I refuse to buy into the asinine construction of “Good Trump / Bad Trump”. I’ve said that there is no Good Trump, there is only Bad Trump occasionally doing good things because Good Trump implies that sometimes Trump is a decent human being. I have gotten pushback on that from people I respect, who suggest that if the motivation behind an action is bad, then the action cannot be classified as good. In their minds, therefore, It is simply always “Bad Trump”.
I have railed against the vapidity of intent to “hold Trump’s feet to the fire”. The only thing Trump respects are those he regards as the genetically superior (which according to race horse theory would include dictators, but few politicians.) Beyond that, he has a cautious approach to alienating his base, and will on rare occasions reverse himself. But there is never to be any supervisory authority on the part of any individual, rather, anyone who publicly makes that claim sets themselves as a target for humiliation.
It’s time to clear up “balls and strikes”.
The entire idea behind “calling balls and strikes” is that the person making the statement is in the position of an umpire. They are seeing a pitch come over the plate, and they are working hard to be honest about whether they saw the ball enter the strike zone.
The people who are insisting they “call balls and strikes”, however, are consistently on the Republican team. They are the ones who had, at one point, been “Never Trump”, but who accurately recognized that position ended the day Trump was elected. (It also re-emerged on the day Trump announced his intent to run for a second term, but these people ignore that truth.) They have since, to a person, shifted to defend Trump and Trump’s actions on a regular basis. They attempt to salvage their pride – and, in their minds, their honor – by being willing to admit that Trump has made an error if and only if his action has no plausible defense in its violation of principles they once claimed to hold.
Glenn Beck and his crew were doing this again yesterday. They are liars.
They are lying to themselves and to others. They are not “calling balls and strikes” because they are not an umpire. They are a team member, sitting in the dugout with the rest of the MAGA crowd. They even admit that, by saying that they “will call their side out”. They differ only in that they, when their pitcher throws a wild ball into the face of a toddler in the bottom bleachers, admit it was a bad pitch rather than praising the speed at which he tossed the ball.
On yesterday’s show, one of the examples that Beck used to show Trump does things right was “Israel”. The pullout in Syria directly undermines the effort to eliminate ISIS, in the same way that stopping an antibiotic regimen too early often leads to relapses and strengthened diseases. By doing so, and by handing strong wins to Turkey and Iran while simultaneously allowing them to shift military resources toward Israel, Trump has done far more damage to Israel than any good moving the embassy may have done.
So, enough about Israel. Trump has utterly betrayed Israel. He has done the equivalent of handing a person a chocolate bar, then smashing them in the head with a mace. Only a dolt responds by praising the fact that candy was given before the violence.
Beck and his fellow pundits aren’t the only ones to claim virtue falsely. I see and hear the same from other Trump supporters on a regular basis.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think we all need to come together after Trump is gone. Specifically, I think that if some of these people suddenly seem to recognize what they’ve been defending all this time, I will happily welcome them back into the fold – not the conservative fold, because their actions have irrevocably polluted that term with bigotry, profligate spending and the casual abandonment of allies – but whatever the terminology becomes for patriots who reject nationalism.
That does not mean that I’m willing to ignore what they’re doing now, though. Every one of the “balls and strikes” crowd… also recognizable by their juvenile “good Trump/bad Trump” and “feet to their fire” phrasings… is selling out the country and their professed principles by promoting all save the most egregious offenses. They cared about spending until Trump. They cared about abortion until Trump. They cared about gun rights until Trump. They cared about free markets until Trump. They cared about our military being respected until Trump. They cared about the rule of law until Trump.
If they truly cared about any of these things, they would not be calling “balls and strikes” on Trump.
They would call him OUT.