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QH 04-25-2017 11:29 PM

by JAY NORDLINGER National Review April 24, 2017 12:00 AM

On the Obama era, the Trump era, Syria’s ruling family, Saudi Arabia, sports, music, language, and more There was a song: “Mem’ries light the corners of my mind. Misty water-colored mem’ries of the way we were.” I have been thinking lately about the way we were.

Remember when we knocked President Obama for spending so much time on the golf course? Not all of us did, but many of us did. Donald Trump, for example, was unrelenting in his criticism. You don’t hear that anymore. Conservatives don’t knock the president for spending so much time on the golf course.

We used to tote up Obama’s travel — how much it cost to go to Martha’s Vineyard, Hawaii, etc. Remember the trip that Mrs. O. took, with one of her daughters, to the Costa del Sol? Man, we howled about that. Taxpayer dollars. Anyway, Trump is set to spend more in a year on travel than the Obamas spent in eight.

Remember how we counted up the times Obama said “I” and “me” in a speech? That was fun. It was kind of a conservative pastime. We don’t do that anymore. It’s natural to cut your guy slack while cutting none to the other guy. But there ought to be a limit — or a recognition.

Talking about Afghanistan the other day, Trump said, “What I do is, I authorize my military.” “My military”? What would we have said if Obama had said that? Or if any Democratic president said it? Pinning a Purple Heart on a soldier, Trump said, “Congratulations.” Normally, you don’t say that, when awarding a Purple Heart. What if Obama had said it? Or Joe Biden? What would the conservative media have said?

On the South Lawn of the White House, the national anthem began, and Mrs. Trump and son Barron put their hand over their heart. Mrs. Trump nudged the president to do the same, so he did it, quick-like. I mean, I don’t give a rat’s behind. But what if this had been the Obamas?

During the campaign, Trump said that anyone asking for immunity was obviously guilty. Michael Flynn said the same thing. Later, Flynn asked for immunity — with Trump’s hearty approval. Okay. But what if this had been Democrats?

The slack the Right cuts for Trump goes for his men. Take Sean Spicer. His words about Hitler, chemical weapons, the Holocaust, and so on were awfully convoluted. Embarrassing. Okay. Everyone makes mistakes. He repeatedly mispronounced the name of the Syrian dictator. Okay. Everyone makes mistakes. But what if this were a Democratic spokesman? Would we be indulgent? Or would we say that this fellow, however well-meaning, was unfit to speak for the White House on the world and national stages?

Appearing on a talk-radio show, Attorney General Sessions said, “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power.” Hang on, Jeff, does it appear to be his power or is it clearly his power? Anyway, the allusion to Hawaii. Okay. No problem. But if a Democratic attorney general spoke this way, about a judge in Hawaii he didn’t like? I can imagine Republicans talking about Pearl Harbor. The sneak attack. The more than 2,000 dead. The terrible sacrifice. The war.

See what I mean? Also, we used to talk about class warfare — I mean, against it. And against the politics of envy. And the politics of grievance. Also, we used to talk up character, as indispensable in leadership. Virtue was the rage. Those were the days …

Hypocrisy in human beings is as normal as lust. You can no more stamp it out than you can stamp out crabgrass. You’d have a much easier time with crabgrass. But, now and then, we should pause to acknowledge what we’re doing, and not doing. We should hear the dogs not barking … … about golf, travel, “I” and “me,” etc.

So far so good :coffee:

jws 05-02-2017 01:31 AM


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