“… President Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are essentially the same person… both men utterly without shame…protected by big media outlets utterly without integrity.”
—One of many astounding statements by aging New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who once could be taken seriously, in a column titled, “Bibi Trump and Donald Netanyahu.”
How untethered to reality would anyone have to be to make the argument that President Trump is being “protected by big media outlets”? How about someone who works for the New York Times?
This is only one of the flat-out dishonest, amazing or just plain nutty assertions in Friedman’s piece. Read the whole thing, and see if you a can find them all. Here, let me get you started: in the quoted sentence, the missing section says,
“backed by parties utterly without spine”
I finally figured out that this a “resistance” talking point that I hear repeatedly from my Trump Deranged friends. For some reason it is proof of some kind of dereliction of duty for Republicans not to actively oppose and obstruct their party’s President unlike any other party, notably the Democrats during the Obama administration. The theory, see, is that this President’s agenda and policy measures are objectively bad and wrong—but they are not objectively wrong. They are wrong to Democrats, because they are counter to most of the Obama legacy. It’s really a silly accusation on its face, but like so many of the “resistance’s” Big Lies, when repeated enough with certitude, the gullible, inattentive public tends to believe them.
The rest of the column can best be summed up as a pure, primal bellow of hate. Does the Times really need more of this stuff? Charles Blow and Paul Krugman file nothing but Trump hate columns. David Leonhardt and Michelle Goldberg are nearly as crazed. Don’t editors realize that in addition to be unprofessional and self-indulgent, such columns are ultimately boring? Friedman’s screed carries the fury of Blow and Krugman into the stratosphere. It reminds me of—well, remember when I wrote about how in-court victim’s statements before the sentencing of convicted criminals is pointless, undignified, and beneath the justice system? The example that turned me against the practice was when relatives of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims lined up to excoriate him in court. One young woman jumped up and down while screaming as loud as she could, “I HATE YOU, JEFFREY! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! ” I was embarrassed for her. Of course, this outburst had no affect on Dahmer; he was a psychopath. At least, however, she had a reason to be deranged; after all, the man had eaten her brother. Friedman’s column essentially says nothing more useful or perceptive than “I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU!” to the President, but all he did was get elected, spoiling Friedman’s schedule for a fully Leftist, government-controlled society and economy. (Tom is an outspoken fan of China, as you may know.) I guess the President ate Friedman’s dreams.
Since the terrific Open Forum turned in by Ethics Alarms commenters made this Blog Comment Appreciation Day, let me tip my metaphorical hat to Ann Althouse’s commenters, who had a field day with Friedman’s column. It is interesting to note that nobody defended it. Ann is not regarded as a conservative—she certainly doesn’t see herself as one—but as with Ethics Alarms, virtually all the dedicated progressive defenders have apparently abandoned the field. Althouse has been appropriately critical of many aspects of the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck, including the Mueller investigation hype, and those who have no persuasive defense of these but who lack the integrity to accept reality apparently can only, as my father used to say, gather up their marbles and go home.
Here are some of the Althouse comments on poor mad Tom’s column:
—“Openly and unabashedly pushing for increased border security and attempting to curtail illegal immigration is considered “stoking… fear and cultural division” in liberal elite land. They’re insulated by their wealth and power, so they can safely virtue signal by heaping scorn on Trump and his deplorable supporters as racist xenophobic monsters. Of course, it won’t win them any elections, but it’ll make them feel morally superior.”
—“They don’t have any buddies!They ain’t hip! None of the cool kids like them!This shit is so fucking juvenile.”
—“Which is why I believe that four more years of Netanyahu, which is almost certain after Israel’s election on Tuesday, and six more years of Trump, which is a real possibility, will hasten the emergence of an America and an Israel where respect for civility, democracy, an independent judiciary and independent media are no longer examples for others to follow…” After two years of Russia! Russia! Russia! I would say that respect for civility, independent judiciary, and independent media were turned into jokes by the American left wing. Unless Friedman would argue that Rand Paul’s ribs were broken and Steve Scalise was shot in a civil manner. Perhaps he would.”
—“Bibi’s strategy was to demonize the people launching rockets at his citizens? Damn, he is very smart–it’d take a true genius to put together such a winning concept! Well spotted, Friedman. You certainly aren’t a laughable hack.”
—“Friedman is another person whose elevation to punditry astounds me. Why should anyone, right or left, have any more respect for Friedman’s opinions than any random person he might meet on the street? Sheer speculation (“Both men have no close friends . . . Trump is clever but probably has not read a book in years . . . Neither man is interested in being a leader for all their people . . .”) is not an argument or support for an argument….”
—“Oh, I am all about getting back to norms, but the norms were crushed well before Trump. The Obama administration was all about forcing nuns to pay for birth control, getting people fired because they did not agree with whatever left-wing cause was ascendant at that moment, making laws up with a pen and a phone, shoving through Obamacare without any bipartisan support despite it being a massive change to the country, nuking the filibuster, and catering to the fanatical religious cult pretending to be a social and political movement that is called “social justice.” If you want to get back to love and tolerance and Bill of Rights and “It’s a free country, man” then I’m game with that, but a suspect Thomas Friedman’s ideas of “norms” dovetails nicely with his admiration of Red China. As for Israel being turned into a Republican cause, that was not the act of Trump. The Democrats are all too pleased, or in many cases all too scared, to accept the votes of anti-Semites. They have sow the wind and are inheriting the whirlwind. Or has Mr. Friedman been under a rock for the past four months? Trump is just pointing out the damn obvious.”
—I understand this doesn’t meet any federal definition for hate speech, and I dislike the notion that any speech be so labeled in a free speech society. However, Thomas Friedman’s article is what I consider hate in written form.
Neither man is interested in being a leader for all their people
Hillary called half of the people she intended to “lead”, “deplorables”. Trump said, and still says, he wants to Make America Great Again; which certainly doesn’t include non-American’s, but is that “their people”, as in his tribe? Isn’t Trump’s tribe as defined by him, Americans, and wouldn’t that be “their people” for him to lead?
Ah forget it. When I read so much hate from such a person; I don’t sense reasoning to be an option. Rather, I sense self-destruction on their part in the near future.
Now, just for fun, I’m going to look at the New York Times readers’ comments. Ah! Here’s a typical one:
“As usual, an article with amazing insights. My only observation is the obvious difference between Israel and America. Israel is a relatively recent nation created for a select class of citizens, a class determined by race and religion. America was created, at least arguably, for occupancy by varied groups having different backgrounds and religions. Trump’s pandering to racists is more heinous than Bibi’s. Trump is destroying a history and a Constitution intended to provide freedom, equality and citizenship for all regardless of race, creed, color or national origin.”