Monday, June 11, 2018

The Sound Of Silence

Before President Trump threw his temper tantrum on Saturday

 "Canadians … stood shoulder to shoulder with American soldiers in far off lands in conflicts from the First World War onward," the prime minister said at a press conference at the end of the summit.

“Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around,” Trudeau continued.

 Evidently, Justin Trudeau will not be pushed around. But we know who will be pushed around.

President Trump, who has never met an ally he couldn't scold, on Friday had urged the G-7 to readmit Russia and former Vice President Biden noted

Putin’s Russia invaded its neighbors, violated our sovereignty by undermining elections, and attacks dissidents abroad. Yet our President wants to reward him with a seat at the table while alienating our closest democratic allies. It makes no sense.

Then on Saturday, President Trump, asked whether "Crimea should be recognized as Russian..." responded

Well, you know, you have to ask President Obama, because he was the one that let Crimea get away. That was during his administration. And he was the one that let Russia go and spend a lot of money on Crimea, because they’ve spent a lot of money on rebuilding it. I guess they have their submarine port there and such. But Crimea was let go during the Obama administration. And, you know, Obama can say all he wants, but he allowed Russia to take Crimea. I may have had a much different attitude. So you’d really have to ask that question to President Obama — you know, why did he do that; why did he do that. But with that being said, it’s been done a long time.

 Law professor Laurence Tribe replied

Asked why in the world he’s urging Russia’s readmission to the G-8 despite Ukraine & Crimea, Trump could only say it was Obama’s fault that Russia illegally invaded the former & annexed the latter. What a pathetic, puerile response. We’re governed by a dumb, nasty infant.

Joe Biden has been uncharacteristically silent. More significant- and more serious- the man he served for eight years has been characteristically silent.

Barack Obama is silent in the face of an attack by the man who led the crusade to convince the nation that Obama was born in Africa and claimed he created ISIS. When five years ago Damascus crossed President Obama's red line, Donald Trump tweeted "Why do we keep broadcasting when we are going to attack Syria. Why can't we just be quiet and, if we attack at all, catch them by surprise?" He followed that with "In war, the element of surprise is sooooo important.What the hell is Obama doing." There was not a peep of protest from Obama.

And now President Trump leaves the USA and claims his immediate predecessor "was the one that let Russia go" and "allowed Russia to take Crimea."

Perhaps Obama is following the unwritten, informal code that ex-Presidents should not criticize an incumbent President. But this is no George Herbert Walker Bush or George W. Bush, let alone Gerald R. Ford. It is Donald J. Trump. More likely, Obama's motive is similar to those GOP members of Congress refusing to criticize President Trump because they are afraid he'll tweet mean things to them. 

Voting with the President, they are more complicit in the lies and deceit of Donald Trump and the right-wing havoc he's causing.  Admittedly, Barack Obama is keeping it classy, yet- like those Republicans- reinforcing the rule of a President undermining his predecessor's legacy at every turn.

We are reminded -over and over again- that President Obama in 2012 won voters, counties, and states that Hillary Clinton did not. If Mr. Obama is that popular (or at least credible), it's time for him to risk some of the crowd's adulation by standing up for himself, his Party, and the country. In this period of unusual peril, it's time for the last Democratic president to prove there is no "kick me" sign on his posterior.

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