The latest example of the media “Lauering the bar” with Trump actually misses the point. While it is certainly important that the media hold candidates accountable, simply bringing up some words that Trump mumbled while probably staring at some cleavage while engaging in self PR with Howard Stern is way beside the point.
Trump was a public figure at the time of the Iraq war so “opposing the war” means more than mumbling some opinions to some media outlets. The questions Lauer should have followed up with would have been things like, “Since you opposed the war, did you vote against Bush in 2004?”
“Since you opposed the war, did you donate campaign funds to Kerry?”
“Since you thought Iraq was a huge mistake, what did you do to get Bush and Co. fired so we could get the country back on the right track?”
Of course we know the answers to these questions, Trump didn’t do diddlysquat and he did not, in any concrete way, “oppose” the war. There is no need to parse the couple of sentences he spoke publicly about the war at the time, he did not actually “oppose” the war, he just spouted off about it from time to time. As pretty much everyone did at the time.
But even all of that is irrelevant. The real question, that pretty much everyone is missing, is why Trump is saying now that he opposed the war and how does his war “opposition” square with what he is saying now.
When looked at from that point of view Trump’s Iraq war “opposition” is just complete political bullshit. He now says he “always opposed” a policy, that in hindsight, turned out to be unpopular. Trump is “not a politician” and a “straight talker.” This is where Lauer, and truly the rest of the media, really misses the chance to call “bullshit” on Trump.
So, let’s compare the Iraq war “opposition” to what he is actually saying today.
Trump as famously said that if elected he will ask the generals for a plan, which he will implement, to defeat ISIS in the first 30 days of his administration. Think about that for a second. He is going to ask the Pentagon to whip up a plan and then the shooting begins in 30 days. Sound familiar?
In comparison, the invasion of Iraq seems as well considered and planned as the D-Day invasion.
So, the real question for Trump, the one that Lauer completely fucked up on, and no one else has asked is: If having the Pentagon try to “fix” Iraq was a mistake, in what way exactly is it smart to go into Syria to “get ISIS?”
This then gets into more real questions. If our military is crap, as Trump often says it is, how in the world are they going to get their shit together in 30 days to do something that the rest of the world has not yet accomplished?
And if our generals are “rubble” who the hell is actually going to make this plan? Trump said he would ask the generals for plan — but then he says the generals suck. Which is it? Where are you getting these new “generals” from? Russia? “Generals” just don’t grow on trees you know.
And there is still more questions, in the present, not trying to parse what Trump may or may not have said 15 years ago.
Trump called Hillary “trigger happy.” And yet, he has said, now, not in some distant past, that his first act as president will be to turn the Pentagon loose on ISIS, presumably in Syria and Iraq. No mention of input from the State Department. No mention of the UN. Just “the generals.” That is the very definition of “trigger happy!” That’s what dumbass, softball tossing, Lauer should have called Trump out on. You don’t need Politifact for that, you have Trump’s own words — from this week!
Asking the Pentagon to solve ISIS, shows that even if Trump opposed what we did in Iraq, he learned nothing from it and is bound and determined to make the same “mistake” as he himself called it.
So, again the question the media should be asking is, if Trump is bound and determined to repeat the things we did in Iraq why does he go around insisting that he foresaw the mistake of invading Iraq? Is he plain stupid? Or is he really just being a meally mouthed politician saying what people want to hear, even if those words have no meaning.
And if he is just being a typical politician spouting what he thinks people want to hear, when will his followers and the media, finally start saying, “Indeed, the emperor has no clothes.”