Top conservative pundits lash out in disbelief after Ted Cruz and John Kasich fail to stop Donald Trump: "We are going to get our asses kicked in the general election!"

Erick Erickson's "Red State" is even scrambling to now call for the confirmation of Merrick Garland before November

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published May 4, 2016 8:35PM (EDT)

Donald Trump, Erick Erickson (AP/Reuters/Jim Young/Tony Gutierrez/Photo montage by Salon)
Donald Trump, Erick Erickson (AP/Reuters/Jim Young/Tony Gutierrez/Photo montage by Salon)

It's a hard pill to swallow for most of America, but for die-hard #NeverTrump conservatives (not Bill Kristol) who failed to stop the controversial reality TV star from becoming the face of the GOP, Donald Trump as the "presumptive" presidential nominee of the Republican Party is more like an existential crisis than a hangover.

Erick Erickson's Red State:

Erickson's flagship Redstate blog turned on Trump early, disinviting the controversial candidate from their annual gathering after he attacked Fox News' Megyn Kelly last August.

On Wednesday, Redstate Managing Editor Leon H. Wolf vowed to remain aboard the #NeverTrump train into November - unlike Bill Kristol -- even calling on Republicans in the Senate to finally move forward with hearings for President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland “before it is too late.”

"The fact that Merrick Garland still exists as an option right now is a gift that should not be squandered," Wolf wrote, calling him "not a great choice, but is not a terrible one, either.”

"If I were the Republicans, my main concern right now would be that Barack Obama would withdraw Garland’s nomination today," Wolf wrote, predicting a Clinton win in November. His fellow conservative Red State editors appeared to agree on Twitter Tuesday night after Trump's win:

Glenn Beck's The Blaze:

Coming to terms with Trump as the face of the Republican Party on Wednesday, the emotional conservative admitted that "that makes us pretty racist."

"I don't want my children to look at that man and say, 'yeah, he is my president,'" Beck insisted on his Blaze program. "I wont tolerate it," the commentator asserted. According to Right Wing Watch, Beck has lost nearly half a million dollars in an effort to elect Ted Cruz.

"Hillary Clinton is going to win," Beck cried, adding that with Trump at the top of the ticket this fall, “You will never elect another GOP person to high office ever again!”

"Goodbye, Republican Party," Blaze blogger Matt Welsh wrote Wednesday afternoon in a post that has already been shared more than 8,000 times.

"Good riddance. Your wounds are self-inflicted anyway," Welsh continued, blaming Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Laura Ingraham for Trump's rise before ultimately holding Republican voters responsible:

The Republican Party, we should remember, is made up of Republicans. And most of the Republicans are voters, not politicians. So even if nobody else will say it, I must make it clear that I’m leaving because of these voters. Whatever else can be said of citizens who want a man like Trump to run the country, it cannot be said that they’re anything resembling conservative. Nor can it be said that we have anything much in common.

Mark Levin: 

Right-wing radio talker and self-described "Great One" Mark Levin lashed out at Fox News, as he is wont to do from time to time, after Cruz's crushing defeat in Indiana. The longtime Cruz backer blamed the conservative cable news giant for giving air to Trump's last-minute conspiracy theory that Cruz's father was somehow associated with the assassination of JFK.

“Several of the people on The Five thought this was hilarious, [and] as a matter of fact, they were defending the National Enquirer," Levin complained on Tuesday night. “That’s why it’s not the Fox News Channel — it’s the Fox Channel, and the Donald Trump super PAC.”

"They may be laughing today, but they’re going to be rubbing their own faces in their own feces, I’ll tell you that, after this general election, because they have humiliated themselves,” Levin bluntly added, before also taking shots at "Fox and Friends" and "Outnumbered" for failing to ask Trump follow-up questions about his "ludicrous" conspiracy theory.

"They think this is funny?" he asked. "We are going to get our asses kicked in the general election, ladies and gentlemen!”

The New York Times' Ross Douthat:

Washington Examiner's Managing Editor Phillip Klein: 

The Volokh Conspiracy: 

The nation's top conservative legal blog ran at least two prominent #NeverTrump posts, even after it became clear the movement had officially died.

With Donald Trump now the presumptive GOP nominee, I’ll chime in to add that I will never ever vote for him," Orrin Kerr wrote at the Washington Post's conservative blog on Wednesday. "I’m disgusted that Trump is going to be the GOP nominee. It’s a sad day for the GOP — and for the USA."

"Polls suggest that Trump will likely lose to Hillary Clinton in November. I sure hope so."

Washington Post's George Will:  

“If Trump is nominated, the GOP must keep him out of the White House,” the conservative Fox News commentator headlined his latest Washington Post column:

A convention’s sovereign duty is to choose a plausible nominee who has a reasonable chance to win, not to passively affirm the will of a mere plurality of voters recorded episodically in a protracted process.

"Donald Trump’s damage to the Republican Party, although already extensive, has barely begun," Will warned days ahead of Indiana, reminding voters that "Trump would be the most unpopular nominee ever."

They didn't heed his warning.

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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