There’s something you don’t see very often on NBC. Appearing on Meet the Press, Sunday, National Review editor Rich Lowry mocked the “dithering” Barack Obama’s Syria policy in the light of Donald Trump’s Syria strike. Talking to Chuck Todd, Lowry lowered the boom: “It was a bad week for Obama's legacy. Because, one, Trump showed doing this sort exemplary strike is not that difficult.”
The conservative journalist continued, “So, it makes Obama’s dithering look a little ridiculous. And, two, it exposed the supposed deal to get chemical weapons out of Syria as a total sham.”
The Meet the Press panel also included supposed conservative David Brooks. Unsurprisingly, he mocked Trump, comparing the President to an amnesiac character in a Disney movie:
Well, we're debating him like this is like Winston Churchill the world at war, like he's making some big strategic decision. I'm afraid it is Dory in Finding Nemo, that he did one thing and it'll have no consequences, that there was no strategic thinking behind it and there's no big strategic shift.
A partial transcript:
Meet the Press
CHUCK: TODD: Welcome back. Panel is here. We have got a lot to digest. Rich Lowry of the National Review, Helene Cooper, the Pentagon correspondent for the New York Times, Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute, and David Brooks, columnist for the New York Times. All right, let’s just start with the basics here. What did we learn about Donald Trump this week in Syria?
DAVID BROOKS: Well, we’re debating him like this is like Winston Churchill the world at war, like he’s making some big strategic decision. I’m afraid it is Dory in Finding Nemo, that he did one thing and it’ll have no consequences, that there was no strategic thinking behind it and there’s no big strategic shift.
I do think the one promising thing is we’re never going to be in the business of regime change any time soon. But we should be in the business of defending some basic norms of civilization. 100 years ago, the U.S. entered World War I. Thousands were gassed to death. So at least we can be against gassing. And so in that sense this action was a useful action.
And we should just be in the business of trying to make sure when people fight they behave with some basic level of human decency. And so we at least had a little thing in this, but I’m not sure it was a big shift in any way.
DANIELLE PLETKA (AEI): But come on, I mean we’re still overstating this. Okay, Barack Obama said Assad must go. Barack Obama said he had a red line. And Assad didn’t go and the red line was not a red line.
The truth is that administrations do evolve. They make decisions. And, you know, it’s early days for the Trump administration, and I’m willing at this point to give them the benefit of the doubt that there was an actual evolution in thinking going on as they assess all of their policies. We’re not even 100 days in.
RICH LOWRY: It was a bad week for Obama’s legacy. Because, one, Trump showed doing this sort exemplary strike is not that difficult. So, it makes Obama’s dithering look a little ridiculous. And, two, it exposed the supposed deal to get chemical weapons out of Syria as a total sham, if there was any doubt from the beginning that that’s what it was.