During the course of Donald Trump's administration, the Republican leadership has been taken to task for not reining in the president's worst instincts. Now, that includes the president's Camp David invite to members of the Taliban.
Writing in the Washington Post, columnist Jennifer Rubin tries out a thought experiment: how would have Republicans reacted to Obama doing that?
"You really do have to ask: 'What would Republicans have done if President Barack Obama had invited the Taliban to Camp David days before the 18th anniversary of 9/11?'” she wonders. "They would have denounced him, called him a traitor and declared that he had disgraced the war dead and nearly 3,000 Americans who died on 9/11. They’d have suggested he was mentally unfit for office."
Suffice it to say, Obama handled statecraft more delicately than Trump, and that's not something he would have done, Rubin notes.
"But, of course, Obama would never have done something so stomach-turning, not to mention so counterproductive, as to elevate the Taliban to the same level as the president of the United States."
Rubin notes that except for Liz Cheney, no Republican of note has condemned the president for engaging with the Taliban in this way. Although, at this point, Republicans' refusal to criticize the president is hardly surprising. Rubin lists all the other policy disasters that Republicans have failed to act on.
"Then again, the entire Trumpized Republican Party has countenanced Trump’s siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin over our intelligence community on the subject of election interference; his lovefest with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; and his refusal to hold Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible for the brutal murder of Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi," Rubin writes.
She concludes by pointing out that Republicans don't deserve to be in power if they disregard Trump's disrespect for the victims of 9/11 and the soldiers that died in Afghanistan.
"Trump can hug the flag all he likes, but it doesn’t make up for spitting on the graves of 2,996 people killed on 9/11 and nearly 2,400 American men and women who died in the war in Afghanistan," she writes.
"The party that enables and cheers him on has no business holding power."