Monday, February 28, 2022

Donald Trump Is Fulfilling All of Those Obama Conspiracy Theories

Compare that with the rabid conspiracy theories that greeted Obama from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, who devoted show after show to wide-eyed attacks on the former president. Even mainstream Republican figures, like Kevin Hassett, now chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, wrote in a 2009 column that Obama was a “Manchurian candidate” giving the United States a “war on business” that could destroy the economy. Norman Podhoretz wrote in the Wall Street Journal that “[a]s a left-wing radical, Mr.

Obama believed that the United States had almost always been a retrograde and destructive force in world affairs.” There’s also Dinesh D’Souza, recently pardoned by President Trump, who pegged Obama as an “anticolonialist” raging against “Western dominance,” and who sought to undermine the United States from within. Newt Gingrich endorsed this theory; as did David Koch, the conservative billionaire.

Even before Helsinki, there was Trump’s clear effort to dismantle the Atlantic alliance, his vocal contempt for America’s traditional allies, his solicitousness and praise for dictators and authoritarians, from North Korea to the Philippines, and his undermining of American cybersecurity and indifference to hostile state actions like those from Russia. But for all the investigations into Obama’s supposed scandals, Trump has endured little questioning from much of the Republican Party. Even critics like Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska and retiring Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee have chosen not to punish or reprimand the president for his breaches and transgressions. Flake issued a strong statement against Trump’s performance in Helsinki, and it will remain just that, a statement.

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