Thursday, June 08, 2017


Yes, it's Comey Day, but we also learned this just now:

Oops -- that was inconvenient. The president first sided with Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states that have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, then reversed course and said he wants to help resolve the growing conflict. I'm glad someone explained told him about the U.S. troops, and I sincerely hope Trump has more learning experiences of this kind.

What happened here gets to the heart of what's wrong not just with Trumpism, but with Fox/talk-radio conservatism in general. The average consumer of right-wing media -- Trump is the most famous example -- thinks most problems have simple solutions that merely require boldness and a willing to cut through all the BS. Just build a wall to keep out all the immigrants! Just bomb ISIS into submission! Just cut taxes and spending! Just...

Trump thinks he looks at the problems he faces in a slightly more sophisticated way -- as a businessman who makes things happen by fearlessly ignoring taboos and shaking things up -- but he really looks at problems the same way any Fox viewer would. He thinks solutions are easy to figure out and easy to implement.

And then he learns that, well, there are good reasons that you can't just take simple, emotionally satisfying actions (or, in Trump's case with Qatar, I suppose I should financially satisfying, given the fact that he and his family have business ties to Saudi Arabia). This keeps happening to Trump -- health care is hard and has many moving parts, ISIS can't simply be bombed into submission, a wall is expensive and neither Mexico nor the U.S. public wants to pay for it. Cheering on Saudi Arabia in its feud with Qatar probably seemed simple, satisfying, and taboo-shattering, but, uh-oh, there were those pesky troops.

But conservatives who get all their ideas from the right-wing media will continue to believe that all fixes can be quick fixes, because that's what they're told. And Trump may have done a bit of learning on this subject, but he'll revert to form on other issues, because he gets his ideas from right-wing media, too.

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