September 13, 2018
Fear And Loathing In The Swamp: Woodward Channels Washington Groupthink
Like so many ballyhooed bombshells before it, Bob Woodward’s “Fear” has turned out to be a dud.
And after reading the entire tome, we now see the title refers to the dread gripping the Washington establishment, not the White House.
Publicists’ advance snippets showed senior staff stealing papers from the Resolute Desk and cabinet secretaries calling the president disparaging names.
Seen in their full context, these juicy tidbits take on an entirely different meaning than what the author would have us believe. (That’s not to say any of these incidents actually happened.)
The scene setter for Woodward’s newest edition of D..C pulp fiction has Gary Cohn, former economic adviser, sneaking into the Oval Office to remove a letter from the Resolute Desk before the president can sign it and irreparably damage our national security, opening our homeland to nuclear attack.
Sounds pretty bad, right? So what was this letter, this “potential trigger to a national security catastrophe,” that the president would so cavalierly sign?
The purloined letter would have notified South Korea that we wished to renegotiate the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement.
A little background is in order: After President Obama signed the free trade agreement in 2011, our trade deficit with South Korea more than doubled, jumping from $13 billion to $27 billion.
President Trump was determined to renegotiate the deal, as he promised on the campaign trail. It was a promise that helped vault him over the Blue Wall and into the White House.
It takes Bob Woodward all of seven sentences to inflate this campaign promise into certain nuclear holocaust.
That tells you everything you need to know about the author’s thinking and the mentality of the swamp, though that’s redundant.
Bob Woodward, the one-man Swamp, parrots Foggy Bottom geopolitical strategery that says we should win friends abroad by exporting American jobs, factories and industries.
The State Department’s been doing this for so long under Democrats and Republicans it’s accepted as standard operating procedure, Holy Writ. (Ask Fritz Hollings, who slammed Washington for destroying jobs in South Carolina six decades ago.)
This is what all the “experts” agree we should continue doing, and Woodward, the voice of the Washington Establishment, accepts what they say.
That’s why trade policy is Exhibit A, B and C in Woodward’s j’accuse charging the President Trump is dangerous because he just doesn’t understand what all the Wise Men of Washington and Wall Street know to be true.
Another of the naughty bits used to tease the book comes from an episode in which Gary Cohn, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis set out to “educate the president” on the “relationship between the military, the economy and intelligence partnerships.” They would teach the president how upsetting the status quo on trade threatened “the precarious stability in the world” and could “spill over to the military and intelligence community.”
Trade agreements with China and Mexico, the Iran nuclear deal, overseas troop deployments and foreign aid all fit together and it’s all good just the way it is, they say. President Trump wasn’t buying it and walked out.
At that point in Woodward’s story, Tillerson allegedly spit out, “He’s a f***ing moron.”
It’s said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
The Washington wise men have been steering us into one bad trade deal after another, each time promising greater prosperity and stability that never comes.
They gave the textile industry to Japan in the 50s and 60s, steel to South Korea in the 70s, automotives to Mexico under NAFTA, and much of what was left to China in 2000.
We know who the real morons are. Woodward told us, though it’s not who he thinks it is.
-- Curtis Ellis, Senior Policy Advisor for America First Action