Saturday, December 24, 2016
Trump Likes Putin's Criticisms of Hillary Clinton
This is hilarious, tell me all the observers on distant planets who are resting their transportation parts while imbibing their equivalent of beer and pop corn. Because it's always fun to watch another planet fall apart:
So our Dear Leader-Elect decided to tweet on international politics, by commenting on the utterances of his Best Friend Forever (BFF), one Vladimir Putin:
Oh, that's just Trump being Trump, some might mutter, especially the ones who came here by Googling "snake sex." But replace Trump with any past or present US politician, and notice what the reaction would have been. People would have gone haywire.
And that is the calm, collected and rational reaction: To go haywire.
Here is our Dear President-Elect, praising a foreign ruler for bashing another American politician! And doing it in public. And using only the first name for that American politician (she is a chick, after all, and neither Trump nor Putin care for chicks or their rights).
But much more importantly, the contents of the tweet are a bare-faced lie when it comes to Hillary Clinton. Her behavior after the election is so dignified that for it to be any more dignified she would have had to be lifted to heaven as a saint.
So what are the deep, deep political chess moves in this exchange?
Putin wants to hamstrung NATO, of course, he wants destabilize the EU and the USA, for all sorts of reasons, some fair (to protect Russia), some extremely unfair (to possibly re-annex Ukraine and the Baltic states, in the first round of expansion politics), and he sees Trump as his Useful Idiot in all that.
The closer, tactical, move Putin is arranging here is to get the internal American opposition to Trump labeled as us just being sore losers, to hint at lost dignity! As if Trump isn't quickly using up all dignity this country ever had? (I bet Putin is secretly laughing over the escapades of one Donald Trump.)
Trump also has his international politics! They vary day by day, naturally, because of his volatility. One day it's all about re-launching the nuclear arms race, then the next day it is about appeasing Vladimir by finding something they can both agree on: Girls have cooties and are of value only because of their vaginas. The manly autocrats holding hands across vast distances.
The norms and decency violations are flabbergasting: Internal politics shared with a foreign power? Check. Badmouthing an ex-rival who has given zero cause for such badmouthing? Check. Not letting the elections be in the past? Check (remember the victory laps). Acting like a petulant child who didn't get that second dish of ice-cream? Check. Making the US into a laughing stock all over the world? Check.
Now Trump's own motivations for doing all he is doing are fairly obvious. He is a narcissist, so anything negative said about him (and there's a lot) makes him want to lash back, and he doesn't care what weapons he uses for that, because he knows nothing about how politicians are supposed to act and cares even less. It's All About Trump.
And he currently likes Vladimir so Vladimir can do nothing wrong. Still, narcissistic persons switch such assessments overnight, so the first time Vladimir scolds Donald he will be cast overboard. Then the nuclear race can continue.
Added later: Yet another norm Trump has violated is the old-and-boring idea that the president of the United States speaks for the country in foreign affairs, not for himself or only about himself, that international politics are not about whom the president would like to have a beer with and whether they like the president's bouffant hairdo.
I guess I no longer need to have the courtesy of writing "himself or herself" in this particular context...