Jennifer Rubin, the conservative columnist who has become one of the GOP’s biggest critics since Donald Trump took office, did not hold back on Tuesday when she blasted the “hypocrisy” among Republican lawmakers who once attacked former President Barack Obama but are now on the Trump train.
Writing in the Washington Post, Rubin reminded us of when Republicans criticized virtually everything Obama did.
Rubin then brought up the question: What would it look like if Republicans held Trump to the same standards?
“Obama didn’t have the example of a what happens when you stage a precipitous pullout from Iraq, but Trump has Obama’s example,” Rubin writes. “Obama was far too passive and hesitant to act in Syria, but he never suggested that Russia take care of matters and never announced a troop withdrawal by tweet.”
“Obama initially thought he might negotiate a better relationship with Russia, but he never repeated Russian propaganda that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 was a defense action, nor did Obama ever take Russian President Vladimir Putin’s word over that of the U.S. intelligence community,” Rubin continues.
“He never raised doubts about Russian responsibility for assassinations after our and our allies’ intelligence services found Russia responsible. He surely never bad-mouthed NATO, nor suggested we extort ransom from allies to “pay for” forward- positioning of troops overseas.”
The hypocrisy extends to members of the two men’s administrations.
“Republicans found plenty to criticize in then-Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s performance, but in comparison to the parade of yes-men, sycophants and the merely unqualified national security officials that Trump has appointed, Kerry, Susan E. Rice and the rest during the Obama years looked like diplomatic geniuses,” Rubin writes. “(And they managed to fill the political posts at Foggy Bottom!) Obama’s secretaries of state never tried to mislead Congress about the assassination of an U.S.-based journalist.”
Conservatives like herself who are critical of the president find themselves disconnected from the GOP, she says.
“NeverTrumpers who blasted Obama’s foreign policy missteps and saw excessive reticence in leading the West are somewhat stumped now,” Rubin writes.
“Why aren’t identical or worse actions undertaken by Trump and the contempt he shows for American values grounds for Republicans to blast away and ultimately to break with him?”
“Gosh, I can remember the good old days when Mitt Romney’s identification of Russia as the most important geopolitical threat required a resolute defense,” she continues.
Rubin then really goes after the GOP’s hypocrisy.
“There are a couple of possibilities. Either Obama needs to be recognized as the best foreign policy president — next to Trump — or Trump is a nightmare who underscores all the criticisms that the GOP once directed at Obama,” she says.
“Either way, Republicans who fancy themselves as serious on national security have a whole lot of explaining to do. Alternatively, they could simply admit they are partisan hacks for whom hypocrisy is second-nature.”