Pivot or Divot?
A lot of mainstream media pundits, and some internet pundits, are suggesting that President Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress indicates a political pivot. The mainstream media seem impressed by Trump’s relatively calm delivery. The guys and dolls at fivethirtyeight.com put their heads together in, On A Scale Of Pivot To Game-Change, What Did We Think Of Trump’s Speech? :
harry: This was a “pivot” moment. But it doesn’t mean that Trump is pivoting. This is merely a moment in time. The question is whether Trump likes being treated well by the press and decides to copy this behavior going forward. …
perry: There was no pivot on immigration, the travel ban, etc. Not to sound too much like Nate, but the media is obsessed with itself. And Trump pivoted by not bashing the media. Hence, his tone was softened, the media declared. It really wasn’t on most issues.
Debbie Lusignan at the Sane Progressive saw a capitulation to the deep state in the replacement of Flynn with McMaster, and in Trump’s relatively sane speech, but her podcast guest from last week, Caitlin Johnstone, thinks that McMaster’s resume is an indication that Trump will continue to engage the deep state:
After former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn drew glass-shattering shrieks of outrage from the political left for speaking to Russian officials during the transition period (which former ambassador to Russia Jack Matlock says is actually standard practice), he was fired for keeping those calls on the down-low and replaced with a largely unknown fellow from the Army named Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster. There were a number of think pieces written by various publications in which political commentators took guesses as to who Flynn’s replacement might be, but I never saw a single one which predicted McMaster. The guy came totally out of left field, and not much is known about him, but we do know this: his Ph. D. thesis was titled “Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam,” and he has publicly warned of the dangers of the military industrial complex, stating “the military-industrial complex may represent a greater threat to us than at any time in history.”
FWIW, I heard that McMaster was well-known and respected due to his battle record in the Iraq War, but was passed over for promotion to Brigadier General due to his book.
And now Trump brings in a Lieutenant General and Ph. D. out of left field to help him navigate matters of national security, whose area of study just happens to focus on the lies the deep state uses to dupe America into war and who just so happens to have an open disdain for the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower tried so urgently to warn us about in his farewell address upon leaving office fifty-six years ago.
I don’t think Trump’s goals have changed, but he may have learned to temper his arrogance.