So now we know what it takes for an unhinged, bigoted demagogue to get liberal applause: just bypass the constitution to fire some missiles. It had seemed as though there was consensus among those against Donald Trump. This man was a threat to US democracy and world peace. The echoes of 1930s fascist leaders were frightening. “This republic is in serious danger,” declared conservative writer Andrew Sullivan on the eve of the Trump triumph.
That this megalomaniac “pussy-grabbing” ban-the-Muslims ex-reality TV star would soon control the world’s most lethal military arsenal was chilling. Opposition to him would be uncompromising, a reflection of the Republican intransigence that Barack Obama faced from day one. It took less than three months to shatter these illusions. All it took was a man widely castigated as a proto-fascist to bomb without observing due process.
Let’s examine what is now being said about Trump. A press he denounced as liars and “enemies of the people” are now eating out of his hands, tiny or otherwise. “I think Donald Trump became President of the United States,” cooed CNN commentator Fareed Zakaria in response to the bombing. Trump “reacted viscerally to the images of the death of innocent children in Syria,” declared Mark Sandler in the New York Times. The original headline on that article, since amended? “On Syria Attack, Trump’s Heart Came First.”
And so the man who once bragged to a baying audience that he would tell five-year-old Syrian refugees to their faces that the US would not offer them safety, is now driven by his heart. Touching indeed. The “moral…
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