatives who never actually conserved anything.