NBC’s Beschloss Fears Trump Will Start War to Boost Popularity

Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday to promote his new book, Presidents of War, NBC News Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss feared that President Trump “will be tempted to do a war for political reasons,” especially if Democrats do well in the midterms and launch investigations into the administration that cause him to be “backed into a corner.”

Beschloss began to push his book by declaring that America’s Founding Fathers “were worried almost more than anything else about the danger that a President of the United States would be able to do wars themselves, not Congress, and also that they would be able to do them for political reasons.” He noted how “They knew that the dictators and kings of Europe, that’s what they did. When the king got unpopular he would contrive a reason for a war and every one would get into battle and it would unite the people and make the king popular.”

 

 

The liberal pundit quickly connected that concern to Donald Trump’s presidency:

...George H.W. Bush, you know, at the time of the Gulf War, wasn’t the reason he did it, but his numbers went up to 90%. And who has noticed that more than anyone else? Donald Trump 2011/2012, anyone who was taking a look at his Twitter feed at the time, he was predicting over and over again on Twitter, “Barack Obama will get the United States into an unnecessary war,” he said, “in order to get reelected.” You can bet that at some part of his brain he connects the idea of possibly going to war and knowing that, that can help you politically. I think that’s dangerous.

Moments later, Beschloss accused Trump of using the “wretched Espionage Act,” enacted during Woodrow Wilson’s administration in the midst of World War I, “to go after journalists, plug leaks, but also intimidate them from writing things they want to write.”

He seemed to forget how aggressively Barack Obama went after journalists during his time in office.

Beschloss further sounded the alarm:

...I think if he is ever backed into a corner, and during this next year he may be backed into a corner, I think, as we all know, especially if the Democrats get the House and maybe possibly the Senate and there are investigations and the Mueller probe comes to a head, he may feel beleaguered. And I pray it doesn’t happen, but it is not impossible that he will see his way out some kind of military exercise that will suddenly make him very popular, he may think, and be a catastrophe for this country.

The liberal media are not content with criticizing the President for things he has actually done, they now wildly speculate on future actions he might take and preemptively condemn him for the dystopian alternative reality they have created in their own minds.

Here are excerpts of the October 10 discussion:

7:24 AM ET

(...)

WILLIE GEIST: Michael’s new book is called Presidents of War: The Epic Story, From 1807 to Modern Times. It examines how America’s Commander-in-Chief How has gained the power to launch war, almost single-handedly, and the danger it poses for democracy today. How has presidential power, in the context of war, evolved since this country was born?

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: Well, you know, the thing, Willie, is that the Founders, they were worried almost more than anything else about the danger that a President of the United States would be able to do wars themselves, not Congress, and also that they would be able to do them for political reasons. They knew that the dictators and kings of Europe, that’s what they did. When the king got unpopular he would contrive a reason for a war and every one would get into battle and it would unite the people and make the king popular. And they wanted to make sure that, that never happened here.

And that’s why, if we read the Constitution, it seems to mention that if a president wants a war the president has to go to Congress and ask for a war declaration. But what the book does is tell the story of all these major war presidents, from 1807 to the present, particularly in terms of how they have used war to grab more presidential power. And now they’ve gotten to the point, and this is not Donald Trump, any modern president in modern times, will be tempted to do a war for political reasons.
                                    
They will note that George H.W. Bush, you know, at the time of the Gulf War, wasn’t the reason he did it, but his numbers went up to 90%. And who has noticed that more than anyone else? Donald Trump 2011/2012, anyone who was taking a look at his Twitter feed at the time, he was predicting over and over again on Twitter, “Barack Obama will get the United States into an unnecessary war,” he said, “in order to get reelected.” You can bet that at some part of his brain he connects the idea of possibly going to war and knowing that, that can help you politically. I think that’s dangerous.

(...)

7:27 AM ET

BESCHLOSS: If you are a president who wants more power and if you’re a president who wants to cut some corners, the fact is, that being in a war is the way to do it because, you know, Americans will give you license of a kind they might not otherwise. Same thing is true oftentimes with Congress, same thing is true with the courts.

You know, you were mentioning Wilson, Joe, during World War I. He passed this wretched Espionage Act still on the books. Guess who’s using that as we speak this very day? Donald Trump is using that to go after journalists, plug leaks, but also intimidate them from writing things they want to write.

(...)

7:29 AM ET

DAVID IGNATIUS: I wanted to ask Michael to say a little bit more about this paradox of President Trump. He sounds very warlike often, talks of “fire and fury,” as with North Korea. But you have also the sense that this is a president who was elected understanding that the American people are fed up with wars, especially in the Middle East. How do you see Trump balancing those two?

BESCHLOSS: I hope he remains that way, I’m not sure that he will. Because I think if he is ever backed into a corner, and during this next year he may be backed into a corner, I think, as we all know, especially if the Democrats get the House and maybe possibly the Senate and there are investigations and the Mueller probe comes to a head, he may feel beleaguered. And I pray it doesn’t happen, but it is not impossible that he will see his way out some kind of military exercise that will suddenly make him very popular, he may think, and be a catastrophe for this country.

(...)


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