Some Anemic Defenses of Trump’s Tweets
In regards to the recent Trump Tweets about Mika Brzenski, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao offers the following pathetic defense:
“The president is a citizen as well, and he says what he wants to say,” Chao said at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which is co-hosted by The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic. “I think one of the things that’s important is that you have to take a look at his actions, and to a certain … segment [of Americans] the country was too dependent on government. It was going in a direction that they disagreed with, and so he [Trump] was able to touch a chord with a great number of people who felt that somehow this country needed to have their voices heard.”
Chao, who said she did not agree with Trump’s comments, added the president’s remarks may be unfiltered because isn’t a politician.
“He’s not in politics, and so he’s not used to the usual restraints that people in public service have,” she said. “He’s new. He will adapt and he will learn.”
I have three immediate responses:
First, this is not about being a politician or not being a politician, it is about decent human behavior and acting like an adult, not a spoiled child.
Second, if one has navigated a year-campaign to be elected president of the United States, guess what: that makes one a politician. The problem is not that President Trump is not a politician, it is the type of politics that he practices, which includes personal attacks of this nature.
Third, no he won’t learn. This is clear: he is who he is, and he is not going to change.
In terms of lame defenses, this reminds me of Newt Gingrich’s recent defense in regards to Trumps “bluff” over the “tapes”:
“I think he was, in his way, instinctively trying to rattle Comey,” Gingrich told The Associated Press.
“He’s not a professional politician. He doesn’t come back and think about Nixon and Watergate. His instinct is: ‘I’ll outbluff you.’ “
First, it is stunning to assume that an American of Trump’s age, regardless of profession, wouldn’t see the Nixon/Watergate connection here.
Second, this is yet another very of the odd not-a-politician defense, because it assumes that being a non-politician means one can be an ass in public. This is a weird line of reasoning. (And, again, while Trump was recently a non-politician, he is now a politician by definition).
Worse than Trump’s behavior are the sycophants and hangers-on who excuse this type of behavior because it profits them.