Whether one agrees or disagrees with National Review's anti-Trump manifesto, it would be a grievous mistake indeed to say that the institution has been a lapdog of unthinking Beltway consensus. On many issues, National Review has risen to the challenge of forward-looking conservative policy innovation.
It has attacked executive overreach, led a charge or ten against the disastrous Gang of Eight bill, called for the GOP to move in the direction of pro-middle class policies, and has again and again fought against the transnationalist siren-song that has proven so dangerous to the hopes of republican governance and personal liberty. National Review has devoted worthy and needed attention to a variety of cultural issues, including religious liberty, socioeconomic stratification, and a vibrant public square. When many in the corridors of power have rushed to declare a "New Normal" of imperial executive power and economic decline, National Review has continued to defend a narrative of limited government.
Many of Donald Trump's supporters like that The Donald has been willing to challenge a dysfunctional status quo. Well, National Review has also been advancing that critique of elite malfeasance and economic stagnation.
(Disclosure: I contribute to NRO semi-regularly.)