Saturday, November 25, 2017

Tough Guy From Afar

In an unintentionally hilarious "Analysis/Opinion" piece on November 21, Charles Hurt of The Washington Times wrote

At some point, every warrior eventually runs out of arrows. His armor wears thin yet grows heavier still. He must lay down his weary helmeted head for rest.

Even Coriolanus was forced to retreat — at the behest of his mother.

Not so Donald Trump.

Not a weary drop of blood pumps through the man’s veins. He wears his thick armor light as skin. His bottomless quiver is never empty.

Fearlessly, President Trump sauntered away from his wife and son into the presence of his enemies. As casually as Clint Eastwood dispatching a horse thief, Mr. Trump laid waste to the media’s carefully choreographed plot to wrest the U.S. Senate away from Republicans and somehow smear the president with an accused child molester.

Would the president throw in with Judge Moore and defend a man accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl he picked up cruising the halls of family court? Would the president place politics above honor and try some wink and a nod? Would Mr. Trump give in and torch Judge Moore so thoroughly as to ensure that Democrats get one seat closer to controlling the Senate after next month’s Alabama election?

No, he wouldn't!  Instead

“I can tell you one thing for sure: We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat — Jones,” Mr. Trump said calmly, referring to Judge Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.

“I’ve looked at his record. It’s terrible on crime, it’s terrible on the border, it’s terrible on the military. I can tell you for a fact, we do not need somebody that’s going to be bad on crime, bad on borders, bad with the military, bad for the Second Amendment.”

As a sentient being having read those passages, you would assume that Mr. Hurt would state casually that the brave and bold actually endorsed Roy Moore. You would be wrong:

....The jackals were trying to trick Mr. Trump into getting all hung up on the salacious scandal. He missed the banana peel.Instead, he responded by talking about — ISSUES! Mr. Trump responded by talking about issues Alabama voters care most about. The outrage!....

Note how Mr. Trump did not endorse Judge Moore. He simply refused to endorse Democrat Doug Jones. Because Doug Jones is terrible on crime, the border, the military and the Second Amendment.

Now, that's a guy who knows how to give it to those jackals- he refused to support their candidate, a candidate from the opposite party of his own. Substituting for Steve M on No More Mister Nice Guy blog, Tom Hilton remarks

The most striking thing about this, besides the sheer awfulness of the writing, is the Onion-esque mismatch between rhetoric and subject. I mean, this slobbering paean to imaginary epic heroism is about a guy notable for his cowardice, whose epic battle is defending a guy who sexually assaulted a minor. 

This isn't the first time someone has noticed that Trump has a backbone composed of jelly.  Two months before the presidential election, Peter Beinart explained that the candidate had

begun doing something he previous avoided: talking to blacks and Latinos. Two weeks ago, he met with his Hispanic advisory council. According to media reports, he was “humble” and “conciliatory.” Did he call for deporting the undocumented immigrants already in the U.S., as he has repeatedly promised his overwhelmingly white crowds? Nope. According to Jacob Monty, who attended the meeting, Trump said “deporting them is neither possible nor humane.”

Then, last week, Trump flew to Mexico City to meet President Enrique Peña Nieto. Did he repeat the pledge that brings white crowds to their feet: that Mexico will pay for a wall along the two countries’ border? Nope. Beforehand, the two sides agreed not to discuss the subject. When Peña Nieto brought it up anyway, and announced that Mexico would never foot the bill, did Trump set him straight?

Nope. Rudy Giuliani, who was attending the meeting on Trump’s behalf, reportedly declared the topic “off the table” and The Donald moved on to less controversial subjects.

When Trump appeared publicly with Peña Nieto after their meeting, he again “avoided direct confrontation,” in The Washington Post’s words. He called it a “great, great, honor” to be invited to the country he has repeatedly trashed during the campaign. And he declared that he had “tremendous feelings” for the “tremendous” Mexican American people, a group he famously derided as rapists and drug dealers in his announcement speech.

But once Trump left Mexico and addressed an overwhelmingly white, anti-immigrant crowd that evening in Arizona, the Post noted, he ditched his “subdued and cooperative tone” and “returned to the aggressive tenor that has defined much of his campaign. Repeatedly raising his voice to a yell, he said that ‘anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation.’”

Twelve months prior to Beinart's article, I had written of the meeting between Trump and Javier Palomerez, chairperson of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Palomerez's interview afterward with Chris Hayes when

Palomerez stated "The Donald Trump that I met today and that I sat with today was very different from the Donald Trump that I saw in the media," Hayes asked "what do you mean by that?" and Palomerez responded

The Donald Trump I sat with today was hospitable, he was a gentleman. He listened much more than he spoke. He asked questions.

We continue to disagree, particularly on the wall. We agreed on this notion of mass deportation of 11 million people. And we continued to agree on the fact that we will not use Trump properties.

Of course he was hospitable, unwilling or unable to confront Palomarez, there representing the "rapists" who are "bringing drugs (and) crime." Moreover, what Beinart understood in September, 2016 about candidate Trump was not limited to immigrants as

The oscillation continued this weekend, when Trump addressed an African American congregation in Detroit. “Trump’s subdued rhetoric,” noted Politico, “was a jarring contrast to his typically boisterous rallies.” The Republican nominee said nothing about Black Lives Matter being responsible for the murder of police, as he had told Bill O’Reilly. He didn’t imply, as he has to white audiences, that African Americans are prone to voter fraud. He said nothing about Barack Obama not being born in the United States. He didn’t repeat his claims that blacks should vote for him because their lives are so miserable that they have nothing “to lose.” Instead, he flattered his audience, calling black churches “the conscience of our country,” which had inspired America “toward a better moral character, a deeper concern for mankind, and spirit of charity and unity that binds us all together.” Trump’s remarks, noted the Post, constituted a “jarring shift in tone and message.”

Twenty-six months later, Slate's Fred Kaplan pointed out that in a joint appearance with mainland Chinese president Xi Jinping

in front of American business leaders, Trump repeated his long-standing charge that U.S.-Chinese trade relations are “very one-sided and unfair,” but, in a new twist, he quickly added, “I don’t blame China. Who can blame a country that is able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens? I give China great credit.”

Maybe Donald Trump is simply the most politically correct politician in America, frightened when face-to-face with the Red Chinese or minorities, preferring to slam either or both with the safety and  security of distance. Nonetheless, whatever he is, he is no Dirty Harry.

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