Ross Douthat doubles down. He may have been wrong about Trump before, but he’s still entirely confident that Trump can’t win the nomination:
I certainly overestimated poor Jeb Bush, whom I wrongly predicted would profit from Trump’s rise. But for the rest — no, I had a pretty low opinion of the right-wing entertainment complex to begin with, and I’m not remotely surprised that the white working class would rally to a candidate running on populist and nationalist themes.
I am very surprised, though, that Trump himself would have the political savvy, the (relative) discipline and yes, the stamina required to exploit that opening and become that populist. And for that failure of imagination, I humbly repent.
Of course I’m not completely humbled. Indeed, I’m still proud enough to continue predicting, in defiance of national polling, that there’s still no way that Trump will actually be the 2016 Republican nominee.
Trust me: I’m a pundit.
That’s the true art of punditry. Never changing your mind, even while you are admitting that you’re wrong.
No wonder I couldn’t hack it. Meanwhile, Reihan Salam explains what Douthat missed, and is missing, at NRO:
“[Trump’s] emergence as the voice of the anti-immigration Right is a reflection of the failure of the Republican establishment to grapple with lawlessness at the border and half a century of mass immigration. Consider the events of the past two years. Child migrants have surged into the United States from Central America, and working-class cities and towns across the country are struggling to absorb them. Before the federal courts stepped in, President Obama signed an executive order shielding roughly half of all unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. from the threat of deportation, a move he had previously suggested was out of bounds. And now the U.S. is experiencing yet another wave of Central American arrivals. Border Patrol officials report that many unauthorized immigrants believe that the U.S. is going to welcome them with open arms, and who can blame them given the president’s rhetoric?
Interesting to see that even the heart of cuckservatism is beginning to sense that all is not right with open borders.