Friday, April 7, 2017

Trump's Normalization Continues with Cruise Missile Barrage

The President:
Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread of chemical weapons.
I'm having a hard time feeling anything about this at all, because it seems so normal. It's what American presidents have been doing since Bill Clinton's time. I'm glad this was defended as a specific response to the use of chemical weapons – a resurrection of the "red line" that Obama invented and then ignored – rather than as a grand scheme to restore civilization in Syria.

To me the most important thing about the decision is its very normality. It is exactly what any ordinary Republican president would do, or many moderate Democrats; both Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio praised the attack.

The attack was not praised by either the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, people like Rand Paul and Justin  Amash, or by many on the Alt-Right. "Trump joins the neocons" was a typical reaction from that quarter. After all this was an attack on a close ally of Vladimir Putin.

This reinforces the sense for me that Trump, without the ideas, energy, or know-how to chart his own political path, is drifting toward being an ordinary Republican. Except for the short attention span and atmosphere of chaos, everything that made him distinctive is falling away: the talk of more generous healthcare, the trillion dollar infrastructure plan, the nods toward raising taxes on hedge fund billionaires, etc. All that remains is Bushism or Ryanism with a wagonload of scandals.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

The thought that bothers me is that we're ignoring the actual origin of these chemical weapons. Syria is a country in crisis, devastated by war. I find it hard to believe they managed to make their own chemical weapons given their situation, rather than simply buying them from someone else.

The question, then, is who supplied them?