Is this the only case today of someone in major right-wing media who’s normally pro-Trump turning around and blasting him for this morning’s debacle? I don’t count Cavuto because, as noted earlier, Cavuto has hit him quite hard in the past, albeit infrequently. I’m talking about someone whose audience would tune in fully expecting to see them defend Trump and instead be shocked to find harsh criticism. Is Regan the sole example?
“Unpatriotic” is a strong word, and yet:
Later on during another panel segment Regan again said, “You need to hit back hard and that’s what I would have expected of Donald Trump!”…
Regan said, “And I’m going to add another word, okay? Unpatriotic.”
She elaborated, “You’re there representing us, your country. Don’t allow the likes of Vladimir Putin to push us around, period. It’s just not appropriate.”
She makes a good, overlooked point at the start of the first clip below. All of Trump’s critics expected him to do this. I was making jokes in posts over the last few days about the dismal soundbites to come at his joint presser with Putin, never expecting that it would be as bad as it was. He was standing on a railroad track with a train bearing down and all he had to do was step aside — confound the critics and shore up some credibility by surprising them with even a *little* criticism of Russia in the presser. It’s not like he normally has a hard time badmouthing adversaries. But he couldn’t do it. This is why psychological theories of Trump are as common in the press today as theories that he’s some sort of Russian asset. When it was this obvious that a tough approach to Russia, at least in public, was called for and he still couldn’t rise to the occasion, it can only be that he’s compromised or that there’s some sort of mental block rendering him literally incapable of doing it. Axios tries to tease it out:
A number of people who’ve discussed election meddling with Trump, including current senior administration officials, say his brain can’t process that collusion and cyberattacks are two different things.
Trump seems constitutionally incapable of taking anything Mueller finds seriously.
He views the entire exercise as a “witch hunt” cooked up by Democrats and Deep State conspirators to undermine his election win.
Ego prevents him acknowledging the possibility that any external action could have interfered with his glorious victory.
“His brain can’t process.” His own team’s best attempt to spin this morning’s disgrace in his favor is that the guy in charge of national security is so pathologically vain that he can’t stand up for his own country lest it reflect even slightly badly on his victory in 2016. Although Tim Miller counters: If that were true, what explains Trump’s weird refusal to criticize Putin on matters unrelated to 2016 as well? His attitude isn’t “Russia is a global menace but Russiagate is a witch hunt.” His attitude is that Putin is a would-be ally whose transgressions, like annexing Crimea, are understandable and in any case no worse than things that America’s done. It’s a truism by now that, virtually alone among public actors here at home and abroad, Putin is immune from being taunted by him. Why?
This is all likely to get worse, not better. Trump doesn’t apologize, even when he’s wrong; his instinct when besieged is to dig in. And he has two of the friendliest possible interviews lined up today, with Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity. Hannity was already in fine form on his radio show this afternoon, blasting Republicans — like his network colleagues Cavuto and Regan, I guess — who dared to criticize His Excellency’s knifing of the DOJ onstage with Putin this morning as “weak,” “pathetic,” “visionless,” “feckless,” and “spineless.” (“Every single person on the list [of people criticizing him] that they’re calling a conservative is not a conservative,” he noted, underlining the reality that unthinking support for Trump is now the touchstone for what remains of “conservatism.”) Trump is highly likely to double/triple down on his Russia apologias in those Fox primetime interviews, not try to undo them. I hope Regan reserved some outrage for tomorrow.