I’m against President Trump’s Thursday night attack on Syria, just like I was against attacking Syria when Obama tried it, but what do I know — I was against the Iraq War, too, and look how great that turned out!
At least not many people were killed in The Leader’s impetuous air base bombing, since he thoughtfully phoned ahead, warning the bombees to clear off. But some deaths were reported and boom-boom was made, so the “liberal” media cheered the attack — giving rightbloggers some competition in a sphere of idiocy usually theirs alone.
Some wise guys disparaged the transparently absurd alleged motivation for the attack — The Leader, horrified by dead children! Pull the other one! — and mocked the pre-invasion deployment of President-in-law Jared Kushner to Iraq in smug rich dudebro duds, and the improvised sitch room the administration set up for the occasion in a junior suite at Mar-a-Lago, one of The Leader’s many sluice gates for presidential grift.
But ordinary people don’t know who Kushner is and probably think Mar-a-Lago and the White House are pretty much the same thing — big and fancy! — so major media types had no reason not to swoon over The Leader’s new presidentiality.
“A new American president was seeing the pictures and absorbing the horror,” wrote Mark Landler at the New York Fucking Times; “an emotional President Trump took the greatest risk of his young presidency” — that is, bombed the shit out of someplace on the other side of the world.
At Politico, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld praised not only the Kushner deployment but also the weird White House support role of Kushner’s wife, Ivanka: In a piece titled “Trump’s White House Is a Family Business. That’s Not a Bad Thing,” he wrote, “Today, companies like Ford, Wal-Mart, Mars Inc., and Campbell Soup still benefit from large family stakes and faith in the mission of the enterprise. . . . No doubt Genco Pura Olive Oil would not have been so successful without the tight bonds of the Corleone family.” (OK, I made that last one up.)
Ryan Lizza told New Yorker readers “the moral case for President Trump’s strike on Syria is uncontroversial” before stroking his chin at length over its legality. (Trump doing something illegal — but, in a twist, moral! You have to admit it’s newsworthy.)
Big-time conservatives got with the program tout de suite. “This seemed like a very different Donald Trump,” mused Matt K. Lewis. “More serious — and clearly moved emotionally. Frequently invoked the Almighty.” When a guy like The Leader starts telling the rubes about God, that’s when you know he’s being sincere!
“Ivanka may have convinced her dad to bomb Syria,” the New York Post said with a straight face. Their story quoted a Sunday Times of London item claiming “Trump — a regular viewer of cable television — was ‘genuinely shaken’ ” by TV images of gassed Syrian kids, and that Ivanka’s anguished tweet about it (“Heartbroken and outraged by the images coming out of Syria”) stiffened his resolve. I bet Sarah McLachlan is sending Ivanka DMs about abused animals right now, hoping for a windfall retweet.
The Wall Street Journal enlisted the reliably right-wing Walter Russell Mead to declare that “President Trump faced his first serious foreign-policy test this week” and, guess what, “to the surprise and perhaps frustration of his critics, he passed with flying colors.” Boo-yah, haters!
The less exalted rightblogger outlets had to work harder to make it look good, and hemmed and hawed intellectual-like before declaring Syria a job well done.
“Good decision? Bad decision? Time may tell,” harrumphed John Hinderaker at Power Line, but “one thing Trump has established — potentially more significant than the immediate consequences of today’s attack — is that the era of empty threats from the U.S. government is over.” Hinderaker did not specify when The Leader had promised to bomb Syria, so we can assume he was talking about the many times The Leader just talked tough. And look — toughness accomplished!
National Review gave it the big-tent treatment, with something for everyone in the right-wing family. Crabby Kevin D. Williamson, for example, ably represented just-where-in-the-Constitution-does-it-say conservatives like Rand Paul with a thesaurus. Legacy pledge Jonah Goldberg laid his considerable bulk across both pro and anti camps: “The strike on Syria is the single best proof that Trump has no overriding commitment to any ideological position — and I say that as someone who supports the strike,” etc.
Victor Davis Hanson started out in questions-remain mode (“the strike also raised as many questions as it may have answered”), gaining bonus pontificator-points for noting The Leader had bombed “without congressional authorizations or much exegesis.” I believe eight ounces of exegesis is the constitutional minimum for unprovoked attacks.
In the end, however, Hanson settled on this generous assessment: “About all we can say, then, about Trump’s action was that he felt like it was overdue — or like a high-school friend once put to me after unexpectedly unloading on a school bully who daily picked on weaklings, ‘It seemed a good idea at the time.’ ” Bold move, comparing The Leader to a guy who beat up a bully, especially given it’s the reverse of his normal modus operandi. (Here’s another guy doing the same shtick. Well, if our presidential pussy grabber can declare National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, I guess his minions can declare him The Anti-Bully.)
Elsewhere, the tweets of support flooded in. “President Trump is sending a clear message,” flag-wove Tomi Lahren: “the apology tour is over. We fight when you rattle our cage.” “There are serious questions to ask about what’s next,” tweeted S.E. Cupp. “But for now, @realDonaldTrump has reawakened America’s dormant moral conscience.”
Even the further-out wing nuts are coming around to the new Undeclared-War Hero in Chief. Paul Joseph Watson at first whined about the attacks (“I’m officially OFF the Trump train”) before scurrying back to his bread and butter (“I am off the Trump train in terms of Syria,” he clarified, “but I have not ‘turned on Trump’ as the media claims. Fake news.”)
Infowars’ Alex Jones didn’t even bother to explain: At first apparently enraged at the “FALSE FLAG ATTACK” that “STARTED SYRIA/US CONFLICT,” Jones is now sending out tweets full of the sound of rattled sabers — some aimed at the MSM, of course (“CNN and its co-conspirators have backed themselves into a corner”), but some also aimed at North Korea (“North Korea tested @realDonaldTrump and now they are about to find out what he is made of”). And then there’s this patriotic jpeg of the Spirit of ’76 guys he tweeted with the legend, “AMERICA AND DEFEAT CANNOT BE MADE TO RHYME.”
Maybe Jones was just talking about CNN again, or about the Illuminati or some shit, but it sure looks like something super-patriots have traditionally fuck-yeah’d in times of undeclared war to support their undeclared-wartime presidents. Maybe Jones and The Leader are on the same wavelength — in the end, the place and even the reason for bombing don’t matter; what’s important is to show oneself belligerent in both word and deed. Do that and, hell, you can run a big hose into the Treasury and suck out millions and no one will even notice. Or so I’m sure he hopes.