Just to make it clear upfront: Bill Kristol didn’t write the piece; it was Jonathan Last who came up with the metaphor of — get this — Bill Weld, Joe Walsh, and Mark Sanford being the “three horsemen coming for Trump.”
For what it’s worth, on Monday night, President Trump dismissed the three as “a total joke.” He doesn’t sound concerned to us, but maybe he’s just good at hiding his fear.
Pres defends GOP cancelling presidential primaries in some states. Says they don't want to waste their money. Says the the three candidates challenging him so far "are a joke, a total joke. They’re a laughingstock.” He didn't cite them by name. pic.twitter.com/RtOwskYju3
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 9, 2019
In any case, here’s Bill Kristol pointing to Last’s piece in The Bulwark.
"The three horsemen could act as force multipliers for one another…And as their cumulative vote share increases, it gives permission to other early-state Republicans to vote against Trump."https://t.co/69y9OfCmO2
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) September 10, 2019
And here’s the thinking of where each horseman of the apocalypse stands in providing leverage against Trump:
Which is where Mark Sanford comes in. He’s the obvious—and predictable—reaction to Trump’s transformation of the party’s fiscal orthodoxies.
The same can be said—along different vectors—about Weld and Walsh.
Weld represents the kind of moderate, establishment Republicanism that has been on the outs in the party since John Anderson in 1980. The Rockefeller wing of the party was never very big. Outside of the Northeast it’s miniscule. But it exists. And most conservative presidents have tried to stroke it (as needed) rather than crap all over it.
As for Walsh, he’s the representative of Trump’s unfulfilled populist promises: There is no wall. What we’re getting is 174 miles of fence and it’s going to be paid for by abusing the Constitution to take money that was supposed to keep schools for the children of U.S. soldiers safe from terrorist attacks.
But which one is going to conserve conservatism the best? Which one is Molly Jong-Fast going to vote for?
LMAO, you're gone.
— JWF (@JammieWF) September 10, 2019
You are dreaming.
— Hate Coincidences (@cleveramerican) September 10, 2019
Bring it on! ???
— @Peralandra (@ColinDexter7) September 10, 2019
Talk about a pipe dream. ?
— Joseph LeDoux (@Calistlyn) September 10, 2019
Deep state angst.
— v (@vvt7777) September 10, 2019
Three long standing swamp creatures
— Alina (@AlinaBGuerra1) September 10, 2019
Never going to work
— Ricky (@RickyU1964) September 10, 2019
They have to get on the ballot first.
— LiberalFish (@akemor) September 10, 2019
Stop trying to make a primary happen! It's not gonna happen!
— Kevin Dawson (@dawsonhollywood) September 10, 2019
As much as I wish it were otherwise, these are more like the 3 merry-go-round horses in front of a Walmart than the 3 horses of the apocalypse.
— Brian Vogel (@brianvogel) September 10, 2019
If you tie these three twigs together, you get a formidable bundle of sticks.
— Jack Jones (@abeligbod) September 10, 2019
????? The Three STOOGES pic.twitter.com/12PywwW03G
— Ihateliars2 #WWG1WGA #MAGA (@Ihateliars21) September 10, 2019
Hey Bill, how does irrelevance taste?
— CommonSensePatriot (@LittleRhody16) September 10, 2019
??? Get professional mental help
— DJE?? (@DJE203) September 10, 2019
Is this a parody account? pic.twitter.com/dVEmHLFyXj
— JV Squad (@JVSquadX) September 10, 2019
Byyyye now pic.twitter.com/wlkUOZQP5j
— Murray Maiser (@MaiserMurray) September 10, 2019
The crazy logic you need to come up with to keep hope alive that you will get rid of Trump is amazing.
— Whitey McWhiteface (@Common_sense103) September 10, 2019
This is pathetic
— WestYorker (@JohnTho1981) September 10, 2019
This is the most embarrassing thing i've ever seen in my entire life
— WhenYouThis (@WhenYouThis) September 10, 2019
Bill Kristol’s spirit animal: pic.twitter.com/FDndzOYQTp
— Bulbous (@WEST00261008) September 10, 2019
Bill is a broken man! Well done Trump!
— Brent ?☠⚡️??? (@BuccoGrave) September 10, 2019
‘How’s the girlfriend?’ Mark Sanford’s thread on why he’s ‘compelled to enter the pres. primary’ does NOT go well https://t.co/UUYBWK57B5
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) September 8, 2019