Saturday, February 15, 2020

Uh, What?

I was in the library this morning, trying vainly to get anything constructive done, when a middle-aged couple came into the Fireplace Room with their son, who was in a powered wheelchair, and began talking to an older woman they evidently knew.  First they talked about the boy, and then switched to politics.  The younger woman said that she objected to people who say that Trump isn't their president, she didn't like Obama but she never trash-talked him like some people did, and Trump is the president so he should be respected, he's the president.  I share her distaste for the Not My President Resistance, but that never stopped me from criticizing Obama or his predecessors, and it doesn't stop me from criticizing Trump.  Her husband remarked quietly that Obama was a "puppet of Congress" (what?). 

Next she said how glad she was that Trump had killed "that terrorist" (presumably Soleimani) - when Obama killed "that terrorist" (presumably Bin Laden) everybody thought it was great, and it's not fair.  We Do Not Negotiate With Terrorists, we kill them.  Perhaps she's just too young to remember Ronald Reagan negotiating with Iran to free American hostages, or again to get money for Nicaraguan terrorists.  It was a long time ago.  Frankly it's a stretch to claim that Trump's critics thought it was bad to kill Soleimani.  The objections from corporate media and the Beltway were not to killing Soleimani per se, everyone agreed that he was a Bad Man and a Terrorist who deserved to die in fire and fury, but because Trump didn't say "Mother May I" to Congress first.  There was also concern -- well, panic -- that the assassination might lead to war with Iran, which was not a consideration in the execution of Bin Laden as I recall.

But then I saw the video clip I embedded above, which reminded me that the Trump administration has been openly negotiating with the Taliban, the Evil Terrorists Responsible for 9/11, which drove America to invade Afghanistan to defend America against terrorism.  We did remove the Taliban for awhile, but they are back, and now we have to negotiate with them.  This will have no more impact on true Trumpians than Reagan's negotiations with Iran hurt him with true Reaganites, of course.  I wished I could have asked this woman about these little matters, but I stayed in my corner and held my peace.  Sometimes I romanticize my new/old town, and an episode like this is a bracing reminder. These people were perfectly nice, they didn't froth at the mouth, they were equable and mild, but they were still scary.