Fourteen months into his Presidency, Joe Biden is yet to produce a single policy that would help American people in any way. Because of this, and daily embarrassments, the word in Washington DC is November election may bring the end of the Democrat party as we know it. Because Joe Biden’s “leadership” is not going to improve, their only chance to stop this train wreck is a major screwup by Republicans. And while GOP rarely needs any help screwing up, the one strategy that Democrats are currently orchestrating is creating a rift between Donald Trump and his party.
The media made their first major attempt by a slew of rumors suddenly appearing from “always reliable” anonymous sources about a huge war between Donald Trump and his runner up, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Knowing full well that Donald Trump enjoys his popularity among Republicans, the media started hyping up DeSantis’ apparent rise in the polls, presenting him as a major threat to Trump’s candidacy. “People familiar with something or other” (and there are always plenty of those, curiously wishing to remain nameless) reported mutual animus, both “expressed” and “implied.” All of that was, of course, a complete fabrication. In their public pronouncements, the two men never disparaged each other; quite to the contrary, they’ve been complimentary and supportive of each other’s policies.
The interview President Trump gave to Clay Travis – Buck Sexton radio show presented the media with a chance to create a new dumpster fire:
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said, “This is genius.” Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine. Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful. (sarcastic)
So, Putin is now saying, “It’s independent,” a large section of Ukraine. I said, “How smart is that?” And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper. That’s strongest peace force… We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re gonna keep peace all right. . (sarcastic) No, but think of it. Here’s a guy who’s very savvy… I know him very well. Very, very well.”
The media promptly declared that “Trump’s praised Putin’s invasion” and immediately demanded that every Republican issued a flaming denunciation of Donald Trump.
The media knows that an average American news consumer does not have enough information to understand what Trump was saying. Those of us familiar with Putin’s work know that his support in Russia is largely due to propaganda. Many Russians view Putin as “a hero,” “a peacekeeper,” and “a fighter for Russia.” This time, that was exactly what Putin was doing by promoting his “peacekeeping force,” and Trump was calling him out. Trump was pointing out that Putin was a master propagandist – as Hitler was before him. Acknowledging that does not amount to any kind of “praise.” It’s an accurate assessment.
President Trump has never “praised” Putin’s invasion. Just the opposite – he denounced it in no uncertain terms ever since the invasion started:
“The Russian attack on Ukraine is appalling; it’s an outrage and an atrocity that should never have been allowed to occur, it never would have occurred.”
“We are praying for the proud people of Ukraine. God bless them all.”
“The problem is not that Putin is smart, which of course he is, but that our leaders are dumb — they so far allowed him to get away with this travesty and assault on humanity.”
“We’re watching a holocaust. We’re watching something that I’ve never seen before, the way that they’re going to go in — they’re blowing up buildings with children, with women, with professions, with people — think of just people. They’re blowing up indiscriminately, they’re just shooting massive missiles and rockets into these buildings, and everybody is dying.”
“They have to stop killing these people. They’re killing all these people, and they have to stop it. And they have to stop it now.”
President Trump has never miscalculated Putin. On numerous occasions, he called Putin smart, shrewd, and nationalistic – but I would not call it a “praise” so much as an appraisal. Many evil people are smart and shrewd – and that is exactly what makes them dangerous. Concealing that fact behind some politically correct gibberish is not very productive.
That is not to say that Donald Trump doesn’t often shoot himself in the foot by the word jumble. We all know that he is not disciplined enough to speak in a way that even Whoopi Goldberg can understand. Trump’s overly (and often unnecessarily) colorful way of speaking brought us “All Mexicans are rapists,” “Trump told people to drink bleach,” and “Good people on both sides” urban legends – all fabricated by the media.
Because misrepresenting President Trump’s words worked so well before, the media will continue this strategy: first, convince the public that Trump said something he didn’t say; second, turn the pressure on to “condemn” Trump for “saying” it.
Headline: “Trump continues to praise Putin, (fact check: FALSE) forcing GOP to fall in line or splinter from former president.”
The tactic is smart. By “denouncing” Trump, Republicans will immediately draw his ire, creating the split the media so desperately wants. By not “denouncing” Trump, the media creates a public disaster for the Republicans, painting them as Putin apologists. Heads: I win; tails: you lose.
Notice how I just called the media “smart?” That was not a praise – it will be a long time before I praise the American media for anything. I just called the tactic they are employing “smart” – and that is exactly what Trump did in his radio interview.
The last thing I’ll say is that this time, President Trump may be wrong in his assessment of Putin. Many foreign policy experts (and one person who is not) can no longer accurately determine Putin’s state of mind. Therefore, calling Putin “smart” at this point may be a mistake. But it’s an honest mistake, nonetheless – not an act of supporting, condoning, or cheerleading a bloody war started by a ruthless tyrant.