Trump Supporters Surprised To Find That Donald Trump Is Acting Like Donald Trump

In the wake of the latest attack on Syria, some of the President's strongest supporters seem shocked to discover that the unprincipled egomaniac they supported is, in fact, an unprincipled egomaniac.

Some of Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters aren’t entirely thrilled by his decision to strike Syria in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons for the second time in his Presidency:

Some of President Donald Trump’s staunchest backers tore into his decision to attack Syria late Friday night, arguing it was unnecessary, reactionary and even Clinton-esque.

In tweet storms and video responses, they compared Trump’s decision to attack Syrian targets to actions taken by President George W. Bush or a hypothetical President Hillary Clinton.

“We lost. War machine bombs syria. No evidence Assad did it. Sad warmongers hijacking our nation,” tweeted conservative author and radio host Michael Savage. Savage also posted a video discussing the missile strikes, tearing into Trump’s decision.

There was a clear sense of disappointment among a certain strand of Trump supporter as the president announced a “precision strike” against the regime of Bashar Assad on Friday in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack last week.

The anguish came from supporters who latched on to Trump’s “America first” promise during the campaign. They argued that Trump’s decision undermined his promise to disentangle the U.S. from global conflicts, saying it reeked of the same old, same old.

“Donald Bush,” tweeted Mike Cernovich, a conservative author and once a staunch supporter of Trump.

“Congratulations to the Trump administration for adopting the same failed foreign policy and ignoring of the constitution as the last two administrations,” tweeted Doug Stafford, a strategist for Sen. Rand Paul’s RANDPAC.

Conservative author Ann Coulter retweeted a series of people questioning military action in Syria — as well as past tweets from Trump himself. Before his presidential bid, Trump argued former President Barack Obama would be foolish to take any action in Syria.

Coulter also quoted a news story about former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe promising he could beat Trump if he ran against him and tweeted, “You might – if you promised no more “stupid wars.””

As a preliminary matter, one has to wonder what exactly it was these people were expecting. From the time he was a candidate and stretching back long before that, Donald Trump has clearly demonstrated that he’s a man of no fixed principles. Back in the eighties and a good part of the early to mid-90s he came across as a moderately conservative Republican, albeit one with decidedly Democratic views when it came to issues such as trade and overseas investment. During the late 90s he seemed to have slipped into some version of a Ross Perot-like centrism and in 2000 even briefly flirted with the idea of running as a Presidential candidate under the banner of what was left of the Reform Party that grew out of Perot’s campaigns in 1992 and 1996. During the George W. Bush years, he drifted over into the Democratic camp or at least became a harsh critic of the Bush Administration in its later years. Finally, when the Obama Era rolled around he was originally quite supportive of the new President only to turn into a harsh critic to the point where he was questioning whether the President was even born in the United States.

All of that seemed to be forgotten once Trump became a candidate, of course. When Trump the candidate began running on a platform that played into themes ranging from disdain for immigrants legal and illegal and open contempt for the media and the Rule of Law, the crowds began to swell and people such as Ann Coulter and others quickly rallied to his side apparently convinced that this latest iteration of the Trump persona was any more genuine than the others that we’ve seen over the years. The fact that he had said something different in the past hardly mattered as long as he was saying the “right things” now.

The whole time this was happening, of course, those of us opposed to Trump we’re saying that Trump could not be trusted to keep to his word and that he’d walk back all or part of his campaign rhetoric once he became President, and that’s exactly what has happened. The best example of that, of course, can be seen with respect to the so-called border wall. On the campaign trail, the President claimed that not only would the wall be built, but that it would be built immediately and, of course, that Mexico would pay for it. More than a year into the Trump Administration, we’re at the point where none of the wall has been built, or small amounts of money have been authorized for border protection, and the Trump Administration has taken to claiming credit for a reconstruction project begun under the Obama Administration on fencing that is placed along certain parts of the border. And, oh yeah, Mexico isn’t paying for any of it.

Given all of that, is it really a surprise that Trump is drifting away from the anti-interventionist rhetoric that he ran on during the campaign? Apparently it is, at least to Trump supporters. One wonders when they’ll finally learn their lesson.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    One wonders when they’ll finally learn their lesson.


  2. Kathy says:

    Some of his die-hard supporters call him an “alpha male.”

    I agree. He’s a dumb ape who makes a lot of noise and throws sh*t around. The only peculiarity is he uses his mouth rather than his hand to fling it. This must be because his particular species, Pithecatrompus moronis(*), has hands that are not big enough to fling his own waste.

    (*) There is some disagrement among specialist on whether the species is actually Pithecatrompus semperectus instead

  3. teve tory says:

    @Kathy: There’s a creationist lawyer who runs basically the last remaining Intelligent Design blog, who actually claimed…well, see for yourself:

    Pence is a good looking powerful alpha’s alpha

    and I’m sure he’s a Trumper.


  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: trump is no alpha male, he’s what certain RWNJs think an alpha male looks and sounds like.

  5. Kathy says:


    So the omega male idea of what an alpha male is? 🙂

  6. Dave Schuler says:

    I don’t care to dive into a detailed taxonomy of Trump supporters but for those for whom 2016 was the “Flight 93 election”, they’re probably relieved that he’s “acting like Trump”. They will tolerate an awful lot before turning against him. They don’t care if he tears the whole system down. For them that’s a feature not a bug.

  7. michael reynolds says:

    Trump has never been a secret. He hasn’t gotten worse, he’s remained what he clearly was from the start. He’s scum of the earth, and that’s who 46% of voters chose to be the heir to Washington, Lincoln, FDR and yes, Obama. Azzhole voters elected an azzhole because he promised to go on being an azzhole.

    Trump is just the symptom. The sickness is in the minds of voters, particularly those voters who most proudly proclaim their love of Jesus. Without white evangelicals this national catastrophe wouldn’t have happened. These people raised on stories of Jesus condemning hypocrites and idolaters are themselves hypocrites and idolaters.

  8. CSK says:

    The thing about the Trumpkins is that they have very short memories. If he commits an offense that they can’t dismiss as Fake News fabricated by the Soros-owned media, they’ll just…forget about it in a day or two. It’s quite remarkable on the one hand, but perhaps not, given what they’ve emotionally invested in him.

  9. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’ve known three people in my adult life whom I consider to be genuinely crazy/evil. All three were ostentatiously Godly.

  10. TM01 says:

    Holy crap.

    A politician not keeping their word on every campaign promise?!

    This is #LITERALLY unheard of!

    Next thing you know he’ll be saying that having to raise the debt ceiling is a sign of failed leadership or something. Or maybe he’ll draw a red line in the sand. Or maybe even create Peace in our Time via a grand deal with NK.

    Better Trump’s mushy principles than Hillary’s rigid ones.

  11. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Trump has never been a secret. He hasn’t gotten worse, he’s remained what he clearly was from the start.

    Dead on. We’ve known exactly who Trump is for the past 38 years.

    He’s a gold-letter grifter and he is racist too. The record shows, over and over and over again, just how unpleasant, petty, and self-absorbed he’s always been. He’s a working man’s idea of what a glamorous playboy business man looks like, and of what ‘classiness’ looks like.

    Trump has always been a salesman, a con man. What we now see is what we’ve always seen. No change.

  12. CSK says:

    Trump’s Tweeting again about how he’ll polling at 50%.

    That’s at one poll: Rasmussen. His RCP average is 42.5.

  13. teve tory says:

    Donald J. Trump

    Verified account

    Follow Follow @realDonaldTrump
    Slippery James Comey, a man who always ends up badly and out of whack (he is not smart!), will go down as the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!

    6:07 AM – 15 Apr 2018

    Josh Marshall

    Verified account

    5h5 hours ago
    More Josh Marshall Retweeted Donald J. Trump
    I mean, I don’t even know what to do with this shit. It’s sad. For our country. This is embarrassing.

  14. Dave Schuler says:


    Trump’s Tweeting again about how he’ll polling at 50%.

    I think I’d take the under on that. IMO and barring some catastrophe other than the ongoing catastrophe, he’ll poll at between 36% and 48% throughout his presidency.

  15. CSK says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    Certainly. But he’ll only ever acknowledge the Rasmussen Poll.

  16. Roger says:

    @al-Ameda: “ He’s a working man’s idea of what a glamorous playboy business man looks like, and of what ‘classiness’ looks like.”

    You slander a lot of working men there. I’ve been around plenty of working men who know true class when they see it and can spot phony gold-plated “classiness” a mile away. The key is not whether they’re working class. Trump is a mark’s idea of what classiness looks like. We can find marks at all economic levels, though, sadly, we’re most likely to find them in folks who look like me: aging white men who grew up going to evangelical churches.

  17. Kylopod says:

    @teve tory: One thing that has amazed me over the years is how so many righties talk like stunted adolescents. Some years back Conor Friedersdorf started critiquing Mark Levin. In response, Levin called him “Friedersdork.” What struck me wasn’t that Levin resorted to name-calling, it was that anyone over the age of 15 thinks “dork” is an insult.

    Or take Wayne Allyn Root’s recent rant against Mueller:

    “Robert Mueller has penis envy,” he continued. “This is so obvious. This was high school, guys. In high school, there were handsome guys, and then there were handsome guys who were jocks, and then there were handsome guys who were jocks and had rich fathers. And that is Donald Trump. And then all the little nerds like Robert Mueller, who had never had sex in their whole lives, they hated the jocks, they hated the handsome guys, and they really hated the jocks who were handsome guys who were rich. This guy, Muller, has never had sex with a beautiful woman, so he hates Trump with a passion.”

    You have to wonder about what sorts of life experiences guys like Root or Levin had that would tempt them to make comments like these. I’m not if sure if they were actually the guys getting stuffed in lockers and are now taking their insecurities out on the world, or if they were ones doing the stuffing and they just never grew past that stage.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Something like that.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Better Trump’s mushy principles than Hillary’s rigid ones.

    trump has only one principle and it starts with “M” and ends with “E” and no letters in between. If you get between him and his latest desire, he will run you over with a Mack truck at 100 mph. He does not give a rat’s ass about you or anyone else in this world and that includes his children.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:


    And then all the little nerds like Robert Mueller,

    From his Wiki page:

    A graduate of Princeton University, Mueller served as a Marine Corps officer during the Vietnam War, receiving the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” for heroism and the Purple Heart Medal. After graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law (1973), he worked at a private firm in San Francisco for three years until his appointment as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) in the same city. Prior to his appointment as FBI Director, Mueller served as a United States Attorney, as United States Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, and as Acting U.S. Deputy Attorney General.

    In May 2017, Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as special counsel overseeing an ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and related matters, including any links between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s campaign.[4]

    Some nerd.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Mueller grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, where he attended Princeton Country Day School, now known as Princeton Day School. After he completed 8th grade, his family moved to Philadelphia while Mueller himself went on to attend St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, where he was captain of the soccer, hockey, and lacrosse teams and won the Gordon Medal as the school’s top athlete in 1962.[11][12]

    Mueller went on to study at Princeton University, where he continued to play lacrosse[13], receiving an A.B. in politics with a senior thesis on jurisdiction in the South West Africa cases in 1966.[13] Mueller earned an M.A. in international relations from New York University in 1967, before pursuing his Juris Doctor degree.

    In 1968, Mueller joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He has cited his teammate David Spencer Hackett’s death in the Vietnam War as an influence on his decision to pursue military service.[14] Of his classmate, Mueller has said, “One of the reasons I went into the Marine Corps was because we lost a very good friend, a Marine in Vietnam, who was a year ahead of me at Princeton. There were a number of us who felt we should follow his example and at least go into the service. And it flows from there.”[15] Hackett was a Marine Corps first lieutenant in the infantry and was killed in 1967 in Quảng Trị Province by small arms fire.[16]

    After completing his military service, Mueller attended the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served on the Virginia Law Review. He graduated in 1973.[17]

    Some nerd.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:


    In July 1968, he was sent to South Vietnam, where he served as a rifle platoon leader with Second Platoon, H Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division.[6][19] On 11 December 1968 during an engagement in Operation Scotland II, he earned the Bronze Star with ‘V’ distinction for combat valor for rescuing a wounded Marine under enemy fire during an ambush that saw half of his platoon become casualties.[20][21][22][23] In April 1969, he received an enemy gunshot wound in the thigh, recovered, and returned to lead his platoon until June 1969.[24] For his service in and during the Vietnam War, his military decorations and awards include: the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”, Purple Heart Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals with Combat “V”, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Parachutist Badge.[6][24]

    Mueller eventually became aide-de-camp to 3rd Marine Division’s commanding general, then-Major General William K. Jones, where he “significantly contributed to the rapport” Jones had with other officers, according to one report.[18][25]

    Reflecting on his service in the Vietnam War, Mueller said, “I consider myself exceptionally lucky to have made it out of Vietnam. There were many—many—who did not. And perhaps because I did survive Vietnam, I have always felt compelled to contribute.”[26]

    After returning from Vietnam, Mueller was briefly stationed at Henderson Hall, before leaving active-duty service in August 1970.[25] He was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame in 2004.[25][27]

    Some nerd.

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: And that was all before he really got going.

  24. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Don’t forget his involvement in taking down John Gotti.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: Yep, like I said, before he really got going. It’s like Jeebus, haven’t these people heard of the internet where all of the worlds facts (and alternative facts) are at one’s fingertips? The stupid, it hurts.

  26. teve tory says:

    @Kylopod: I know a guy who covers Wayne Root on his blog, so I’ve seen a dozen things Root has said. As far as I can tell Root has serious personality disorders.

  27. Mikey says:


    He was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame in 2004.

    Not to downplay all of Mueller’s other significant military accomplishments, but I want to point out it is uncommon for a Marine to attend the Army’s Ranger and Airborne schools, and was especially so during the Vietnam war when platoon leaders were in high demand indeed. For Mueller to have been selected for those schools indicates he was, even as far back as the very beginning of his time in the Marines, already recognized as the best of the best.

  28. Kylopod says:

    @teve tory:

    As far as I can tell Root has serious personality disorders.

    What talk radio figure doesn’t?

  29. al-Ameda says:


    Trump is a mark’s idea of what classiness looks like. We can find marks at all economic levels, though, sadly, we’re most likely to find them in folks who look like me: aging white men who grew up going to evangelical churches.

    Fair enough.

    By the way, I’m from a working law enforcement family, of the 11 of us (there are 10 now), only me and a brother are non-Trump voters. Most of my family likes Trump because “he tells it like it is,” is and “he’s a successful businessman.” They were not the least bit bothered by his malevolent personalty during the campaign, they saw his behavior in the vein of “they all do it,” and the Access Hollywood audio where Trump bragged about harassing women because he could? Well, “Bill Clinton.”