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When Henry Ford introduced the Model T in 1908, America had almost no paved roads outside the cities. One of the early owners’ biggest headaches was tires punctured by horseshoe nails left on the road.

“Forget about this car thing,” Ford’s detractors might have said. “We don’t believe in government subsidies for road paving, and we’re protecting the pony cart makers. Anyhow, less than 1 percent of Americans even travel by car.”

Today’s can’t-doers must have been surprised this month when Tesla, the electric-car innovator, drove past Ford Motor Co. in market value while nipping at the heels of General Motors. Both Ford and GM have been doing well of late, but investors have flocked to Tesla stock as a growth rocket. (Days before, Tesla founder Elon Musk’s SpaceX company launched — and landed! — a real rocket.)

All this follows years of conservatives’ carping against Tesla and green energy initiatives. In 2015, the conservative Daily Caller website panned Tesla thusly:

“Liberal entrepreneur Elon Musk’s business ventures have benefited from nearly $5 billion in government subsidies in the past few years, but apparently that’s not enough taxpayer support to stop his electric car business from losing $4,000 on every vehicle it sells.”

IMAGE: Employees carry solar panels at a solar power plant in Aksu, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in this May 18, 2012 file photo.  REUTERS/Stringer/Files 

Political consultant Stuart Stevens

In 2012, Stuart Stevens served as the chief strategist for Republican Mitt Romney's presidential campaign and tried to prevent President Barack Obama from winning a second term; in 2020, he is a Never Trump conservative who is rooting for former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. And when Stevens appeared on MSNBC's The 11th Hour" on Thursday night, he stressed to host Brian Williams that many GOP incumbents — from President Donald Trump to members of Congress — could be in trouble in November.

Promoting his new book, It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump, Stevens told Williams: "This is a very negative environment for Republicans…. There are external forces out there that make this a very tough race for incumbents in the Republican Party."

Stevens, who is now working with the conservative anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project, said of Biden's campaign, "I don't think they're gonna be overconfident, given what happened in 2016. I've been very impressed with the Biden campaign…. I think the Democrats have done some very good ads." And he went on to discuss the state of the Trump-era GOP — which Stevens believes has betrayed traditional conservative views — and slammed Trump for the fondness he shows for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"It's heartbreaking…. It's making my heart hurt," Stevens said of the 2020 GOP. "One thing the Republican Party stood for was a realistic foreign policy…. From the beginning, Trump has been an apologist for Putin. It's a disgrace."

Watch the video below: