Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin used to hate the Paris climate deal. Then Trump agreed with her. Now she loves it. What changed?
JUNE 1, 2017 By Sean Davis
If you want to see a case study in how blind anti-Trumpism corrupts the brain and renders an individual incapable of basic reason, look no further than Jennifer Rubin, the faux conservative blogger for the Washington Post. On Wednesday, following the publication of several news reports indicating that President Donald Trump planned to withdraw the U.S. from the toothless 2015 Paris global warming deal, Rubin declared that Trump’s move was a disaster, proof that he hated science, and ironclad evidence that he was far too stupid to be president.
Trump’s withdrawal of the U.S. from the agreement would “materially damage our credibility and persuasiveness,” Rubin wrote. According to Rubin, Trump’s purported move (caveat: his position has not yet been publicly confirmed and, Trump being Trump, could obviously change between now and the White House’s planned Thursday afternoon announcement on the matter), was a “senseless act.”
“Trump’s pullout from the international accord would be a political act — one that signals solidarity with his climate-change denial, right-wing base that revels in scientific illiteracy,” Rubin declared. “Being a climate-change denier — which entails dogmatic opposition to the Paris agreement — is a dog whistle to the far right.”
Rubin clearly doesn’t mince words in her attack on Trump for planning to pull the U.S. out of a global warming agreement with no binding legal authority and no enforcement mechanisms. What makes Rubin’s attack on Trump so strange, though, is that Rubin herself was a staunch opponent of President Barack Obama’s 2015 climate change deal…right up until Trump opposed it. To see how absurd Rubin’s sudden 180 on the agreement is, it helps to look back at all the horrific things she said about the deal as recently as last year.
In February of 2016, when the presidential campaign was in full swing–but before Trump had pledged to withdraw the U.S. from Obama’s Paris global warming deal–Rubin wrote an entire column slamming Obama’s “phony accomplishments,” including the 2015 climate deal. In that column, Rubin noted that “keen observers” recognized that a recent Supreme Court decision on environmental regulations proved “how ephemeral Obama’s Paris climate change deal is.”
Just a few months prior to that column, Rubin accused Obama of using the Paris climate deal to distract from his administration’s failure to contain the spread of radical Islamist terrorism across the globe.
“The president has no answer, so he goes to Paris to talk about climate change,” Rubin seethed.
Less than two weeks later, Rubin pointed to the Paris deal as proof positive that Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry lived in a “fantasy world” where “a piece of paper”–the Paris deal–was a signature accomplishment “even if it achieves nothing.”
The same day, she characterized the deal as a “group wish” and “nonsense” because it lacked any enforcement mechanisms.
Three days later she wholeheartedly agreed with Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the U.S. Senate’s most outspoken opponent of job-killing global warming regulations, that the Paris climate change deal was “devoid of substance.”
Rubin even accused Kerry and Obama of selling their leftist base a “bill of goods” on the Paris deal, and said the climate accord was little more than “footprints in the sand.”
And then, just days before then-candidate Trump pledged to his own supporters that he would “cancel” the Paris climate change deal if elected, Rubin counseled Republicans that rather than denying global warming, they should instead “oppose left-wing, ineffective bureaucratic responses” to the problem.
Six days later, on May 26, 2016, Trump took Rubin’s advice and vowed to end U.S. participation in the controversial Paris deal.
“We’re going to cancel the Paris climate Agreement and stop all payment of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs,” Trump pledged, echoing Rubin’s demand that Republican leaders oppose left-wing, ineffective bureaucratic responses to global warming.
Based on her own counsel on the topic, Rubin should have praised Trump’s pledge. Instead, she tried to bury him. Nearly overnight, she went from a huge Paris deal skeptic to one of its biggest cheerleaders. Before Trump opposed the deal, it was little more than a phony attempt to distract from the global fight against terrorism. But as soon as Trump joined Rubin in opposition, skepticism of the non-binding accord’s efficacy was evidence of “scientific illiteracy.”
What changed that could possibly explain Rubin’s complete reversal on the necessity of a deal she once said was “ephemeral,” “phony,” “fantasy,” and “devoid of substance?” Nothing. It’s the same deal today as it was when it was agreed to in 2015. The only difference between then and now is that Trump eventually endorsed Rubin’s take in its entirety. And because Rubin now calibrates her political compass to the opposite of whatever Trump is doing, she feels compelled to vociferously support a vapid agreement she at one time opposed on the merits.
These are the fruits of mindless anti-Trumpism. Rubin’s whiplash-inducing reversal is evocative of the cheesy old anti-drug campaign featuring an egg being fried in a skillet.
“This is drugs,” the narrator says as the camera shows butter simmering in a frying pan. “This is your brain on drugs,” he adds as the camera shows an egg being cracked and then fried in the butter. “Any questions?”
If you want to see what a brain high on bitter anti-Trumpism looks like, look no further than Jennifer Rubin’s latest rants in the Washington Post. Before Trump came along, she hated the Paris deal, for good reason. But as soon as Trump agreed with her, she couldn’t countenance being on the same side of an issue as him. So she magically decided that opposition to the deal made you a knuckle-dragging, science-hating Luddite, all because Trump had the audacity to agree with her.
Rather than being an exemplar of thoughtful independence, Rubin is herself a glaring example of how partisanship blinds a person to objective reality, eventually forcing her to stomp all over principled positions she held just days before, and all because somebody she thinks is icky had the temerity to endorse her views. Rubin is proof that if Trumpism corrupts, unhinged anti-Trumpism corrupts absolutely.
Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist.