President Trump wants a do-over, or at least a second meeting with Russia’s President Putin. Nathan Rousseau Smith has the story.
Each week, USA TODAY’s OnPolitics blog takes a look at how media from the left and the right reacted to a political news story, giving liberals and conservatives a peek into the other’s media bubble.
This week, pundits passionately penned their takes on the fallout from President Donald Trump’s controversial summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
For liberals, and some conservatives, the so-called “surrender summit” was a confirmation of their worst fears about Trump, Putin and the 2016 election.
Some Republicans defended Trump’s performance and derided the controversy as media hysteria.Some liberals even stood up for Trump, arguing that he was right about the U.S. sharing blame for tensions in Eastern Europe.
Liberal bubble: ‘Surrender Summit’ was a disloyal, traitorous display
“It is an unfathomable proposition that the day would ever come when America could rightly question the loyalties of its own president, but that is precisely where we have arrived,” opinion columnist Charles Blow wrote in The New York Times.
“Trump likes to say that a country without borders is no longer a country,” Blow wrote. “But a democracy in which the public ceases to have confidence that its elected leader is acting in the interest of his own country and not another is no longer a democracy.”
Conservative bubble: It’s ‘cultural civil war’
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was pleased that Trump appeared to heed his advice and clarify the comments he made in Helsinki. Not only did Trump clear things up, he placed the blame squarely where it belongs: the Obama administration.
“The very people who have been loudest in attacking President Trump about his performance at the Helsinki summit are the people who failed to protect America from Russian meddling in 2016,” Gingrich said.
Trump has been far tougher on Russia than Obama, Gingrich said. But liberals are too hysterical to see that because “we are in the early stages of a cultural civil war in which the left sees itself losing.”
Liberal bubble: Putin has found a kindred spirit
Putin gave Trump a soccer ball in Helsinki, “but the two may as well have exchanged tinfoil hats” because they both embrace conspiracies and reject objective fact, GQ correspondent Julia Ioffe wrote in The Washington Post.
“After years of churning out fabulist explanations for Russian actions that always exonerate the Russian government, the Kremlin has finally found a willing audience for Putin’s version of reality: the leader of the free world,” she wrote. “Now Putin has what he wanted: a man in the White House who really understands him, who sees things from the same perspective, who sees things the right way.”
Conservative bubble: Liberals never know when to stop
“Liberals and the Democratic Party never know when to stop,” Tammy Bruce wrote in The Washington Times. “Opportunistic outrage is their drug, and like all addictions, it takes over and ruins everything for them.”
One thing we know about Mr. Trump, like his style or not, he loves this country, his actions have improved everyone’s lives and increased the economic and national security of this nation. But that, too, simply adds to the fever dream of those who wish it weren’t so.
Liberal bubble: Trump wasn’t all wrong
“Trump should not be scorned for simply convening a summit,” she wrote, because “it’s better to negotiate than to isolate” and it could lead to arms reduction. Citing the Cold War historian George Kennan, vanden Heuvel also agreed with Trump that “both powers have contributed to the deteriorating relations.”
“Reforming our elections to ensure that they are free and fair is an imperative,” she said. “And engaging the Russians to reduce tensions and resolve crises is both sensible and long overdue.”
Conservative bubble: This was Trump’s ‘Groveling Tour’
“It seems only moments ago that Republicans derided Barack Obama’s ‘apology tour,'” wrote anti-Trump conservative Charles Sykes in The Weekly Standard. “But that has been replaced by Donald Trump’s Groveling Tour, a peculiar combination of bullying our friends and fawning on our enemies.”
“What we have learned again is that at the heart of every truculent and strutting bully is a craven sycophant eager to cower before a bigger bully,” Sykes said. “On Monday, Trump found that bigger bully and his cowering was the embarrassment heard round the world.”
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