It’s become a cliché to point out that there’s an old “tweet for every occasion” by Donald Trump. But that doesn’t capture the degree to which he was obsessed with the idea that Barack Obama would launch a war of choice against Iran in order to bolster his chances of being re-elected in 2012, or to distract the American public from various alleged domestic failures.
But Trump, and a significant share of the conservative commentariat, are deluding themselves in their belief that assassinating Iranian commander Qassim Suleimani will benefit the president* politically next year. This can go one of two ways: Either it escalates into a broader conflict and young Americans once again begin coming home from the Middle East in body bags, or Iran finds ways to retaliate against us that allow cooler heads to prevail and averts a shooting war. In the first scenario, Trump betrays a key campaign promise and loses some of his less fervent supporters, and in the second, the strike is forgotten in the deluge of outrageous news that has marked the Trump era. Nobody remembered the airstrikes he ordered against Syria a month after the fact.
Foreign policy no longer ends at the water’s edge and Americans will not rally around this president*. Those who believe he is competent and has the capacity to put the national interest ahead of his own will approve of this action and the rest of us won’t. Trump’s standing with the public has been pretty much baked into the cake. His approval ratings have consistently been detached from the state of the economy, and, to a lesser degree, from most of the major events of his presidency.*
This dynamic is invariably chalked up to partisanship and polarization, and lamented by pundits. And it’s clearly true as far as it goes–politics are intensely tribal, and a qualified, well-briefed Democrat or Republican would face blind opposition to his or her policies. But blaming partisanship for the entrenched views of everything Trump touches is a form of normalizing the aberrant.
Democrats are prone to partisanship but attributing their blanket opposition to Trump’s policies elides the objective facts that he is unqualified, does not tolerate detailed briefings or rely on the counsel of experts and has made over 15,000 “false or misleading statements” over the past three years, according to The Washington Post’s tally.
Similarly, chalking up Republicans’ unfailing support for Trump to partisanship erases a sprawling conservative media ecosystem dedicated to hailing Trump’s supposed virtues and simply ignoring negative stories whenever possible.
And in this specific instance, the idea that it’s all about polarization elides the crucial context that Trump demagogued and then withdrew from a nuclear deal with Iran that was bearing fruit for purely political reasons, and that doing so touched off the latest round of tensions with the Islamic state.
We live in a polarized society but focusing on how that shapes public opinion to the exclusion of these realities is a subtle form of normalization of a president* who is anything but.
Trump is handing the Democrats a powerful new weapon that will cripple his re-election campaign: GOP consultant
While Donald Trump seems to be reveling in his daily press conferences that handing him hours of free airtime prior to his re-election drive, one Republican campaign consultant is warning that the president is handing Democrats highly damaging quotes on a daily basis that will come back to haunt him in November.
According to a report in the Washington Post, Trump's assertion "I don’t take responsibility at all” for the failure to provide tests for the coronavirus will continue to be a centerpiece in attack ads Democrats will be spending millions on to remind the country of his many failings.
‘Reckless’: Chaos expected in Tuesday’s elections after Wisconsin Republicans refuse to cancel in-person voting
"The whole country should tune in to what Republicans are doing now in Wisconsin. It's a preview of how they'll politically weaponize coronavirus on a national scale."
Despite warnings from public health experts and legal challenges by voting rights groups, the Democratic primary and state and local elections are set to go forward on Tuesday after Republican state legislators refused to take up a proposal to cancel most in-person voting in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bernie Sanders urged to end 2020 bid — by his own campaign manager and longtime strategist: Washington Post
Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders is receiving advice to quickly exit the 2020 presidential campaign, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
"A small group of Bernie Sanders’s top aides and allies — including his campaign manager and his longtime strategist — have encouraged the independent senator from Vermont to consider withdrawing from the presidential race," the newspaper reported, citing "two people with knowledge of the situation."