The fact that people are surprised when Trump backtracks, softens, changes, or outright contradicts a previous position is itself surprising. Of course he does. It’s practically all he does. He’s already done it on many of his core issues, sometimes jumping back and forth on the same issue like he has with regard to the Second Amendment. And now he’s done the same on his proposed “Muslim Ban”.
From the Washington Post:
Donald Trump has revised his proposed ban on foreign Muslims, with spokeswoman Hope Hicks saying Saturday that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee only wants to ban Muslims from countries with heavy terrorism.
Hicks said in an email that her boss took this new position — which is a dramatic scaling back of the position he first took in early December — during a policy speech nearly two weeks ago. In that speech, Trump did not mention Muslims and called for a temporary ban on “certain people coming from certain horrible — where you have tremendous terrorism in the world, you know what those places are.” At the time, it appeared that Trump was expanding his ban to include more people, not limiting its scope.
The issue came up Saturday as Trump gave reporters a tour of his golf course on Scotland’s eastern coast. During one of four stops along the 18-hole course, a reporter asked Trump if he would be okay with a Muslim from Scotland coming into the United States and he said it “wouldn’t bother me.”
So if you’re from Scotland you’re totally fine. Yes, that answer matters, even from a golf course. Your words matter. Sorry.
As with many of the other issues that Trump uses to fire up a … very special part of his base, his position on banning Muslim immigration has been deliberately vague. But before you let him off the hook because his spokesperson cites a speech from a couple of weeks ago, recall the way Trump put it in his speech back in December:
“… a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
“Total and complete shutdown.” He is 100% a walking that back. Either it is a “total and complete” ban, or it is not. It is not. He said that it was. That’s a reversal. This is not rocket science. Sorry.
Recall also that he referred specifically to the United Kingdom when he said London Mayor Sadiq Khan would be an “exception” to the rule. Which means it was a rule for the U.K. That’s just what it means. Sorry.
And do we even need to bring up the fact that, in his claims that Brexit is a validation of his politics that it is implicit that the United Kingdom has already allowed unfettered or dangerous levels of Muslim immigration from nations deeply involved in terrorism? We don’t need to. It’s obvious. Sorry.
There is no question what Trump was advocating and using to fire up his base. There is likewise no question that this is yet another reversal on his part. Not a “softening” as CNN puts it. A “total and complete” reversal.
Sorry, not sorry.