Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Thiessen Balances His Policy Defense Of Trump

Several days ago I posted on Marc A. Thiessen's defense of 10 policies by Trump in WaPo.  I must now credit him with today on New Year's Eve in the same venue publishing a column "The 10 worst things Trump did in 2019."  Good for him, some balance after all.  I agree these are all bad things, although I disagree with some of his analysis of them, with a few caveats especially on a couple of the foreign policy items.  However, I shall just list them with Thiessen's conclusion.

10. He ridiculously claimed "Our country is FULL"

9. He used anti-Semitic tropes to attack his enemies.

8. He said the Soviet Union was right to invade Afghanistan and congratulated China on the 70th anniversary of the Communist takeover.

7. He lost a needless government shutdown.

6. He used his emergency authority to circumvent Congress on the border  wall.

5. He continued to spread the canard that the United States is fighting "endless wars."

4. He continued to attack dead people.

3. He asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden.

2. He invited the Taliban to Camp David.

1. He gave Turkey a green light to invade Syria and attack out Kurdish allies.

Thiessen concludes with the following paragraph:

"In past yearss, many entries on my 'worst' list were mistakes of style, not substance. But this year, the number and seriousness of the president's substantive mistakes grew.  On balance, the good still outweighs the bad in the Trump presidency.  But the bad is getting worse."

Again, Happy New Year, you all!

Barkley Rosser


JDM said...

Is it a canard that the United States is fighting "endless wars"?

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

His argument on longest-running Afghanistan is that troop levels are way down from earlier and mostly now just training local troops, although there does still seem to be some direct action by them.

JDM said...

I think if you're talking about somewhere where they're shooting at us and we're shooting back, his argument is some poorly done semantics. But then I'm old enough to remember the arguments that claimed objections to the Vietnam war were ignorable because those voices were wrong about it being a war, it was a "police action". The same sort of bad-faith argument that you get from certain gun nuts about firearm nomenclature.

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

Well, Vietnam led to far more American deaths than Afghanistan or Iraq, but it did some to an end eventually.

As it is, the US has some sort of forces in something like 140 countries. But in most of them there is currently peace, more or less.

Yes, I would say there has to be some shooting for a war to be going on.

emjayay said...

That list could no doubt have gone on far beyond ten. Just the flat out lies are in the thousands per year and increasing.