The NeverTrumpers (will) never learn
The Weekly Standard died. Why? Because Bushite neoconservativism gave us the Iraq debacle and yet bigger government while pretending to be "conservative". It's perhaps fair to say that those who are inclined to vote GOP have almost as much contempt for the vestiges of Bushism at this point as they do the Clintons.
Trump isn't a conservative either. The guy is all over the place as one friend of this site accurately points out. But Trump's certainly a better fit for the GOP than say, Jeb Bush. But the Beltway big government Bushites/Clintonites just don't get it. They hated the TEA Party which was ACTUALLY libertarian/conservative and ACTUALLY wanted to cut taxes and reduce government. Then Trump came in with a less consistent political worldview but one that tied the bigger(est) government people in knots. Not to mention the guy called out the old media which practically every conservative and every libertarian has held in contempt legitimately for 40 years.
That goes a long way. Meanwhile many of the Beltway "conservatives" are still clamoring to get face time on outlets that are against anything that remotely resembles conservatism. The "never-Trumpers" (and again we are no particular fans of Mr. Trump) want to believe that some primary upstart can possibly challenge Trump and vindicate them and bring them out of the wilderness.
However, the everyday people who are inclined to vote for Trump see this.
(From The American Conservative)
This new GOP, the prototype of Trump’s party, lost out to what would soon be labeled NeverTrump candidates in 2008 and 2012 — John McCain and Mitt Romney. But that was more a sign of the divisions within the new GOP than it was of the strength of the Bush/neoconservative/NeverTrump establishment. Bill Kristol himself knew that McCain has no hope of mobilizing the right in November 2008 without someone like Sarah Palin as his running mate. And Romney, a lifelong political chameleon, in 2012 had to disguise himself as an immigration restrictionist — remember ‘self-deportation’? — in order to fire up his base for November. Yet in both cases, proto-NeverTrump Republicans at the head of a proto-Trump party failed. Only when the Trump party had an actual Donald Trump as leader did it succeed, and against a woman who was just months earlier considered the most popular politician in America.