Jen Rubin and the Malleable Principles of Trump Derangement Syndrome
One of the most amazing things about the Donald Trump presidency, thus far, is watching people who claim to be conservatives suddenly find that their closely and dearly held principles are offended by supporting something…except that only a year or so ago they were fervently in favor of the same thing. But rarely does life come at you quite as hard and fast as it came at Washington Post blogger and house “conservative,” Jennifer Rubin.
Today, President Trump announced that he would not certify the Iran nuclear deal as being in the national interest. When he did so, pursuant to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, Congress then had the responsibility for deciding what to do next. (This is not a “punt,” this type of consultation is the way foreign policy is really supposed to work.)
This is Rubin today:
In short, at least on Day One of the new Iran policy, Trump has isolated the United States from allies, lost bipartisan support from Congress, shifted attention away from Iran’s non-nuclear conduct (e.g. support for terrorism, intercontinental ballistic missiles tests) to the United States’ hints about not living up to the deal. To boot, he revealed that his administration is incapable of doing the legwork needed to carry off a risky scheme that apparently was designed to pacify him after his reported “fit” after the previous certification. Other than that, it’s going great.
The president’s decertification is, on one level, meaningless. It does not immediately change the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nor signal our intent to leave it. It is a political maneuver designed to assuage the president. The risk is that Iran will seize the high ground, China and Russia will support Iran in refusing to enter new negotiations and, when the January deadline for Trump to waive sanctions comes up, he will refuse to issue the waiver, which will activate sanctions and likely spell the end of the deal.
In a perfect world with a competent and sane president, we would leave the JCPOA in place and move aggressively on non-nuclear items to pressure Iran, improve our regional alliances and gather support to fend off Iran’s regional aggression. Instead, because of Trump’s emotional meltdown, we are in a position in which everything must fall perfectly in place — Trump must control his impulses, Congress must act in bipartisan fashion, Iran must not get the diplomatic upper hand, etc. — to get an improved JCPOA even as there is a very significant risk this will unravel the entire JCPOA and set up a second nuclear confrontation. If, for example, Trump tomorrow fired national security adviser H.R. McMaster and/or other key players who “contain” the president, does anyone have confidence this strategy would not blow up the JCPOA?
This was Rubin before Trump was president:
The only thing that has changed is Obama is out and Trump is in. If anything, we know today that Iran is abusing the agreement where in 2015 we merely anticipated they would.
Either Rubin was whoring for anti-Obama clicks in her opposition to the nuclear deal then or she’s whoring for anti-Trump clicks now in her opposition to Trump doing what she wanted done in the first place. This is the total absence of principle that has become the hallmark to the people who are pathologically opposed to Trump. Well, I shouldn’t say absence of principle because people like Rubin and others of her ilk are monomanically devoted to one principle: Trump-Hate.