The honeymoon is over between Donald Trump and some far-right media commentators.
That’s something we found out in our reading of the crazed portion of the right on various websites in the past week — we read them so you don’t have to. We’ve also found national health care programs being blamed for the Holocaust (really), criticism of those who criticized Sean Spicer’s fact-challenged comments on Hitler, and of course, the usual homophobia and transphobia.
A lot of the far right didn’t like that Trump took military action against Syria, in response to President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons against civilians. A lot of liberals, centrists, and more mainline conservatives didn’t like it either, saying the U.S. airstrike won’t have any effect on the Syrian civil war, and that maybe it was just grandstanding to raise his approval rating. But it provides a feeling of schadenfreude to see some of Trump’s biggest boosters turn on him, saying he’s drfiting away from his “America first” stance.
“Trump’s Syrian misadventure is immoral, violates every promise he ran on, and could sink his presidency,” wrote Ann Coulter in her syndicated column, carried on Breitbart, World Net Daily, and elsewhere.
“We have never succeeded at turning a Third World dictatorship into a paradise,” Coulter continued. “The history of these things is that removing a Middle Eastern strongman always makes things worse — for example, in Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Egypt.”
She does have a point there, and yes, foreign policy is complicated, but let us not forget that Coulter was a big cheerleader for George W. Bush’s Iraq misadventure. As recently as 2015, she excoriated his brother Jeb, who was then seeking the Republican presidential nomination, for failing to defend the Iraq invasion. “There were lots of reasons to get rid of Saddam Hussein, and none to keep him,” she wrote in a column that year. She blamed President Obama’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq for “nullifying America’s victory and plunging the entire region into chaos.”
Another who’s disappointed in Trump is Judge Andrew Napolitano, who until recently was on hiatus from his gig as a Fox News judicial analyst after he made the wild claim that the U.K. spied on the Trump presidential campaign at Obama’s behest. He’s back on Fox now, and he’s still writing a column carried on the far-right sites.
“The president’s revulsion at the sight of children suffering horrifically from the effects of poison gas is an emotional reaction — a very human and utterly normal one,” Napolitano wrote in a column on Townhall. “Yet it in no way legally justifies an attack on a sovereign nation.”
Again, that’s a point worth at least considering. The decision about where and when to use military force is probably the toughest any president faces. But obviously, some of the far right no longer see Trump as the answer to their every prayer. Donald Lambro, another Townhall columnist, last week criticized Trump for dialing back his denunciations of NATO, the Export-Import Bank, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, and more.
“With his job approval scores sinking to 40 percent in the Gallup Poll’s daily tracking surveys, Trump is abandoning campaign positions and promises with all the speed of a quick change artist,” Lambro wrote, citing an interview the president gave The Wall Street Journal.
Well, maybe it’s that Trump will tell his audience what it wants to hear. The Journal has a conservative editorial page but objective news coverage; you can even say it’s — gasp! — part of the mainstream media. So Trump may tend to downplay his more far-out positions with such an outlet. Or, perhaps, the only core belief Donald Trump has is in Donald Trump.
And don’t worry too much, Donald: Alex Jones still loves you. The Infowars conspiracy theorist recently argued that Trump is not flip-flopping, he’s negotiating, and it’s all those nasty “globalists” who want him to fail.
“They don’t want him turning the economy back on,” Jones told a caller to his radio show Thursday. “They don’t want him making small businesses important again. They don’t want him speaking up against political correctness. They don’t want him cutting all this funding for all these brainwashing groups over our kids and cutting the U.N. funding by half. He’s making real dents in the globalist program and bringing power back to America. Does that mean that his execution of power is perfect? Absolutely not, and that’s the issue, but at least we’re seeing the death of globalism and the return of nationalism.” No, we don’t know what “brainwashing groups” he’s referring to.
By the way, Jones also recently said his homophobic rant calling for violence against Congressman Adam Schiff, a frequent Trump critic, was “art performance.” He added, “I’m one of the biggest proponents of nonviolence, and Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Everybody knows that.” We’ll just leave that there, while giving credit for this bit where it’s due, to Media Matters, for its monitoring of Jones’s lunacy.
Remember when some right-wingers were warning that the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, would establish “death panels” to decide who would live or die? Well, World Net Daily contributor Lee Hieb, a physician, has advanced an even more sinister theory, that government-provided health care in Germany laid the groundwork for the Holocaust.
“Socialized medicine was inaugurated by Otto Von Bismarck to keep the German populace from voting for an even more socialist government,” Hieb wrote in a column published Friday, headlined “Government Medicine Is Evil.” “After World War I, the German government’s health-care system purposely discouraged private practice, for the express purpose of instituting universal coverage and standardization. Prevention of disease was emphasized over the treatment of disease, and doctors made a significant philosophic shift — from working solely for and in the interest of their patients, to working for the government and the collective good. Although they may not have realized the significance of this at the time, this shift was necessary for what followed under the Nazis.”
“All it took was efficient Nazi organization and a little push to unleash the killing machine we associate with Nazi medicine,” she continued. “Death camps aside, however, for most Germans, Nazi medicine looked remarkably like Obamacare: Preventive medicine, cost containment, efficiency. … Obamacare is right out of the Weimar Republic.” Lieb also repeated the untrue claim that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger wanted to eliminate certain races.
Also regarding Nazi Germany, White House press secretary Sean Spicer was roundly and rightly criticized for his comment last week that Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” while Syria’s Assad did. Hitler did not use chemical weapons in battle, but he and his regime certainly used them in death camps where Jews, gays, and others were slaughtered. Spicer apologized and said he was aware of the use of deadly chemicals in what he rather clumsily called “Holocaust centers.”
Spicer’s latest misstep has people from across the political spectrum calling for his firing or resignation — House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Republican Congressman Mike Coffman of Colorado, and shock jock Howard Stern, a sometimes pal of Trump, to name a few. But the folks at Breitbart are particularly incensed at and trying to discredit one critic of Spicer, the New York–based Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect.
“In its coverage of White House Spokesman Sean Spicer’s controversial comments about Adolf Hitler and Syria, the news media is widely hyping remarks by the largely unknown, hyper-partisan, anti-Trump group calling itself the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect,” Breitbart contributor Aaron Klein wrote last week. Klein quoted other writers who dubbed the center “obscure” and “largely a one-man shop” promoting the ambitions of executive director Steven Goldstein, former leader of New Jersey LGBT group Garden State Equality.
We don’t have any intel on Goldstein’s ambitions, but the organization isn’t exactly obscure; it provides educational programs and arranges exhibits in line with its mission of “fighting hatred of refugees and immigrants, Antisemitism, sexism, racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, bias against the differently abled and any other hate that runs counter to American promise of freedom,” as its website says. It has been giving awards for human rights work at least since 2009, and it’s hardly a one-man shop; the website lists nine senior staff members. So there’s really no reason the media shouldn’t quote the organization or Goldstein.
This past weekend Christians celebrated Easter, and many LGBT Christians undoubtedly enjoyed the holiday in accepting and affirming church congregations. However, there remain Christians who are not exactly LGBT-accepting, and World Net Daily hosts one of them as a columnist — Linda Harvey of Mission America. Her pre-Easter entry was headlined, “Jesus Rose to Save Homosexual Sinners.”
“We Christians must not affirm these grave sins,” she wrote. “Here’s a sober truth gleaned from my wise pro-family colleagues as well as the mature believing ex-homosexuals I know: This rebellion is far more than sexual. To weave the spell of deception that takes a person into desiring someone of the same sex reaches beyond romantic and sexual fantasy. It’s a repudiation of God as Creator, of the heritage of parents, grandparents and all who came before.”
People who believe that being LGBT is acceptable have been “tragically deceived,” according to Harvey. “Homosexuality is still an abomination that God’s design of humans negates,” she added. “Jesus still creates us as male and female for the framework of authentic marriage, and these are still the only gender identities we will ever truly have.”
Well, that’s her opinion — we’re happy that many people of faith, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and more, have a more inclusive view.
That’s it until next week, when we’ll still be reading the wingnuts so you don’t have to.