The Trump/Generals ISIS Combo Plan

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The Trump portion of tonight’s national security forum was bracing to watch live. But when I went back and read the transcript I felt the need to commune with the words to just absorb the full measure of crazy. People are all going wild tonight about how Matt Lauer let Trump get away with murder. And I agree. But I think Trump was mainly murdering himself.

One of the many amazing passages is this one where Trump is sparring with Lauer about whether he’ll defeat ISIS with his secret plan or the plan from the new generals he installs after firing the current ones or whether he’ll create some hybrid combo plan if the generals’ plan strikes his fancy.

That’s what’s going on on the surface of the conversation. And Trump keeps spooling it out in different directions. But reading the words it’s clear, just as it was watching it live, that this whole exchange is, in the deepest sense of the word, bullshit. The entire passage is based on the fact that Trump has spent weeks saying he has a secret plan to destroy ISIS and now he says his plan is to get his generals to take thirty days to come up with a plan. So clearly he never had a secret plan. That’s obvious. But Trump doesn’t want to, is probably characterologically incapable of admitting the obvious. So he spends the whole exchange going on about tactical surprise, his secret plan, the generals plan, a possible combo plan. It’s like there’s all the words are noise and Trump is saying to Lauer again and again, I’m not going to give in.

Read it yourself …

This is one of several parts of the forum where I think Lauer is getting a bit shortchanged with the horrible reviews he’s receiving for his stint as moderator. Perhaps it was accidental. But the effect of his approach is to press questions which launch Trump into ever escalating nonsense.

I think this exchange is pretty obvious for people in a way that transcends politics and ideology. Trump is the kid telling the teacher the dog ate his homework. Then the teacher points out he has no dog. But he’s not going to apologize or come clean. He’s just going to keep talking.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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