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.

In any case, here’s Bill Kristol pointing to Last’s piece in The Bulwark.

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?


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