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Call them Republicans with a conscience, conservatives without a party, or simply, as most do, the Never Trumpers.

Liberals and conservatives have always commingled easily in Washington, but a year into the presidency of Donald J.

One of them, the Italian novelist Ignazio Silone, predicted at midcentury that “the final struggle will be between the communists and the ex-communists.” A parallel conflict is unfolding today, as one sharp blow after another—from Trump’s humbling of Fox News to the reductio ad absurdum of Roy Moore—has deepened the enmity between the pro-Trump faction and its adversaries on the Right.

This latter group sometimes sounds like liberals, but its members are in fact counter-Republicans who mean to take their party back, or blow it up. A group that includes Boot and Applebaum is creating a centrist sanctuary and talk shop, the Renew Democracy Initiative.

(A no-show at the Frums’, though he’d been on the guest list, was Leon Wieseltier, the former eminence and literary monarch of Washington; his story would break a few days later.) Given all this, it didn’t seem odd to be celebrating, near a lighted pool with fountain spouts on a warm Indian-summer night, the publication of .

As the Champagne fizzed and the “Eastern Europe–themed” hors d’oeuvres circulated on silver trays—smoked sturgeon, osetra caviar, borscht shots with vodka that went down like raspberry sherbet—the book’s author, , which she and Crittenden wrote in 2012.

At the time, Trump seemed headed for a historic rout in the general election, and the spectacle of these chagrined oppositionists was a cheap-thrills sideshow to liberals, who chortled, if only to themselves, “So you get it.” What was missed was the message the Never Trumpers were trying to send, and how genuinely alarmed they were.

“There wasn’t a single conservative I talked with at the beginning of 2016 who thought Donald Trump was a remotely acceptable candidate for president,” says Max Boot, a neoconservative foreign-policy writer who served as an advisor to John Mc Cain in 2008 and Marco Rubio eight years later.

Others, such as longtime GOP operatives Mike Murphy and Rick Wilson, began appearing on MSNBC, where they swung hard at nominee and party alike.The week that had just ended was no more or less lurid than many others in the first year of Trump’s America, that bottomless tasting menu of national debasement.The day before, a video had surfaced proving that the administration’s Mr.Book parties in Manhattan tend to be overspillings of the workday.People stop by in office clothes on their way home—uptown, downtown, to Brooklyn, or out to the suburbs. C., book parties are social occasions, even when they involve business, which is to say politics, the only business that matters.

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