Trump’s Chronic Case Of Obama Envy Is Getting Worse And ‘Dangerous’, Juan Williams Warns
President Donald Trump’s chronic and debilitating case of Obama envy is increasingly getting worse. One of the things that genuinely seems to matter to Trump is comparing himself with his predecessor, no matter how delusional the rationale.
Trump gave an illustration at the end of the Group of Seven summit when he insisted to reporters that Obama had been “outsmarted” by Russian President Vladimir Putin. His full-blown Putin envy was also on display.
But the Trump’s false and absurd rewriting of history seemed intended less to elevate the Russian leader than to diminish Obama. It fit a pattern that goes back years — and may have more to do with Trump’s behavior in office than we realize, and many are sounding the alarm.
In a column for The Hill, journalist and author Juan Williams warns that Trump’s “insecurities” about Obama are becoming “increasingly dangerous.”
“In July, President Trump asked why there was no federal investigation of former President Obama’s book deal. To me that seemed petty, very un-presidential.
Then Trump blamed Obama for problems with the White House air conditioning.
At that point, I thought we might as well be watching a comedy skit on “Saturday Night Live.”
That’s why I always skip over headlines about Trump’s obsession with Obama. My gut tells me I’ll laugh but the story will be mostly empty political calories, a weak mix of gossip and amateur psychoanalysis.”
Williams, who is also a Fox News contributor, then pointed out the lies justified by Trump boosters on talk radio with claims about Obama’s reluctance to get into military confrontations.
“This led me to ask ‘How does Trump get away with these lies?’” Williams wrote. “Do Trump’s critics on the left – people labeled by Trump supporters as victims of Trump Derangement Syndrome – accept lies about Trump as fact? The short answer is ‘No.’”
“In fact, Trump critics do the reverse to belittle Trump. They ask Trump supporters to imagine their hysteria if it was true that Obama made a pay-off to silence a porn star; took money from the military without congressional approval to build a wall because he couldn’t get Mexico to pay for it; and ballooned the deficit to the point that it is estimated to reach a trillion dollars.
What if Obama dismissed complaints that his attorney general paid $30,000 to host a holiday party at a property he owned?
We learned last week that Trump’s attorney general, Bill Barr, did exactly that when he booked the Trump Hotel in Washington for his own lavish holiday party.
What would Republicans say if Obama pitched holding the next G-7 summit at a property he owned?
Trump did exactly that last month by suggesting that the U.S. should host next year’s G-7 at his financially-distressed Doral Club in Miami, Florida.
What would Republicans say if Obama or his aides used a black magic marker to doctor a chart produced by the National Weather Service showing the path of a hurricane bound for America?
That is exactly what happened last week, apparently to cover up Trump’s misstatements that Alabama was in the path of Hurricane Dorian.
You get the point.
These disparate approaches to political attacks from the left and right came to my attention a few weeks ago when a swing-state Democratic congressman jokingly asked me why I think Trump tells so many lies about Obama.
I said fact-checkers have Trump telling a lot of lies about a lot of people and laughed. But then I asked: Like what lies?
The congressman reminded me that Trump said Obama used wiretaps to spy on his 2016 campaign with no evidence.
And Trump lied again by saying Obama was about to start a war with North Korea at the end of his second term and was turned down for a meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un.
Not only is there no evidence for those claims, the congressman said, but they have been called outright lies, on the record, by top intelligence, State Department and White House officials who were involved.
“At the risk of stating the obvious, this is horsesh*t,” tweeted Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser.
To my surprise, the congressman kept going with Trump lies about Obama.
Trump lied, he said, when he claimed Obama made it a policy to separate children from their parents at the border. The truth is that Obama acted in select cases to protect children from being trafficked when, in the words of The New York Times, there was “doubt about the relationship between a child and an accompanying adult.”
On the other hand, Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy resulted in close to 3,000 children being separated from their parents in an attempt to discourage people from seeking legal asylum.
Yet, when Trump’s political supporters hear him trashing Obama they pay less attention to whether the claims are based on a lie than to the pleasure they get from him mocking an opponent.
So, for example, listening to falsehoods about Obama has the power to diminish the truth that Trump inherited from his predecessor a strong economy with falling unemployment, a booming stock-market, and steady GDP growth.
Trump’s distorted history of the Obama administration can also close your eyes when he wrongly claims to be fixing bad Obama policies.
Trump falsely claimed he pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) because Obama made a bad deal for the U.S.
But the truth is it was a good deal for American workers and businesses that kept China from setting the rules of trade in Asia.
Pointing out lies is very different than telling lies and accepting a double standard for your politician’s bad behavior.
On matters big and small, this president’s lies, hypocrisy, and his manic obsession with his predecessor are destroying the fabric of the country he leads.
It is time for all sides to pay attention to the power of Trump’s lies.”
You can read the entire column here.