In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the three witches promised Macbeth that he could not lose until “Birnam Wood shall come to Dunsinane” (that being Macbeth’s castle). Since it was impossible for a forest to pick itself up and move, Macbeth figured he was invulnerable. But Duncan’s troops cut branches from the trees and used them to camouflage their movements, and the lookouts reported to Macbeth that Birnam Wood was, indeed, advancing on his castle.
Something similar is happening to Trump right now (and the analogy to Macbeth also fits because of the way he has usurped powers to which he has no right). Reaction to Jeffrey Goldberg’s article in The Atlantic about the Malignant Mangoface’s contempt for the military he’s in command of has been fast and furious. And it's definitely going to cost him votes from the military and their supporters and from veterans that he can’t afford to lose.
Start with Joe Biden, whose absolutely furious response to Trump this morning can only boost his standing :
“President Trump has demonstrated he has no sense of service, no loyalty to any cause other than himself,” Biden said. “I’m always cautioned not to lose my temper. This may be as close as I’ve come in this campaign.”
Jennifer Rubin made a point of singling that part out:
Biden reiterated that Trump’s comments were “sick,” “deplorable,” “un-American” and “unpatriotic” and scoffed at Trump’s insistence he had not dishonored the late John McCain. “It’s almost pathological,” he said.It was a remarkable performance. If we saw the quiet, empathetic and nurturing Biden this week in Kenosha, Wis., this was the defiant, indignant and disgusted Biden who expressed the anger so many Americans feel toward Trump. The latter might be more impactful if only because we have rarely if ever seen Biden this angry. [emphasis added]
Among Biden’s many selling points is that Americans see him as genuine and as empathetic. This reinforces that at a time when the people are starving for just that after 3+ years of the Orange Manchild.
‘The last full measure of his disgrace’: Veterans scorn Trump over report that he calls fallen soldiers ‘losers’ — including this former Trump supporter:
In 2016, Army veteran David Weissman was an “unapologetic, red-hat wearing” Donald Trump supporter. The Palm Bay, Fla., resident would regularly join social media mobs attacking liberals, he later wrote, seeking to defend a candidate who he said rightfully prioritized the armed forces.Four years later, Weissman — who served two tours in Afghanistan — has now sparked a Twitter campaign of former service members against President Trump, over reports that he derided fallen U.S. soldiers as “losers” and “suckers.”“I recommend all veterans to use their Military pics as a profile pic,” Weissman wrote on Twitter on Thursday evening, “to let Trump know how many people he has offended.”
Even before this latest bombshell, Trump was losing support among the military, which traditionally leans Republican: Trump’s popularity slips in latest Military Times poll — and more troops say they’ll vote for Biden (poll taken in late July/early August).
Then there was this tweet from CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr:
This article has been published for several hours. Complete silence from the four star generals and admirals. No words of support for the commander in chief. Or any other words for wounded and families of fallen who have read this.
which prompted a huge number of responses, almost all against Trump, including this one from former CIA director (under Trump) John Brennan:
Last year, a former four star general & colleague who worked directly for Trump said to me, “Donald Trump is the most loathsome individual I ever met.” Trump’s attitudes & behavior toward America’s heroes are repugnant. Vote him out, resoundingly.
Reaction from retired military leaders (who can speak out now) is starting to come in:
Retired four star general Barry McCaffrey and former Defense Secretary William Cohen join Andrea Mitchell to react to reporting from the Atlantic that President Trump called Americans who died in war “losers” and “suckers.” General McCaffrey says that Trump “is a man of many fears” who “can't understand the millions of veterans who have stepped forward to fight and defend this country.” Secretary Cohen adds that “almost everything he has done has proven that he is unfit to serve.”
I’m waiting for Jim Mattis to say something as well. He has generally kept his silence since his resignation, but in June he denounced Trump for using the military to help clear Lafayette Square for his photo-op with Bible. If — when — he speaks out about this, it will also have an impact, as Mattis is highly respected by all ranks.
And a final word for those still worried about whether Biden/Harris know how to take on Trump: Relax, he’s got this (as Obama would say).
Stay tuned: Dunsinane is getting ready to fall: