Two Trump critics commend him
As the trajectory of a comet changes as it passes by a star, so some of Donald Trump's most adamant critics are starting to alter their course due to the gravitational pull of the president's significant achievements.
First up is Rich Lowry, editor of National Review and formerly a NeverTrump. In a piece in the New York Post, Lowry writes regarding Trump's pullout of the Obama-Iran nuclear deal:
His exit from the agreement is another instance of the Trump paradox. The president who says more outlandish and untrue things than anyone who has ever occupied the office of the presidency is also extraordinarily determined to deliver on his big promises.
Trump often doesn't mean what he says, but when he says what he means – watch out. The combined forces of international pressure, polite opinion, outraged New York Times editorial, resistant advisers, and sheer inertia aren't an obstacle.
Lowry goes on to debunk the argument that Trump is just doing what any other Republican president would do in his place:
But it's not at all clear that another GOP president, even if he was on record favoring these moves, would have pulled out of the Paris climate accord and withstood the howls about impending imperiling the planet; or ended DACA despite all the media pressure to keep it; or exited the Iran deal with the Europeans waging an intense lobbying campaign in its favor.
Reality is dawning on Lowry as he ends his column by noting that President Trump "hasn't shrunk from the core commitments that defined his candidacy." Imagine that: a president who keeps his campaign promises.
The next NeverTrump is a much more interesting case. It's David Brooks, the house "conservative" of the New York Times, the man who childishly commented on his perverse attraction to President-Elect Barack Obama due to the sharp crease in his pants. Brooks's column is titled "Donald Trump's Lizard Wisdom."
Here Brooks credits Trump on three fronts: China, Iran, and North Korea. In each case, Brooks acknowledges that the leaders of these countries are "thugs." He goes on to theorize that the reason Trump may be uniquely qualified to deal with these characters is because of his experience of dealing with thugs in his construction projects in the dog-eat-dog environment of New York City and Atlantic City, New Jersey. As Brooks puts it: "[t]here is growing reason to believe Donald Trump understands the thug mind a whole lot better than people who attended our prestigious Foreign Service academies." Ouch – how that must sting our foreign affair elites, to read such words in the pages of their beloved Times.
Regarding North Korea, Brooks notes how the establishment took Trump to task for his bellicosity directed at "Little Rocket Man," Kim Jong-un. But guess what: it seemed to work. Hostages have been released without a planeful of money paid as ransom, and talks are scheduled. Some even speculate about a Nobel Peace Prize.
Next up, China. As Brooks observes:
Over the past few decades, the Western diplomatic community made a big bet: If we all behave decently toward Chinese leaders, then they'd naturally come to embrace liberal economic and cultural values and we could all eventually share a pinot at the University Club. The bet went wrong. Today's Chinese leaders are polite and coolheaded, but their economic, political and military behavior remains pure thug.
Trump, in contrast to his more sophisticated predecessors, put the screws to the Chinese. The result has been trade concessions from China with many more in the pipeline. Brooks quotes fellow Times man Tom Friedman, who said Trump is picking the right fight with China at the right time.
On Iran, although it must break his heart to admit it, Brooks says the premise of the Obama-Iran deal was all wrong. It was relying on the delusion that the Iranian leaders are "worldly sophisticates, who, if we just gave them the welcome mat, would join our community of nations. This is the vanity of the educated class going back centuries. Since we're obviously so superior, everyone else secretly wants to be like us. It's wrong. Thugs gotta thug. [R]eligious fanatics gotta fanaticize."
What Brooks is saying in his backhanded way is that Trump is accomplishing what no other president could do. But this faux conservative still has to demean Trump by attaching the term "lizard brain" to him. The lizard brain, by the way, is pop psychology for the primitive Six F survival instincts: fight, flight, feeding, fear, freezing up, and fornication.
Brooks has come a long way recognizing Trump's accomplishments. But he misses a big one. It may be understandable, given Brooks's position, but he fails to note the first thug Trump dumped on its fanny. It was the bullying liberal media.