Sunday, December 4, 2016

Doing “Kremlinology” On Trump’s Flag-Burning Tweet

“Kremlinology” in this case has nothing to do with any Russian influence on Trump (although…) but rather the practice of trying to tease out an otherwise inscrutable subject’s true intentions based on small bits of information. The most arresting thing about reaction to Trump’s flag-burning tweet this morning on social media was how many people refused to take it at face value, instead substituting their own theories for what he was “really” up to by floating it. And it occurred to me that we’re going to spend the next four years doing this, breathing as deeply as we can every time he farts on Twitter to try to discern all the different meaningful notes in each odor. Trump Kremlinology will quickly be standard practice in political media.
Ed’s already written about it this morning but here’s the tweet again for reference::
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!

What the hell prompted that? There are at least six different possibilities. Maybe more.
1. He’s a troll. The guy loves to provoke people, especially people in the media, and musing aloud about banning flag-burning is one of the most reliable means of provocation there is. He was bored this morning and decided to have some fun by freaking people out about the First Amendment. Not a great quality in a president, but the people get what they want.
2. He reacted to something impulsively. He saw someone burning a flag on TV or in a newspaper, maybe at a protest aimed at him, and decided spur-of-the-moment to share his thought with the world. Also not a great quality in a president. Maybe Gen. Mattis could pull him aside and say something nice about the value of free speech. Apparently Trump’s an easy convert to new positions when the right salesman makes the pitch.
3. Someone told him that banning flag-burning is popular. No need to overthink this: Trump’s looking for cheap populist cred wherever he can get it, and it don’t come cheaper than wanting to lock up hippies for burning Old Glory. He’s grandstanding for his fans, first and foremost, but also thinks he can earn some goodwill with Americans who are otherwise leery of him. If you want to get skeptics to take a second look at populist nationalism, ranting about flag-burning is a good place to start. Just ask Hillary Clinton, who was happy to support criminal penalties for flag-burning in 2005 when she was eyeing her first presidential run and thinking Bill’s blue-collar centrist Democratic coalition would deliver for her in 2008.
Those three theories can be lumped together under the header “two-dimensional chess.” There are more complicated ones, of the “eight-dimensional chess” variety: ...
Read the rest from ALLAHPUNDIT HERE and follow a link to another opinion on this issue below:

Ben Shapiro: Trump Tweets Against Flag-Burning. He’s Not Wrong, But His Proposed Penalty Is Nuts

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