While growing up (many years ago), I occasionally found myself in arguments with friends and classmates. In such arguments, I can remember that sometimes I, or my opponent, reached a point where all arguments had been defeated and there were no good points left to be made – all that was left was personal attack and so “your mother wears combat boots”* was sometimes used. Looking back on it, the phrase was probably a face-saving acknowledgement of defeat without having to admit defeat.
I thought of that putdown today as I read today’s editorial defense of President Trump in this afternoon’s News-Register. Most of the editorial explains what the president said in Finland and afterwards. The next-to-last paragraph in the editorial makes what I think is an incredible assertion: that Trump had no choice but to be diplomatic toward Putin and deny that Russia had interfered in our election.
Again, he had no choice. While in Finland, he may have been attempting to be diplomatic toward Putin. U.S. politics intervened.
(No choice? Why couldn’t he say that we still hold Russia responsible for election meddling?)
What follows is a final sentence that is an irrelevant, unspecific, undocumented attack upon President Obama that plays to Trump’s core supporters:
One wonders why a similar wave of protest did not follow former President Barack Obama’s much more egregious behavior toward Russia and other avowed enemies of the United States.
Clearly, the News-Register has no winning arguments in its defense of Trump; all it can say is that Obama wears combat boots.
Since I started writing this, the Los Angeles Times and other sources are reporting that Trump is now taking back Tuesday’s walkback of Monday’s statements about Russia:
Just one day after kinda-sorta walking back his mind-bending Helsinki press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump partially walked back his walkback on Wednesday by once again contradicting his own national security advisers and telling reporters that actually, Russia isn’t targeting the U.S. anymore.
“No,” he insisted firmly, as the press was hastily ushered out of the White House Cabinet room.
That probably means yet another Ogden editorial and more verbal gymnastics explaining how this is nothing compared to what Obama or Hillary did. Not unlike Sarah Huckabee Sanders whose defense is similar, our local Ogden "newspapers" have no commitment to the truth – their role is to keep Trump in power.
*I did check the origins of “your mother wears combat boots” and it was not, as I assumed a Western Pennsylvania regionalism. There are numerous theories on when it originated (some even suggesting World War I) and what the put down means. My research also found a one-star, 1989 made-for-TV movie starring Barbara Eden with that title which I somehow missed.