Ethics Verdict: “Surrenderer-In-Chief” Is Unethical And Inexcusable

Yes, the newly-released video makes many fair and legitimate points. Yes, Donald Trump has every reason to feel that this is tit-for-tat and “what goes around comes around” after the way his Presidency was ruthlessly undermined and sabotaged with the assistance of leaders of the Democratic Party.

Yes, he fights back and that is admirable, though responsible leaders know where to draw the line and Trump does not (and never has). Yes, Joe Biden and Democrats have virtually asked for this, and in many respects deserve it. Nobody should trust Biden or his party (or its current leaders) ever again. Yes it serves Joe Biden—Hillary Clinton—Nancy Pelosi—Chuck Schumer—Kamala Harris right, they and all of the liars and enablers in the news media who told the public that Joe Biden was a competent, able, trustworthy leader when he was not.

None of that matters. No President can function and do his job as leader of the United States if former Presidents second guess him, attack him and seek to turn the public against him while he is serving his term and is not running for office.

This video, which is effective (largely because it is accurate), throws metaphorical gasoline on what is already a dangerous conflagration of distrust and division because Donald Trump’s name is on it. Releasing such a video during a crisis is the opposite of the Golden Rule, though not Trump’s version of it: “I will do unto them what they did unto me, but worse!”

It doesn’t matter if it “works,” or if it gives supporters of the former President some satisfaction The video is wrong, and demonstrates how irresponsible Trump is.

Ethics Alarms condemns “Surrenderer-in-Chief” unequivocally and without reservation.

36 thoughts on “Ethics Verdict: “Surrenderer-In-Chief” Is Unethical And Inexcusable

  1. Unfortunately everything in the video is true. Biden is completely unfit for office and a habitual liar who if he had any decency would resign. Harry Truman said some pretty nasty things about Nixon when he was in office btw.

  2. “Yes, Joe Biden and Democrats have virtually asked for this, and in many respects deserve it. ”

    Full stop. You know who else deserves it? The idiots who voted for Biden just because he wasn’t Trump. This country is falling apart and its interests are collapsing because of this. American soldiers were wounded and probably some died today, PRECISELY because this fucking idiot who appointed other fucking idiots to oversee a critical operation at a critical time, was elected by a whole lot of other fucking idiots who didn’t use their brains.

    I won’t condemn it, in fact I’d like to shake the hand of the man that made it. The truth is sometimes ugly. I also don’t give a damn if it pours gas on the current fire of distrust and division. This is what the other side started. They don’t get to complain when Trump continues it.

    • I’m with you, Steve. In almost any other time I’d condemn it, but it has to be said, especially when the MSM (and commenters) keep defending Biden. If it takes Trump’s in your face heavy fisted style to get the point across to those who refuse to see the truth and their consequences, so be it.

      Recently, Jack (with whom I agree at least 85% of the time) said that Biden should stay in office to punish those who voted for him/Democrats. Well, what about the 75 million of us who voted for President Trump? Why should we suffer when we tried to do the right thing? Why should our country (and the world) suffer for the next 3+ years because Biden was assisted by monsters To win an election he wasn’t fit to vote in, much less win?

      This isn’t pettiness here. This is reality. And I don’t think our country can survive the horrific incompetence and racial division and stomping on our Constitution & Flag for another few months, much less another few YEARS. We need to stop the madness now.

    • This unfolding and unmitigated fiasco isn’t necessary that of *Biden’s* making. No doubt it is exacerbated by his fecklessness. No, there would have been a military disaster regardless of which *democrat* was in office. This weak milquetoast approach to foreign policy is a plank of the Democrat worldview. It was fully embraced and enshrined by President Obama and drank in by every Democrat in the party since then.

      No, the humiliation of America on the foreign stage was going to happen regardless of which Democrat sat in the hot seat.

      It’s one reason why the Democrat national media spun so insanely HARD to portray Donald Trump as a foreign policy disaster and as a colossal clown on the world stage.

      • Oh neat, we just gave the Taliban a hit list…

        I mean we gave them a list of Americans and Afghan allies that we’d like their help in getting to the airport.


        There are no words deeply insulting enough to describe this level of depraved incompetence.

        There’s being competent.

        Then there’s trying to look competent.

        Then there’s trying to avoid looking incompetent.

        Then there’s honest admission of passive incompetence.

        Then there’s where the Democrat administration was yesterday – actively trying to *look* incompetent.

        Then there’s the Democrat administration today – actively pursuing criminal incompetence as a discipline to perfect and enshrine as a value set.

  3. And I suppose the media will say the twin bombings are Trump’s fault as well because of this video. They blamed Benghazi on a video – remember.

    I respect the fact that you want the Presidency to be successful and respected. I tend to agree with that sentiment. However, we must define what it means to be successful. Do I want Americans to be well thought of around the world – sure. Do I want a booming economy – of course. Do I want a President to drive us to one party rule by giving out freebies that will bankrupt the nation in the not too distant future – not on your life. Do I want to see the Constitutional Republic replaced by a pure democracy – hell no. So if Trump is putting up roadblocks to slow that which I oppose by painting an accurate picture of this Presidency so be it.

    I asked the other day where are the big money donors who would produce this highly effective counterpoint to the billions of dollars of in-kind donations by the media to prop up this totalitarian regime so that Trump can have others do his dirty work like Obama did to him. If none step up then why can he not fill the void that is so needed and desired. If left unchecked Biden would continue believing the lack of pushback means agreement.

    At this point, in the words of Rush Limbaugh, I don’t want this addle brained puppet of the left to be successful.

    When the Left embraces ethical behavior it can demand the same from its opposition.

    I for one will not condemn that which I would have produced had I had the resources and talent.

  4. I don’t agree, perhaps unsurprisingly.

    There is a legitimate point to be made that it’s harder for a president to act during a crisis with their political opponents dogging them at every turn and that for the good of the nation, partisans should stop rattling their sabers long enough to deal with it. There’s also an argument that we can, and should, be better than the,. because otherwise politics is a race to the bottom.

    But frankly… This is being better than them. Not a word of that is a lie. It’s not out of context, or at least, added context does not make it better. Joe Biden has been in various offices of high power for one fifth of America’s existence. He has never, not once, been on the correct side of a foreign relations matter. His domestic policy is a disaster. His foreign policy is a disaster. He’s picking fights with Republican Governors over state issues. He bragged about how food prices for dinner went down 16 cents before signing bills that injected trillions of dollars into the economy.

    Can anyone list a single thing Biden did in the last eight months that was good? And that’s with a Democratic majority at all levels of government, he can’t even argue his party doesn’t have the votes, he’s being held back by party infighting. At this point, he’s probably looking forward to Democrats being shellacked in 2022 so he can finally blame Republican intransigence again.

    And worst of all, he is in OBVIOUS cognitive decline. Google speeches from Biden in 1972, when he first ran for Senate, then fast forward a decade or so and do it again, then three more times. Biden is *gone*, he’s not even a shadow of what he was five years ago during the Obama administration. (Was that only five years ago? Jesus.) It was elder abuse to run him, he should be enjoying his grandkids while he can. Butt no, and now America is facing a crisis, and there are days that Biden doesn’t know the names of people in the room. All that, while being actively supported by institutions that were diametrically opposed to his predecessor and a suddenly out-of-work media.

    You know what’s absolutely amazing? Eight months in office. How many leaks? How many whistleblowers? What? Was nothing bad happening over that time?

    You’re right, Jack, in that America is in a crisis. Several of them: America is dealing with a pandemic made worse than it needs to be by a vaccine skepticism, a major military conflict, partisanship like I’ve never seen in my life, and an economy that is actively failing. But you’re also experiencing a crisis of leadership; Being led by people who don’t want to run things; Biden defers to congress, congress defers to unelected bureaucrats, no one actually wants to be responsible for anything, even though they fought tooth and nail for their power.

    So… What? Republicans should support this? They should pop some corn and watch? Wait for three more years of this until he is up for re-election? No. Just no. The midterms have to be utterly devastating. Democratic incompetence has to be quarantines and mitigated until they can come up with a lineup that is actually interested in doing the job more than merely having the job, and that’s not happening anytime soon, because their bench is AMAZINGLY shallow right now. If not Biden… Harris? Pelosi? Schumer?

  5. I agree with you on the ethics part, I think anyway. I am still mulling this over.

    I have a polysci background, and this ad is devastating. Unless Biden cheats or some sort of unforeseen shift happens, I don’t think Biden is going to win again. Remember how LBJ signed historic legislation but only served one term because he became so unpopular? Biden may end up like him.

    Biden’s indifference towards what is happening in Afghanistan is the thing that I think will doom him. He acts like he doesn’t care.

    • “He acts like he doesn’t care.”? I don’t think he does care except on how this will effect the perception of his miserable legacy. There are two possibilities: Either he is so mentally impaired that he is totally oblivious to what’s going on or he is a complete narcissist who doesn’t care about the dead and wounded Marines and the countless Afghanis who will die and be raped under the Taliban’s medieval rule.

  6. This is difficult. I want to agree with you, but my biggest concern has always been unilateral disarmament and the disparity of force the two parties are willing to bring against each other.

    I know military metaphors are not the best when talking about politics. The two appear to have a lot in common, but that appearance is mostly skin-deep. Still, when the Republicans have been in power, the Democrat ex-presidents have always second-guessed them, if usually in a lower-profile way than running an attack ad. But when Trump was president, they did that, and much, much worse with their extra-constitutional impeachments and lawless investigations.

    I don’t agree with Trump running the ad. I think it puts his lizard brain on display for all to see, and provides a strong argument that he doesn’t have the disposition to be president. It looks like nothing more than a revenge tactic, and Trump’s statements have done nothing to disabuse people of making this connection. In fact, I’d go so far as to say he has encouraged it.

    On the other hand, I can’t condemn it. If it were transparently false or hyperbolic, even in a political way, I would. But the sad truth is, it represents a harsh, but fair view of Biden’s presidency so far. Americans deserve to have this brought home to them. The biggest problem with the ad is not its content, but who is delivering it.

    Trump knows that the Republicans, if they are to survive as a party (let alone win) in the face of a Congress and President determined to destroy the country with outrageous spending and relentless attacks on Constitutional rights, must fight back as brutally and with the same lack of restraint as the Democrats. He is right — Republicans cannot disarm for the sake of decency, because the Democrats have demonstrated they have no such governor on their actions.

    The ad is brutal, but accurate. What it depicts needs to be heard. But it should be somebody else saying it.

    • Glenn.
      The problem is that no one else is stepping up with the ability to make this very necessary statement. Until someone comes forth to serve as our leader to oppose this idiot Trump is all web have.

    • > The ad is brutal, but accurate. What it depicts needs to be heard. But it should be somebody else saying it.

      This summarizes my opinion on it, but I’m still unsure of who “somebody else” is that would give it the same exposure as Trump.

  7. What has happened to the Republican leadership? Is there no one at all who can make strong, coherent arguments out there anymore?

    Doesn’t it seem like Something Very Wrong is happening to the planet as a whole? It’s as if a lot of people have lost the ability to think, speak or act rationally and it is spreading.

    • Mrs. OB reported earlier today a Long Island originated lefty friend of hers crowed in a post on Facebook this morning what a wonderful job Joe Biden is doing in Afghanistan. I too am mystified by these kind of people spouting Democratic Party talking points. What is wrong with them? Black is white and up is down and the heads nod approvingly.

  8. This video is pure unadulterated anti propaganda and it’s not what the United States needs no matter how pissed off you are at how those unethical political hacks treated President Trump and Conservatives for four years.

    Jack wrote, “No President can function and do his job as leader of the United States if former Presidents second guess him, attack him and seek to turn the public against him while he is serving his term and is not running for office.”


    Instead of a divisive video inspiring distrust and hate like this one, maybe President Trump could choose to do something completely unexpected and out of character like promote Conservative activism without being so divisive. I know, I know; that’s far outside of Trump’s character.

      • That’s a decent video, I was thinking along these lines with appropriate video to go along with it…

        My fellow Americans, serious changes are needed in the United States of America.

        Thirteen years ago we heard the words of then candidate Barak Obama when he publicly called progressives to action,

        “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

        Well my fellow Americans, how do you like the changes that progressives have wrought upon our nation since that call to action?

        Has our country gotten better or worse since 2008?

        Has race relations gotten better or worse since 2008?

        Has oppositional hate grown since 2008?

        Is your hope for a better tomorrow brighter today than it was in 2008 or is your hope for a brighter tomorrow rapidly slipping into a dark abyss?

        Are you as comfortable sharing your opinions with others now as you were in 2008 or do you cower in silence because of the constant intimidation and persecution from an immoral cancel culture.

        Is our liberty as socially prominent as it was in 2008 or do you feel like our liberty is being shoved aside in favor of intimidation and persecution from those that oppose your point of view?

        Is respect for law and order gotten better or worse since 2008?

        Is respect for the property of others gotten better or worse since 2008?

        Remember that old saying innocent until proven guilty, how’s that doing in today’s cancel culture that completely bypasses the justice system to destroy the lives of their targets?

        We are here to tell you that We the People of the United States of America will stand against the horde of totalitarians trying to undermine everything that’s made the United States a beacon of freedom across the globe.

        Yes, change is needed and if you want real change then change must begin with you.

        John F. Kennedy once said “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

        It’s time for you to figure out what your country needs from you.

        Yes we need change, yes change is hard, and yes we’ve been shown that change is possible even when that change is socially destructive like we’ve seen over the last few years.

        Candidate Barak Obama was correct when he said that change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for, we are the change that we seek and you can be the grass roots instrument of change that the United States needs if we are to survive the anti-American horde of totalitarian’s that are morphing our society into an unrecognizable fading shadow of what it once was.

        Make America great again is really not just a campaign slogan that will slowly fade into the archives of history, it’s a recurring demand from We the People to return the United States to it’s core Constitutional roots and the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – these are the things that made the United States great and a beacon of freedom across the globe.

        Become an instrument of change, stand up for what you believe, let your voice be heard, stand against that which you do not support, and stand on the the solid Constitutional foundation that our forefathers fought and died for!

        Something like that.

  9. Now, we’re in a real mess.

    Stipulated – given the knowledge of what little risk exposure we were facing before Trump’s draw down and what geopolitical advantages a presence in Afghanistan gave us – the ethical choice was to stay the course in Afghanistan under the “Operation Freedom’s Sentinel” framework. But, barring a massive awakening of confidence in our nation that has been successfully crushed by left-wing education and left-wing pop culture, that ship has sailed.

    Stipulated – once we made the mistake of pulling out, we had to have done it in a far more tactically sound method that we did. But that ship, too, has sailed.

    Given today’s developments of the suicide bombings we can deduce a few things:

    1) Assuming the Taliban senior leadership actually want the United States out, then they will want us out with as little friction as possible. Meaning these attacks were NOT authorized by the leaders of the Taliban. This means (very likely) the attacks were carried out by lower ranking Taliban (these middle eastern militant groups are always loose anyway) OR (equally likely) an independent group carried out the attacks. Either way, I don’t think senior Taliban leadership ordered this – having seen tens of thousands of their comrades killed in overwhelming American action, they would fear a strong response to dead Americans during the withdrawal.

    2) There’s a remote chance (and this is the Most Dangerous situation) that the senior Taliban leadership, observing the weak and feckless handling of our withdrawal actually believe the risk of an American response to be miniscule. They then see a potential opportunity, and on their own (or urged behind the scenes by our other enemies) decided to attack our insufficient forces on the ground, with an eye towards ramping things up in increasingly spectacular and deadly attacks until a real mess – and I mean a mess I don’t have the stomach to pretend to describe given what I’m imagining now – can be realized.

    The next few days will be telling.

    We have a few options –

    1) Just get out. Get out now. Cut ALL remaining elements we hope to evacuate loose and pull out. Entirely. With hopes of doing whatever begging we can to get those abandoned out later.

    2) *Increase* troop levels to secure the perimeter with an eye towards expanding an exclusionary zone around the airport. Supplement those troops with heavier assets.

    3) Strikes against known Taliban and other insurgent forces – via air strike or ground raids (less likely given lack of personnel and equipment).

    There’s a remote possibility that senior Taliban can actually try to save face with this and make a show of “partnership” by engaging in strikes against their own people as a type of “see, we’re helping”.

    • Michael, I think the Taliban have already realized they have a tiger by the tail. They are guerilla warriors. Now they are going to be responsible for running a country. They have no control over anything. Complete chaos. They’re fighters, and very good ones. They can’t govern their way out of a wet paper bag.

      • I don’t know that they won’t have control. There will be a type of stability achieved eventually. It won’t be our preferred type of stability, because it will be one dominated by our enemies – China, Iran, Russia. But the Taliban did run the country for 5 years before we toppled it.

        I think the fundamental dynamic stability of Afghanistan is that there will always be an opposition bloc in rebellion against the established group (at least for awhile – that’s the dynamic that began with Soviet interference during the Cold War).

        Our puppet government there faced the Taliban-led insurgency.

        Before them, the Taliban faced the Northern Alliance.

        Before them, the Russian puppet government faced the Mujahideen (which we boosted)

        Before the Russian puppet government, the Daoud “Republic” faced a communist disruptive bloc (backed by the Russians).

        Before the Daoud “Republic”, the Kingdom of Afghanistan was relatively stable as was the Emirate of Afghanistan that preceded that. Only facing external threats, the internal state seemed unified enough.

        Granted, it was a story of strong man heavy handed leadership.

        Much like what we tolerated in places like the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, and even Saudi Arabia – places that benefit us Geopolitically like Afghanistan would have. And we kept soldiers in those places and most of those places modernized and became livable republics.

    • Under option 2 for the Taliban, I failed to mention that they may see this as a chance to deal a humiliating blow of the species that Islamic armies would talk about for centuries. Just the kind of enticing boost in prestige they’d love.

  10. Okay, I watched the video. I found it surprisingly mild. I thought it would be three minutes of unabridged senior moments. This video is not devastating. Is anything fabricated? Was any of the material paid for opposition research disguised as foreign intelligence? Was any of it outright false accusations? This is milquetoast compared to what the AUC spouted every day for over four, approaching five, years. Should a former president have endorsed it? That’s not even a question worth asking after what the AUC has done to every Republican president since Ike headed of to Augusta National. That ship sailed with Sam Donaldson at the helm.

    • Bill. AOC was not President of the United States.This is one of those norms that should not and must not be defied. Bush had it right with Obama. As others have said, anyone else can issue that video, including Senators and Reps. Not the previous President. Ike railed against JFK in a meeting, but not in public. Johnson never said a word about Nixon. Ford never attacked Carter. Carter was even pretty quiet about Reagan. Bush I shut up about Clinton. The only former President who was loudly critical of his successor was TR, and he ended up slitting the party and electing the worst POTUS in history.

        • AUC.

          Trump is different. He’s not term limited nor has he lost and walked away. I think this spot should be judged as standard issue campaign material. Trump’s simply not your average bear.

      • Different era. Rage marketing became vogue around 2009.

        Presidential behavior reflect the ideals and behaviors of the people. Snark posing as wit rule the airwaves.

        Years ago people read to find out information. Today reading takes a back seat to one liners and graphics. Trying to compare this video and the consumption thereof to what past presidents did neglects to evaluate the environmental elements that drive the decision by former presidents to speak out. Keep in mind Biden initially blamed Trump saying he inherited the situation because Trump negotiated a deal with the Taliban he was obligated to keep even though Biden extended the timetable. So Biden wants to claim he ended the 20 year war but it was Trump that negotiated the terms to which he was bound. This is pure doublespeak where he blames his predecessor for the bad results but takes credit for the success of leaving.
        As I said a week ago the claim that they will get everyone out that wants to leave but now he is saying all the soldiers will leave as scheduled and they will try to get others out “the best they can” after that.
        I’ll take a guy who wants to claim credit for all things good who has a history of success over one that seeks to shift blame for his own incompetence on a regular basis.

        According to Biden every failure was someone else’s fault. He deserves to be roasted by former presidents. If other presidents remain silent as Biden takes America down our adversaries will be emboldened and see all of us as weak in which Biden is not a line if case.

  11. So, here’s a question: Trump has made noises about running for another term. This is not my preference, but let’s take him at his word.

    Under that circumstance, with this ethical ruling, how would you expect him to campaign? And isn’t it likely he might face criticism during a campaign for not speaking out against things he thought Biden was doing wrong?

    I’d argue that your ethics call is correct when a former president has run out his terms or officially retired from politics. But if he’s still intending to play an active role in electorial politics, he has as much cause as any politician to speak out, though his words should be weighted by the idea that he still has skin in the game.

    • Just want to add that this is aside from whether Trump specifically should be running for anything.

      Just as a general matter, if an ex-President intends to run for another term, or a congressional seat, their opinions on the current administration should correctly be a matter of public record, presented in whatever form politicians typically use for that at the time. Not only because people might not vote for them otherwise, but because the voters deserve to know the viewpoint of the person they’re voting for (or not voting for.) Unless you want to argue that no ex-president can ethically run for national office, which would be a weird argument…

      So even if Trump shouldn’t run for President again (and I don’t think he should at his age,) if he actually plans to the ad is ethical.

      • Sorry, I was composing the comment below while you were touching on some of the same things (didn’t see it until the page refreshed).

    • Well, you know the idea has been floated that Trump should/might run for the Senate or House in 2022. To me, that seems unlikely for him. But, more than anyone else, he’s still considered the head of the party and Republicans in general will be running hard next year. Anything that diminishes Biden and his lot advances the prospects of those seeking to replace them.

      So, you make a point well worth considering.

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