Quietly, now. Keep completely silent here in the duck blind across the river from the headquarters of The Bulwark, a small place with which American political sanity has no extradition treaty, alas. Anyway, if you stay absolutely still, you may hear the plaintive cry of the Solitary Nevertrumper. Wait. Listen. There it is now.

The Republican party allowed Donald Trump to capture it in 2016. This has been, I trust you agree, very bad for our country. As for the party, I’m not sure we’ll ever get it back on path to a decent and healthy American conservatism. It would be bad if Democrats went down a parallel path. America deserves better than a choice between an authoritarian populist of the right and a socialist populist of the left. How terrible it would be if, having resisted European-style illiberalism in the 20th century, we succumbed to it in the 21st.

Let us begin by examining the long and storied career of Butcher’s Bill Kristol in American politics, shall we?

Read the rest of Charlie Pierce’s piece at Esquire