Trump’s unique ability to make smart people stupid and to inspire normally rational individuals to blind, unreasoning hate may be unmatched in American history. I had a post I was looking forward to finishing, and then a Facebook post by a Trump-estranged friend of long-standing interfered. Now I have to, once again, defend Donald Trump.
My freind is an Andrew Sullivan conservative with all that implies, and he loathes Trump, probably because of too much exposure to others in his peer group who regard Trump Derangement as a badge of honor. Today he posted on Facebook,
Here’s what Trump said about the Brittany Griner deal: “Why wasn’t former Marine Paul Whelan included in this totally one-sided transaction? He would have been let out for the asking.”
Then he pointed to a tweet in response by Whelan’s brother, David:
Naturally my Trump-Deranged friend received the predicable plaudits for his second hand critique, but the Russian prisoner’s (or, as I would call him, hostage) brother was wrong and unfair, both of which are acceptable if the victim is Trump.
Reportedly Russia wanted to trade Whelan for Victor Bout, the same murderous arms dealer Biden traded for the diplomatically useless Brittany Griner and Trump, while President, rejected the offer, Doing so was a completely defensible position: we shouldn’t negotiate with rogue states holding hostages. Trump didn’t say that he would have traded for Whelan, and whether he “cares” is irrelevant. What a President is sworn to care about is the national interest. Trump’s decision was that it was not in that interest to release an infamous arms dealer in exchange for anyone, thus sending a message that nations like Russian can profit by concocting bogus charges against innocent foreigners and then trade them for terrorists. Nor would he, unlike Biden, cynically pander to WNBA fans and favored Democratic Party voting blocs while putting innocent foreign citizens at risk. Still, Trump has a valid basis for saying that if Biden had chosen Whalen for the trade rather than pandering to Democratic favored groups, he could have had him “for the asking.”
It’s fine to bash Trump, but there are plenty of opportunities to do it legitimately. When he is involved, too many normally fair and intelligent people twist words and logic to somehow find a way to condemn him even when his conduct or words are reasonable. This was a throbbing example….another one.