Often, when comparing the current occupant of our Oval Office to his predecessor, Barack Obama, I inevitably receive a healthy dose of criticism arguing how my doing so “plays into the hands of Donald J. Trump” while normalizing his behavior.
This is a fair point to argue, however, we all might wish to keep three things in mind when thinking about this critique:
First, Mr. Trump is always the individual doing the comparing, either by blaming his failures on the former President, or by making statements leading his supporters to believe how much better things are these days; how much more effective he is versus his predecessor.
Second, and probably most important however, is that during this constant state of abnormality, it is wise to reflect back on the former President for it gives each of us a sense of how far from normal we have traveled with Mr. Trump at the helm.
Mr. Obama was far from perfect, but at least global leaders had a semblance of respect and trust for him and his leadership, compared to Mr. Trump.
Third, no matter what conservatives say these days, one thing is for certain:
Conservatives held Mr. Obama to an entirely different standard as Senator, candidate for President, campaigner, and Commander-In-Chief.
The following serves as an example:
Just two days ago, it was reported by the New York Times that Syrian President, Bashaar al-Assad’s regime allegedly engaged in yet another chemical attack on the citizens of his own nation in Douma, killing at least forty-two people.
Mr. Trump – through his favorite medium, Twitter, – states the following regarding the allegations:
“If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history!”
While it is true that Mr. Obama had originally placed a “red line” into how he would resolve the Syrian issue, perhaps it would be nice if conservatives would recall just a year ago how Mr. Trump has handled the Syrian crisis.
And, as The Hill reports: Mr. Trump is on record stating “Syria’s Assad, crossed a ‘lot of lines’ with the previous gas attack.
Watch Mr. Trump’s statement on the previous alleged gas attack by Assad:
But wait: Didn’t Mr. Trump complain how the previous administration didn’t need to make public their “plans for military action,” and that these things are best left kept in the dark?
During the presidential debate of 2016, Mr. Trump did, in fact, make the following statement regarding the previous administration’s plans for dealing with ISIS:
“Why can’t they do it quietly? Why can’t they do the attack, make it a sneak attack, and after the attack is made, inform the American public that we’ve knocked out the leaders, we’ve had a tremendous success?”
Perhaps Mr. Trump can then explain why it is that he made the following promise in public at his rally in Ohio on March 30, 2018?
Watch the video below to see Mr. Trump’s promise to leave Syria soon:
Now, I am no diplomat, nor geopolitical expert, but could it be that Mr. Trump’s telegraphing that “we’ll be coming out of Syria very soon…let the other people take care of it now……very soon, very soon,” have empowered the Syrian leader to engage in this alleged act?
And Mr. Trump’s latest warning to Syria made public yet again, comes just today as he tells the public that “a decision on Syria will be made in 24 to 48 hours.” So much for keeping your military plans secret, huh?
Moreover, where are those conservative cries and shouts of “appeasement” which were persistently leveled at the previous President when he gave the slightest hint that we were coming home from Iraq, or other actions taken by him?
Now? Crickets. The conservative silence is deafening.
As Greg Sargent, from The Washington Post points out today, there are “perils to being in the Trump bubble.”
Take, for example, Mr. Trump’s tariffs on China and escalating ‘trade war’ which arguably will affect agriculture. Not wanting to go against Mr. Trump but realizing how his tariffs could potentially effect their constituents, Sargent points out how “there are increasing signs” that the imminent trade war is “putting congressional republicans and GOP candidates in a bind.”
Sargent points to other areas of concern for conservatives for the mid-term in 2018, including Mr. Trump’s “focus on border security,” no plan to “counter the claims made in former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director, James Comey’s book, and republican pollster, Frank Luntz’s news that “Republicans are in deep trouble” regarding the mid-terms, one wonders why all the silence?
I would like to add another to Sargent’s list: The unilateral meeting Mr. Trump is planning to have with North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un. The reader will recall how Mr. Trump has eschewed the idea of talking with the North Korean leader on previous occasions, and yet, in what appears to be an extemporaneous decision, he agreed to meet with the leader.
In other words, in nearly all of the above matters, Mr. Trump is all over the map on his adopted position changing on a day to day basis, and often hour by hour basis.
Which leads back to the question: Where is the outrage by conservatives?
To clarify: Trump has changed his position on Syria and North Korea on several occasions.
And conservatives remain silent. This is far from normal, folks. And since Mr. Trump wants to compare his approach to Mr. Obama’s it is fair to compare the two. Doing so allows us each to remember that while things may not have been perfect during the Obama administration, things were normal.
And, with Fox News dictating Mr. Trump’s policy, they endanger all of us.
Look at the double-standard and hypocrisy regarding Trump and Obama meeting with the North Korean leader:
Conservatives are arguably being hypocritical regarding Mr. Trump’s policies. In so doing, conservatives are placing “party” over “Country.”
A social psychologist by day, political analyst and journalist by night, Dr. Mark Bear has built an established audience by printing facts, without click-bait, sensationalism, or hyperbole. He is married to his wife of 34 years, and both he and his wife, Susan, have a Schnauzer named Shadow. Follow along by connecting with Doc on Facebook or Twitter under the handle Dr. Progressive!