Donald Trump is the Left’s ultimate scapegoat. He is the sole cause of everything that is wrong, was once wrong, and will one day be wrong in the world. To be fair, the President is far from perfect, and — like all leaders — has caused problems during his time in the White House. However, there are countless examples of instances where the Democrats and the mainstream media have disingenuously relied on their familiar condemnation of “orange man bad” in their partisan bid to unseat the President. The easiest way to understand the blatant partisan nature of the mainstream media, and the utter hypocrisy of the Democrats, is to compare Trump to the administration that preceded him.
1. H1N1 and Dumb Luck
It is widely assumed that the Obama administration “handled” the H1N1 pandemic. Also known as “swine flu,” this pandemic lasted for 19 months between January 2009 and August 2010, and has long since faded from public memory. This political amnesia is not a mistake, and certainly won’t be applied to Trump in 11 years time.
In reality, the difference in impact between H1N1 and COVID-19 had nothing to do with the occupant of the White House. Indeed, Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff during the H1N1 pandemic, stated that it was simply a matter of dumb luck that the United States emerged reasonably unscathed.
In an action which would stun the American Left today, the CDC abruptly advised states to cease testing for H1N1 in July 2009 after the Obama administration concluded “Why waste resources testing for H1N1 flu when the government has already confirmed there’s an epidemic?”
It is estimated that between 700 million and 1.4 billion people may have been infected by H1N1, and yet the Washington Post scoffed at “Trump’s bizarre effort to tag Obama’s swine flu response as ‘a disaster.’” Would they work as hard to defend Trump if he instructed the CDC to close down national testing for COVID-19? After all, we already know it’s a pandemic! Why bother?
2. Political Attorney Generals
Both Attorney Generals under Trump have been accused of partisanship. The current Attorney General, Bill Barr, was described by MSNBC as occupying a position which should be “filled by someone who wants to be ‘the people’s lawyer,’ not a partisan operative.” Asking the question “is an Attorney General independent or political,” the New York Times claimed that Barr “rekindles” this debate. Reacting in his stereotypically dramatic fashion, Chris Cuomo recently exclaimed “Can you believe the attorney general of the United States is playing dumb about something like that? And why? Just to help his boy. Because he’s a trumpet. He’s a pawn.”
Stepping back in time, let’s look at President Obama’s first Attorney General Eric Holder, who previously served as United States Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton. In 2013, Holder’s words didn’t seem to spark the same level of concern from the media. “I’m still enjoying what I’m doing, there’s still work to be done. I’m still the President’s wing-man, so I’m there with my boy.”
It doesn’t take a powerful imagination to determine how MSNBC would react if Bill Barr or Jeff Sessions referred to themselves as Trump’s “wingman,” or his “boy.” Additionally, how would the mainstream media react if Congress held Bill Barr in contempt if he refused to hand over documents relating to an investigation? Presumably, with significantly more vitriol than they did when Holder did just that during the “Operation Fast and Furious” scandal. If it was Trump’s Justice Department who “lost track of thousands of guns it had allowed to pass into the hands of suspected smugglers,” one of which was used in the “fatal 2010 shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry,” would his administration be described as “scandal free?”
3. Immigration Control
The subject of immigration control was one of the central pillars to Trump’s 2016 campaign, and therefore one of the central pillars of the argument against him. Justifiably, his infamously insensitive statement “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people” sparked bipartisan outrage, as did his reaction to the San Bernardino shooting in December 2015: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”
During Trump’s first term, his critics relied on these distasteful — and arguably bigoted — statements as their basis for all further criticism. The travel ban announced in his first week in office, which barred entry to refugees and immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, was cynically labeled as a “Muslim ban.” Border policies which detained illegal immigrants and separated adults and children were described as “concentration camps” with “children in cages” by politicians and journalists alike. Trump’s campaign promise of a border wall has been reduced to a “racist dog whistle.”
While the rhetoric may have differed, many of these policies were shared by the Obama administration. Trump’s “travel ban” targeted the same seven countries singled out by Obama’s Department of Homeland Security as “countries of concern” from which travel was restricted. As for “Trump putting kids in cages”: According to the Associated Press, “the reference to cages is misleading and a matter that Democrats have persistently distorted,” with Trump using facilities that were “built during the Obama-Biden administration to house children at the border.” Last, but certainly not least, we should note that Democrats who now describe the border wall as “racist” supported increased border security and fencing in 2006.
4. Politicization of The White House
Trump has been criticized for his use of the White House for political means on multiple occasions. The airing of a citizenship ceremony during the Republican National Convention held in the “hallowed site of the White House” was condemned for its partisan nature. Days later, critics slammed “Trump for transforming the White House grounds into a campaign rally.” Richard Stengel, a former Obama administration official, suggested that such an action was “the clearest conceivable violation of the Hatch Act.”
Did Stengel feel differently when Obama was in the White House? When the Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage, Obama illuminated the White House in “rainbow colors.” Explaining the decision to CNN’s Jim Acosta, Obama stated, “I had a chance to do the Rose Garden celebration of the court decision around same-sex marriage. I did not have a chance to comment on how good the White House looked in rainbow colors. That made it a really good week. To see people gathered in an evening outside on a beautiful summer night, and to feel whole, and to feel accepted, and to feel that they had a right to love, that was pretty cool.”
Luckily, Obama is “cool” and Trump is not. Obama used selfie sticks in the White House. He “goofily” stared lovingly at his own reflection. He chose not to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but was sure to meet with YouTube star GloZell Green — known for pouring milk and Fruit Loops onto herself in a bathtub and eating them — in the White House’s East Room.
Heaven forbid that the “hallowed site of the White House” be used for political purposes.
Justifiably, Trump has been criticized for his propensity to lavish praise on authoritarian dictators, usually in return for their praise. Trump has spoken kindly of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Turkey’s Erdogan, China’s Xi Jinping, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. All evil men. All clearly undeserving of praise. Trump’s tone regarding dictators like Putin has helped fuel the conspiratorial claim that Trump’s election victory was a product of “Russian collusion” and was also used to refute any claim that Trump has been “tough” on adversarial nations like China and Russia.
While the mainstream media and the political Left are correct to criticize such behavior, one should ask why such an attitude began in 2017. While the American Left now present Russia as a gargantuan threat to our physical and electoral security, Obama’s foreign policy was “firmly grounded in the premise that Russia was not a national security threat,” and was cheered for his “burn” on Mitt Romney in 2012, starting “the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.” If Trump had asked the Russian President for “flexibility” on the subject of missile defense, the Left would scream with outrage. The media and the Democrats would like you to forget that Obama actually did this in 2012.
What about the Middle East? The same media who largely ignored the once-in-a-generation peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates brokered by Trump cheered when Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people.” One must assume that the Norwegian Nobel Committee has an alternative definition of the word “extraordinary” given that, under Obama’s careless watch, the world witnessed the implosion of Libya, the birth and growth of ISIS, and the emergence of Iran as a regional superpower. If Trump “misled Congress” and “tried and failed to give Iran secret access to US banks,” would the media celebrate his Nobel Prize?
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