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Conservative columnist blasts GOP as ‘partisan hacks for whom hypocrisy is second-nature’

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- Commentary

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump once again ripped into The Squad, this time to undercut an emotional press conference in which Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MN) described the conditions her Palestinian relatives live under.

“Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long,” the president tweeted. “Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!”

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It’s become shockingly common for the president to wade into global policy by tweet–unthinkable under an Obama presidency.

Writing in the Washington Post, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin reminds us of when Republicans criticized virtually everything the president did, painting him as weak on the world stage.

Rubin wonders what it would look like if Republicans even bothered holding President Donald Trump to similar standards.

Rubin, who tends to be interventionist on foreign policy, says Obama wasn’t forceful enough at times.

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“Obama didn’t have the example of a what happens when you stage a precipitous pullout from Iraq, but Trump has Obama’s example,” Rubin writes. “Obama was far too passive and hesitant to act in Syria, but he never suggested that Russia take care of matters and never announced a troop withdrawal by tweet.”

Still, although he may had made errors on the global stage, he did far better than Trump.

“Obama initially thought he might negotiate a better relationship with Russia, but he never repeated Russian propaganda that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 was a defense action, nor did Obama ever take Russian President Vladimir Putin’s word over that of the U.S. intelligence community,” Rubin continues.

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“He never raised doubts about Russian responsibility for assassinations after our and our allies’ intelligence services found Russia responsible. He surely never bad-mouthed NATO, nor suggested we extort ransom from allies to “pay for” forward- positioning of troops overseas.”

The hypocrisy extends to members of the two men’s administrations.

“Republicans found plenty to criticize in then-Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s performance, but in comparison to the parade of yes-men, sycophants and the merely unqualified national security officials that Trump has appointed, Kerry, Susan E. Rice and the rest during the Obama years looked like diplomatic geniuses,” Rubin writes. “(And they managed to fill the political posts at Foggy Bottom!) Obama’s secretaries of state never tried to mislead Congress about the assassination of an U.S.-based journalist.”

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Conservatives like herself who are critical of the president find themselves disconnected from the GOP, she says.

“NeverTrumpers who blasted Obama’s foreign policy missteps and saw excessive reticence in leading the West are somewhat stumped now,” Rubin writes.

“Why aren’t identical or worse actions undertaken by Trump and the contempt he shows for American values grounds for Republicans to blast away and ultimately to break with him?”

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“Gosh, I can remember the good old days when Mitt Romney’s identification of Russia as the most important geopolitical threat required a resolute defense,” she continues.

Rubin digs in deep to expose the hypocrisy of the GOP establishment.

“There are a couple possibilities. Either Obama needs to be recognized as the best foreign policy president — next to Trump — or Trump is a nightmare who underscores all the criticisms that the GOP once directed at Obama,” she says.

“Either way, Republicans who fancy themselves as serious on national security have a whole lot of explaining to do. Alternatively, they could simply admit they are partisan hacks for whom hypocrisy is second-nature.”

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