A baffling Trump endorsement in Tennessee has caused quite a stir in MAGA country. If you haven’t been paying close attention to political minutiae lately, Politico has the story:
Former President Donald Trump is facing serious backlash from die-hard loyalists over his decision to intervene in a Tennessee House race, with his supporters accusing him of spurning a staunch Republican ally who’s running.
Trump on Tuesday evening endorsed Morgan Ortagus, who served as a State Department spokesperson during his administration and is pondering a run for a Middle Tennessee-based congressional district. The announcement has caused a firestorm, with far-right, high-profile backers ranging from North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn to conservative activist Candace Owens taking to social media to voice their support for Robby Starbuck, a rival candidate who’s been a mainstay of the pro-Trump movement. [Politico]
Is this all just a tempest in a teapot? Our research indicates this Trump endorsement is even worse than you might have thought at first glance. Megan Ortagus might be President Trump’s former State Department spokesperson, but she holds GOP establishment neocon views that are diametrically opposed to the America First, MAGA-movement.
Mere hours after Trump’s endorsement, The National Pulse publicized statements Ortagus had made vowing to “faithfully [serve] the incoming Biden Administration,” and trashing Trump back during the 2016 race. It turns out that, in 2016, she dutifully repeated all of the Never Trump talking points of the GOP establishment:
“You have somebody who makes fun of people with mental and physical disabilities. That’s disgusting; there’s no other way around it,” remarked Ortagus in January 2016 during an interview with Fox News.
Ortagus, while working for a super PAC associated with Trump’s primary opponent former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, said she “fundamentally disagree[d]” with Trump’s approach to foreign policy.
“In his gut, he does not think that Americans should be, quote unquote, the policemen of the world,” she said during a 2016 panel discussion dissecting Trump’s foreign policy speech.
“I don’t see it that way. I think that America is the glue that holds the world together. … So there were points that I agreed with him today, but overall, I fundamentally disagree with his isolationist approach to foreign policy,” she added.
Ortagus and her second husband were married by the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in 2000. [National Pulse]
Getting married by Ruth Bader Ginsburg might simply reflect a profound lack of taste in Ortagus’ personal life that can be overlooked, but championing America as the “policemen of the world,” casting President Trump’s policies as “isolationist,” and stating that she “fundamentally disagrees” with Trump’s America First, Jacksonian approach to foreign policy are political sins that cannot be forgiven.
Of course, many people criticized Donald Trump in 2016, and later came around on the importance of the political realignment he led. The issue with Ortagus, however, isn’t limited to her criticism of Trump—it’s her clear failure to have learned anything after serving in his administration.
If Ortagus is elected to the House, she will become one of the most extreme warhawks in the Republican Party—a natural ally of figures like Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. Her Twitter timeline features a cascading list of demands that America get involved in a dizzying array of foreign entanglements.
Ortagus calls for the US government to ship more weapons to Ukraine, immediately:
Instead of sending weapons to Ukraine, the United States is sending Wendy Sherman to negotiate with the Russians. Talk about a bait-and-switch… pic.twitter.com/EM8z97dNQp
— Morgan Ortagus (@MorganOrtagus) January 11, 2022
Ortagus wants sanctions on Russia, once again, immediately, even though right now Russia hasn’t invaded anybody, because it would be too late if America waited for Russia actually do anything bad:
— Morgan Ortagus (@MorganOrtagus) January 23, 2022
Like every warmonger in DC, Ortagus is outraged that Russia successfully annexed Crimea. She demands it be forcibly returned to Ukraine, even though the takeover was basically nonviolent and more than 80 percent of residents support union with Russia.
If sanctions were enough to stop Putin, he wouldn’t currently be squatting in Crimea https://t.co/CStnqVIx74
— Morgan Ortagus (@MorganOrtagus) January 12, 2022
But don’t pay too much attention to Ukraine! Ortagus also wants more American belligerence toward Iran as well—in keeping with her role as Nikki Haley 2.0.
Paying attention to Russia/Ukraine is important, but don’t forget terrorists funded by Iran are attacking US troops at our base in Abu Dhabi https://t.co/rGUQPdPkYe
— Morgan Ortagus (@MorganOrtagus) January 24, 2022
Oh, and don’t forget about Yemen!
— Morgan Ortagus (@MorganOrtagus) January 19, 2022
But why only be angry at America’s rivals and designated enemies? Ortagus is also outraged that Germany isn’t enthusiastic enough about joining the anti-Russia front. Rather than consider that perhaps Russia’s existential threat to the West isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, or that NATO itself might be a tad obsolete, Ortagus bashes Germany as a “bad ally” for not joining America’s corrupt ruling class in its race to escalation and war.
Tough, provocative, but true. The fight against the communists won’t be aided by the Germans. Trump may not have said it as nicely as people would like, but he was spot on regarding allies commitments to @NATO @TomRtweets https://t.co/qtwH0scWw8
— Morgan Ortagus (@MorganOrtagus) January 24, 2022
In fact, Ortagus essentially takes the view that all of Europe should remain a vassal state of the corrupt American ruling class–a vassal subject to a Washington veto of any trade agreements with Russia.
Exhibit A of why we should not have allowed NS2 and why the Euros shouldn’t make themselves energy dependent on Russia. https://t.co/0cd2c7PDpT
— Morgan Ortagus (@MorganOrtagus) January 21, 2022
And amazingly enough, she tweeted all of this just in the past three weeks! Go back a bit further, and Ortagus’ list of potential invasion targets grows seemingly exponentially.
In 2019, the only acceptable approach toward Venezuela was forcible regime change:
If you read anything on #venezuela today, read this. Once again, @brhodes naive view of the world advocates a position that would undermine democracy and keep an illegitimate despot in power, with the added bonus of abetting the Russian position. (Had to repost) https://t.co/85aVOGd43G
— Morgan Ortagus (@MorganOrtagus) February 5, 2019
In April 2017, Ortagus hoped President Trump would launch a regime change attack on Syria’s Bashar Assad.
I sure hope Assad's days are numbered!!
— Morgan Ortagus (@MorganOrtagus) April 5, 2017
Two months after the fall of Kabul, she complained about the lack of new “hard measures,” such as military force, aimed at the Taliban.
Told @marthamaccallum: When it comes to protecting women in Afghanistan, our leaders are mistaking rhetoric as a substitute for military and economic power.
Tweets and speeches do not protect Afghan women. pic.twitter.com/pTfgQXg7xC
— Morgan Ortagus (@MorganOrtagus) October 5, 2021
Ortagus is even mad that the defense budget isn’t being hiked quickly enough. For Ortagus, America has limitless military and economic might, the political capital to use it, and endless overconfidence that its ventures will never go wrong. In her world, it is forever 2003.
There’s more, though. Ortagus is also a senior advisor for the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, a sub-venture of the Atlantic Council. Abroad, the Atlantic Council (whose donors include the UAE, Raytheon, Boeing, and even Burisma) is a leading agitator for permanent conflict with Russia. Domestically, the Atlantic Council operates a Digital Forensics Lab which has teamed up with Facebook to censor speech online that it labels foreign interference or “misinformation.”
More than any other organization, the Atlantic Council represents the toxic fusion of military adventurism abroad and political suppression at home that defines the “centrist” ruling elite in Washington. The Republican Party and all America-first political movements can only be improved by having fewer of their number.
Megan Ortagus is part and parcel of the GOP establishment neocon machine that subverted America First. It’s even written all over her tweet accepting President Trump’s endorsement, where she equates America First with “American greatness.”
— Morgan Ortagus (@MorganOrtagus) January 26, 2022
This is a classic tell. The GOP establishment neocons that Trump defeated stealthily infiltrated his administration and twisted America First into their very own vision of “American greatness.” When the DC swamp says “American greatness,” it isn’t what you or I, or your average Joe on the street corner thinks of Making America Great Again (the excellent news site American Greatness notwithstanding!). They want more wars. More American blood and treasure spilled abroad. More money for defense contractors so they can build more McMansions in the surrounding suburbs in DC. More entangling alliances abroad.
To these swamp creatures, American greatness means neoconservatism, endless forever wars abroad, Middle Eastern quagmires, and banging the drums for forever wars in the Ukraine, Iran, and the South China Sea.
Remember John McCain, of “Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran” fame? Here’s Megan Ortagus with John McCain:
It’s certainly no sin to pose for a picture with a politician. What’s more telling is the caption she attached to the photo, indicating her preference for McCainism over Trumpism: “#I’mStillAHawk”. Favorite selfie ever?
Megan Ortagus is essentially a younger, fresher version of Nikki Haley: the Great Female Hope of the GOP interventionist class. She’s lipstick that the GOP establishment applies to the rotting political corpse that was defeated by President Trump’s movement in 2016. No one wants your globalist policy ideas anymore? Here, look at this pretty lady in a dress!
This time around, no one is buying it. America is waking up to the fact that the GOP establishment neocons want to waste our blood and treasure abroad while our bridges collapse in Pittsburgh and teacher’s unions teach our children how to secretly become transsexuals without their parents knowing in three easy steps.
Sadly, this isn’t the first questionable endorsement Trump has given since leaving the White House.
An endorsement from President Trump ought to be solid gold, a consistent and reliable way to distinguish the strongest America-first candidates from RINOs, fossils, grifters, and phonies.
President Trump has endorsed incumbents in cases where new blood is very welcome. The 45th president endorsed Chuck Grassley even though Grassley is 88 years old and trashed Trump for January 6. Sen. Jerry Moran suggested the only reason he voted against Trump’s second impeachment was because he had already left office. Trump endorsed the senator from Kansas for another term. Trump also endorsed Senator Tim Scott after the South Carolina senator enabled cancel culture and the left’s anti-police push. Tim Scott also loves foreign interventionism nearly as much as Lindsey Graham and Nikki Haley. A few months ago, President Trump endorsed Texas Rep. Michael McCaul for reelection, even though after January 6 McCaul said he voted against impeachment “with a heavy heart” only because the process was accelerated. Fittingly enough, early this month, endorsement in hand, McCaul called for additional investigations into Trump’s conduct leading up to January 6.
Endorsing the right candidates with the right priorities is critical to ensuring that if Trump runs for president and wins in 2024, he’ll have the support of a GOP that enables his policies instead of sabotaging them. Even if Trump doesn’t run, these endorsements are a way to create a party that reflects and carries on his legacy instead of abandoning it.
A Trump endorsement is gold. President Trump must be judicious in awarding it, lest it become fool’s gold instead.