If Donald Trump ever said that no serious person would suggest that an American presidential election could be rigged, the Morning Joe gang of hysterical progressives and the I hate Trump columnists at the New York Times would throw a fit. Over at CNN, Don Lemon might pass out.
How stupid is this Trump guy, they’d say. What a dunce!
So maybe in the midst of the maelstrom surrounding the rigged presidential election of 2016, we should take a moment out to reflect on a few observations made in the final days of that election.
“There is no serious person out there who would suggest that you could even rig America’s elections.”
Anyone with a problem with that un-nuanced observation should take it up with the man who said it. That would be Barack Obama.
Yes, while Donald Trump was saying Hillary and her pals might rig the election to ensure her victory, Barack Obama was saying knock it off Donald, you cry baby.
“So I’d advise Mr. Trump to stop whining, and go make his case to get votes,” the president said.
“And if he gets the most votes, it would be my expectation of Hillary Clinton to offer a gracious concession speech and pledge to work with him in order to ensure that the American people benefit from an effective government,” Mr. Obama said.
Hillary Clinton has been a lot of things since she lost, but gracious, I don’t think, has been one of them.
In India she said the United States doesn’t deserve Donald Trump. “I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product,” she said. “So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, ‘Make America Great Again,’ was looking backwards. You know, you didn’t like black people getting rights, you don’t like women, you know, getting jobs, you don’t want to, you know, see that Indian-American succeeding more than you are, whatever your problem is, I’m going to solve it.”
Pretty gracious, right?
As for Mr. Obama, his message was clear: There is no evidence that election rigging has ever happened or could ever happen.
OK, I get it. President Obama was saying Americans couldn’t rig the election. He didn’t say Russians couldn’t. Maybe that’s because he knew they could, but figured it didn’t matter since Hillary was going to be the winner anyway.
Since Mr. Trump beat Mrs. Clinton – and especially since his cringeworthy performance in Helsinki – liberals have practically accused him of working as a secret agent for the Russians – or at absolute least, of being one of Putin’s useful idiots. So let’s go back again to President Obama.
He was the one who scaled back missile defense plans in Europe to placate Moscow. And Mr. Obama was the one who wanted the Russians as an ally, to help him make a deal with Iran on nuclear weapons. And President Obama wanted Putin as an ally again, this time (unsuccessfully) play a role to end the Syrian civil war.
So let’s see if I understand this: Barack Obama was being reasonable – presidential–when he cozied up to Putin, but Donald Trump is guilty of treason because he got too friendly with Putin in Finland. As a column on the Fox website put it: “Trump has surrounded himself with Russia hawks like National Security Advisor John Bolton and Defense Secretary James Mattis. If he were in cahoots with the Kremlin, he has a funny way of showing it.”
Like a lot of others I didn’t like what I saw in Helsinki. I agreed with Newt Gingrich who said “President Trump must clarify his statements in Helsinki on our intelligence system and Putin. It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected—-immediately.”
But President Trump can always count on his enemies to bail him out of a bad situation.
From Charles Blow in the New York Times: “It is an unfathomable proposition that the day would ever come when America could rightly question the loyalties of its own president, but that is precisely where we have arrived,”
Putin gave Trump a soccer ball in Helsinki, “but the two may as well have exchanged tinfoil hats” because they both embrace conspiracies and reject objective fact, as GQ correspondent Julia Ioffe wrote in the Washington Post.
At ABC, political scientist Jimmy Kimmel wanted to know, “Is it possible Vladimir Putin brought a hypnotist to that meeting instead of a translator?”
At NBC, another political scholar, Seth Meyers, chimed in with, “Seriously, Trump gushes over Putin like a flustered 12-year-old who just met Mickey at Disneyland.”
And as we all have heard by now, CIA director John Brennan who served under Barack Obama, tweeted: “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”
And then there’s the sanctimonious former FBI director James Comey, who a day after the Helsinki news conference, tweeted: “All who believe in this country’s values must vote for Democrats this fall.”
A poll by Axios found that 91 percent of Democrats disapproved of the way President Trump handled the news conference with Putin – while 79 percent of Republicans approved.
Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, told the New York Times that “Politics has become so polarized that there is a powerful tendency to rally around our guy and to defend our guy in the face of criticism from people we don’t like.”
Sure, Trump supporters like their guy, but just as important, they detest the elites who hate their guy. They can spot their snooty condescension a mile away. They know that Hillary Clinton isn’t the only liberal who sees them as backward and bigoted.
So, Donald Trump can count on two important factions for his support: His biggest fans and his biggest detractors. The more liberals overplay their hand – Treasonous? Really? – the more they solidify Mr. Trump’s allies.
I’m not sure those enlightened progressives know that. Nor am I sure that even if they did, they’d be capable of ratcheting down their unbridled hatred of the president a lot of them want to impeach.
In any case, this too shall pass — as soon as the president gins up a new crisis to take our minds off the last one. That’s one thing Donald Trump has really been good at.