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Losing Is Not Winning, No Matter What The Media’s Favorite ‘Conservatives’ Keep Saying

Supreme Court abortion protest
Image CreditOlivia Hajicek / The Federalist

You see this victory-via-failure scam among the media’s favorite ‘conservatives’ all the time.


There’s a certain type of scam that takes place on the political right that’s far worse than anything the Trump grifters have done. Because rather than just duping innocent voters out of their money, it comes with the added offense of convincing them that political defeat is preferable to tangible policy victories.

Virtually all of the Never Trump people are guilty of perpetuating the scam, most recently David French, who wrote Monday in The New York Times that the pro-life movement may have achieved its greatest victory to date with the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, but that, ACK-SHOO-UH-LEE, the success was really a defeat.

Imagine. After decades of grinding work at every level of government, pro-lifers — French claims to be one — saw all of it come to fruition with a court, created in their image, delivering the hopes and dreams that many thought were unachievable. And then French kicks down the wall like the Kool-Aid Man declaring, “No, no, no, this is all wrong! By winning we actually lost!”

That’s not an exaggeration of his position. “If you reject Donald Trump, you reject the chance to nominate and confirm judges who could overturn Roe,” wrote French. “Embrace him and you empower a hateful man, and hateful men can do great harm. When faced with that dilemma, I chose to reject Mr. Trump — and not because I wavered one inch from my pro-life convictions. I rejected him because of those convictions. I rejected him because a Catholic taught this lifelong Protestant what a culture of life truly meant.”

See? By opposing Trump, and thus opting to forfeit potential Supreme Court picks that could overturn Roe, French won by losing. French was simply too pro-life to support a president who could deliver a pro-life win.

The Lord Almighty: David French, here is what you have been praying for. Give thanks and rejoice!

French: I’m gonna have to pass, God. There’s definitely a better way.

French then walks away with his head held high, bragging in The New York Times about how he just got morally richer by turning down a gift from Heaven.

You see this victory-via-failure scam among the media’s favorite “conservatives” all the time. To wit, former Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, now at The New York Times, has an uninterrupted pattern of spending two years declaring every Democrat policy proposal to be a clear failure, then right before an election, explaining to readers that Republicans deserve to lose. He has done this since at least 2012.

In 2020, he labeled himself a “Biden conservative,” which allowed him to uphold his “principles” at the expense of his “politics.”

In 2016, he wrote that “the best hope for what’s left of a serious conservative movement in America is the election in November of a Democratic president.”

In 2015, he wrote an open letter to “fellow conservatives,” advising they all “fast-forward past that sinking October feeling when we belatedly realize we’re going to lose — and lose badly.” (Trump ended up winning, and Republicans had control of the White House and both houses of Congress for the first time in a decade.)

Immediately after the 2012 election, he wrote that “the GOP dodged a bullet with [Mitt] Romney’s loss.”

And at the start of that year, he had written that “Republicans deserve to lose.”

The scheme is a simple four-step process: 1) The con artist (“journalist” or “scholar”) professes to be a deeply principled conservative. 2) He gently critiques the excesses of liberal figures in elected offices. 3) He explains why said liberal figures are better off being in control than replacing them with some imperfect Republicans who just aren’t up to task. 4) He emphasizes that his deeply held principles led him to that unfortunate conclusion but asks that you continue subscribing or donating until the next time.

Jonah Goldberg, George Will, Stephen Hayes, William Kristol, much of National Review, half of the Wall Street Journal, and on and on. They’re the ones perpetuating the scam. Up until 2016, it worked every time. And yet, there’s been a sucker born every minute since.