Soon-to-be-former President Barack Obama has been busy. He sprints through the final days of his term like a bargain basement, determined to have something significant Trump can’t undo. To that end, the president has devoted last week to bridge-burning with our allies.
It began when a UN resolution was passed that condemned Israeli settlements on the West Bank. The U.S. historically vetoed anti-Israeli bills like these but they didn’t this time. No explanation for the about-face on U.S. policy was given to the public, but Secretary of State John Kerry gave Israel a patronizing lecture that contained a few clues. “You can be Democratic or you can be Jewish, but you cannot be both,” he said. Note: This is the only documented instance of John Kerry saying anything interesting on record. Who cares if it’s nonsense?
Planned talks for a 2-state solution collapsed two years ago, and it didn’t trouble Obama until last week. His refusal to stand by Israel is more likely a byproduct of his icy relationship with Netanyahu.
No bromance here
Trump sent a tweet calling Kerry a traitor and inexplicably referring to him as “the worst import from Vietnam”. He appeared with Don King for a mini-press conference (because why not?), and the boxing promoter waved small U.S. and Israeli flags. Trump said relatively little about Kerry except his speech “spoke for itself.”
The Israeli government responded quickly: “We have ironclad information that the Obama administration really helped push this resolution and helped craft it.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Secretary Kerry of supporting terrorism, which was unfairly harsh. Kerry doesn’t originate ideas or map out strategies. His only skill is reading in grave, statesman-like tones; he probably thinks the West Bank settlement is a condo community in Georgetown.
Seriously, I don’t know anything, but I look a lot like Andrew Jackson.
Donald Trump will be the president. What does that really mean? He isn’t particularly attached to any ideology, which is a first for any president. Maybe this will make him a great president?
His appointments and actions so far seem to be in line with his business background. It’s like he’s arranging his own stock portfolio, with a good mix of steady and high risk investments. For instance, his appointment of Stephen Bannon of Breitbart has gotten a lot of attention as a conservative bellwether. Mike Pence is also a pretty conservative guy. However, he also appointed Reince Priebus, former head of the Republican National Committee (RNC), and met with Mitt Romney, both of whom can be considered ultra-Establishment. Unlike other politicians of late, he seems eager to work with the opposition. He had the traditional President and President Elect meeting with President Barack Obama, and has had kind things to say about Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), one of the more liberal members of Congress.
Trump has made a lot of promises though, and probably won’t follow through on everything, either because of Congressional opposition, or the reality of some things is not practical. The truth is that at this point, nobody knows what kind of president he’ll be, and how much of his rhetoric was only rhetoric. Here are my predictions:
He’ll follow through on fostering a good relationship with Russia.
There will probably be some kind of wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
He won’t deport the 11 million here illegally, but maybe the 3 million with criminal records.
I truly hope he follows through on his vow to renegotiate or withdraw from NAFTA, the legislation that has hurt our country so badly in so many ways.
If Trump really does impose term limits, I will submit an official request to the Vatican to canonize him – St. Patrick may have cast Satan out of Paradise, but if St. Donald can cast the Career Politician out of America, it will be a close second.