Thursday, April 25, 2019


It's a cliché to respond to an outrageous act by the Trump administration with the words "Imagine if Obama did this," but imagine:
North Korea issued a $2 million bill for the hospital care of comatose American Otto Warmbier, insisting that a U.S. official sign a pledge to pay it before being allowed to fly the University of Virginia student from Pyongyang in 2017.

... the main U.S. envoy sent to retrieve Warmbier signed an agreement to pay the medical bill on instructions passed down from President Trump, according to two people familiar with the situation....

The bill went to the Treasury Department, where it remained — unpaid — throughout 2017, the people said. However, it is unclear whether the Trump administration later paid the bill....
If the parties were reversed, the GOP and Fox News would be calling this "Ransomgate," and they'd milk it at least until November 2020, and probably for years after that. The Democrats so far? Crickets.

I know, I know -- liberal Democrats are America-hating peacenik hippies, and therefore they have no standing to criticize the foreign policy toughness of a Republican president who (checks notes) faked a medical condition to evade the Vietnam draft, attacked a Hanoi Hilton prisoner of war who was tortured for five years, and gleefully encouraged Russia to subvert a U.S. election. Criticism of that guy just wouldn't be credible coming from a ... liberal.

I'm being sarcastic, but that's literally what the political establishment, and therefore much of the populace, believes. But there are Trump critics who aren't liberals. Why haven't we heard from them?

Seth Moulton is a centrist Democrat who's running for president. He's an Iraq War veteran. Why doesn't he wave the flag and say this is a disgrace?

Pete Buttigieg was in the military. So was Joe Biden's late son Beau. Why don't they wrap themselves in the flag and denounce this?

Or what about Howard Schultz? He's not a Democrat, and he certainly attacks Democrats as dirty commies. He has no military experience of his own, but he's boasted of spending a lot of time among servicemembers, and he spearheaded efforts at Starbucks to hire a significant number of veterans. Why doesn't he express his outrage?

Our political culture doesn't take liberals seriously when they attack obvious foreign policy weakness like this on the part of Republicans. But these moderates could take up the slack. Why don't they?

They'll attack liberals from the right, but Trump? They have the power to do it, but they rarely use it.

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