In today’s (12/27/19) Washington Post, regular Trump defender, Mark A. Thiessen published a column, “The 10 best things Trump did in 2019” This turns out to be mostly things either not worth defending or Thiessen, who simply never criticizes Trump, misrepresenting situations. Here they are.
10. “He continued to deliver for the forgotten Americans.” This amounts to unemployment continuing to decline, wages beginning to rise, and supposedly 57 percent of Americans saying they are better off since he became president. Yes, this by and large happened, but amounts to Trump managing to having avoided derailing the expansion he inherited from Obama. The problem is that he enacted many policies that have hurt the poor and redistributed money to the rich. They would have been even better off without his policies.
9. “He implemented tighter work requirements for food stamps.” Yikes, more of his helping “forgotten Americans.” This was the amazingly Scroogeish policy of dumping people from getting food stamps just as the holiday season arrived, probably part of the “War on Christmas.” This supposedly to help the “dignity and pride” of the poor. Sure, Scrooge himself could not put it better.
8. “He has gotten NATO allies to cough up more money for our collective security.” I guess the outcome here is not a bad thing, per se, although the amounts of money involved are not all that big. But this has been the only thing he has done regarding NATO, managing to alienate most of the leading nations in NATO, with him raising serious doubts regarding whether he would actually defend a nation that might be attacked by Russia. Their attitude is best seen by the bunch of leaders mocking him on tape at the last NATO meeting. They hate his guts and disrespect him.
7. “He stood with the people of Hong Kong.” No he did not. This is Thiessen just engaging in fake news. Shameful and nauseating. Just a worthless liar.
6. “His withdrawal from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is delivering China and North Korea a strategic setback.” No it has not. I have seen zero commentators making this point. I agree that China not being in it has complicated things, and most believe that Russia had been in violation of it for a long time. But almost nobody abroad approved of Trump simply withdrawing from this important 1987 treaty negotiated by Reagan and Gorbachev. The European nations are especially disturbed by this action.
5. “His maximum pressure campaign is crippling Iran.” This is true, but this in fact follows and reinforces probably the worst single foreign policy decision he has made: withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal to which Iran was adhering. He has indeed succeeded in imposing sanctions on Iran against the views of all but a handful of nations in the world, notably Israel and Saudi Arabia. So, wow, Iranian oil exports have fallen from 2.5 mbpd to about 10 percent of that. Yes, the Iranian economy has been thrown into serious stagflation. People are miserable. But has this brought us a new and improved agreement with Iran? No. And Iran has escalated actions against Saudi Arabia and in other places. This policy is both a practical disaster as well as being completely indefensible and immoral.
4. “His tariff threats forced Mexico to crack down on illegal immigration.” Well, it probably did. But I disapprove of using tariff threats against a smaller and weaker neighboring nation, and I simply do not see illegal immigration as a bad thing. No, I am not a supporter of totally open borders, but I am not far from that. These people now blocked were desperate, and immigration helps both out economy and lowers our crime rate. There is really little here to be proud of.
3. “He delivered the biggest blow to Planned Parenthood in three decades.” I completely support PP, so I view this as nothing but bad. Ugh.
2. “He ordered the operation that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.” OK, I approve of this. But Thiessen manages to undermine this two ways. First he fails to note that Trump neaely undid this by his stupid support for Turkey invading northeastern Syria against US allies against ISIS. This nearly undid this attack given that crucial information came from the Syrian Kurds. Apparently the attack was delayed and nearly did not happen. Thiessen also drags in that Biden supposedly questioned Obama’s attack on bin Laden. This is just silly. This is at best a mixed bag.
1. “He has continued to appoint federal judges at a record pace.” Needless to say, I see this as yet another thing I think is awful and reason to get him out. No mention here of how McConnell blocked Obama judicial appointments, but obviously he thinks the ends justify the means.
He then throws in a laundry list of other items, sort of a mixed bag, where he does allow just the slightest hint of criticism at one point: “Despite an inexcusable 55-day delay, he gave Ukraine the lethal aid that the Obama-Biden administration refused to deliver.” Yeah, sure no reason for any impeachment there, despite a mention of “inexcusable.” Yes, this Thiessen is a fair and balanced guy.