Donald Trump’s sudden and surprising adoption of many of the centrist positions he ran against has left his supporters shaken and others stunned, all the while proving that POTUS never had a coherent foreign policy position on, well…anything.
Trump’s drastic changes were the topic of discussion this morning on CNN’s “Early Start” and political correspondent Tai Kopan was asked about Donald Trump’s “political U-turn.” That, as co-host Christine Romans bitingly observed, “the things he ran on he is now running away from.”
Kopan answered that,
“The line we’re getting from the White House is that circumstances change. So their position is that he’s not necessarily flip-flopping or reversing but he’s adapting to situations on the ground.”
Watch courtesy of CNN:
— Tal Kopan (@TalKopan) April 13, 2017
Kopan went on to point out that,
“Of course, folks who’ve been paying attention to some of these issues for a long time would say that not really that much has changed except that Donald Trump has taken taken the seat at the White House and is more exposed to some of these issues.”
Has Donald Trump flip-flopped? Look at a couple of his most spectacular and drastic changes of position in the last few days:
- He flip-flopped the hell out of Syria, demanding in 2013 that Obama not get involved in that country and then shifting from a “meh” response to firing cruise missiles, putting him in a bad place with his populist supporters;
- We have seen Trump stab his Republican supporters in the back by suddenly proclaiming NATO is no longer obsolete;
- We have also seen him break a major campaign promise, saying he would get tough with China, which he said was “raping” the U.S. After saying “China is winning and America is losing” and that he was the only guy who could fix it, he is now telling the people who voted for him that he won’t get tough with China.
Kopan pointed out, however, that Syria’s recent chemical attack is not the first. So what really has changed there? Nothing.
And Co-host Dave Briggs argued that it is difficult to argue that circumstances with NATO have changed. Trump’s pre-emptive defense of his change of position was claiming NATO is suddenly fighting terrorism and is therefore no longer obsolete.
However, the media is no longer regularly passing Trump lies without comment and Romans was quick to point out that “NATO’s been fighting terrorism for at least a decade,” and Briggs said flat-out, “Donald Trump has changed.”
Donald Trump has changed. That conclusion is inescapable.
Romans and Briggs were willing to cut Trump some slack on account of his lack of prior government experience but that’s a dodge and here are the facts:
- Trump avoided his intel briefings altogether after the election when he could have been informing himself instead;
- In his first month as president, he spent more time tweeting than he did in intelligence briefings;
- And what he gets now are “briefings for dummies” in the form of one-page bullet-pointed memos.
Donald Trump was talking out his backside before, speaking out of not just ignorance but willful ignorance, and saying what he had to say to get votes. He didn’t even stop campaigning after he was elected.
It isn’t that the world has changed, but that the world is staring Trump in the face and he can’t hide from it anymore. This leaves him scrambling to explain his sudden and drastic position changes.
The only excuse he can come up with that doesn’t expose him as the lazy and indifferent buffoon he is is that it isn’t he who is changing, but the circumstances.
You know, like when he adapted to the “changing circumstances” that health care is complicated, or that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.
Donald Trump wants to portray himself as a quick-thinking, adaptable leader.
Nothing could be further from the truth.