To call this highly discouraging would be an understatement. It is that, but it's also a hard reality check. When the bombs dropped last week, I thought "why would an America First populist allow himself to be dragged into this mess?" without realizing that the question contains the answer--because doing so was popular, overwhelmingly so.
The answer to Ron Paul's rhetorical question in reaction to the airstrikes may be "never":
Even if Assad hoodwinked the world over the last few years by making it believe he didn't have chemical weapons before using them at the most inopportune time to kill 70 people in a civil war that has claimed 400,000 lives, it's still difficult to see how one gets from there to the understanding that he is a threat to the US.
A secular ruler who shaves his face every morning before putting on his suit and tie, who protects religious minorities--including Christians, dead without him--is ISIS' biggest enemy in the area, and has been desperately hanging on by a thread to part of his little plot of sand (that doesn't contain much in the way of natural resources) is a threat to America?
Maybe some of that 70%+ of the American public would point to Syria allowing groups like Hamas to operate within its borders as constituting the threat, but I bet they're in the minority. Most probably can't articulate a way from here to there at all.
So maybe America First, no more being the world's police force, making our allies pay their fair share, etc works in the abstract but the invade-the-world specifics remain reliable winners. After all, letting God's babies be gassed is not "who we are".
At least we still have reason for guarded optimism on the even more important invite-the-world front, right?
Oh boy, and here comes Kevin Hassett:
President Donald Trump has picked an economic advisor who believes in growing the nation’s economy by importing workers and consumers, and by expanding free-trade outsourcing, despite Trump’s “buy American, hire American” campaign promises.How does a guy who seemed to feed off all the hatred and disgust he generated over the last two years fold now, when he has maximum leverage and a base so loyal that it's hard to think of any amount of blackmail that could lead to impeachment?
I expected a mixed bag as president, with some solid stuff and some silly stuff and lots of internal sabotage, but I'd be lying if I said I thought we'd see what looks like a capitulation coming from the top.