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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Trump’s behavior has always been bizarre. Why are we surprised by Ukraine?

Trump and Ukraine
President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speak during a meeting in New York on Sept. 19.
(Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Jonah Goldberg concludes his column with, “It’s almost like he’s been playing us for idiots all along.” This could have been written about President Trump any week over the last four years.

Trump said President Obama probably wasn’t a natural-born U.S. citizen. He says he has accomplished more for the U.S. in two and a half years than any president in history. He believes he has solved our nuclear worries over North Korea and is personally in love with Kim Jong Un. He said he’d bring hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs back. He promised to put forth a better and less costly plan than Obamacare that would cover everyone in the United States.

This raises two questions for Goldberg: Does he know that perhaps most GOP lawmakers and many of Trump’s supporters in the business and evangelical worlds are not idiots, but unprincipled, “the ends justify the means” zealots who excuse Trump’s impeachable behavior because he has tossed them some of the regulatory and legislative goodies they’ve craved for years?

Second, since Goldberg apparently no longer accepts Trump as a sentient, qualified, legally justifiable president, I have to ask him: What took you so long?

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Mark Davidson, Santa Ana

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To the editor: Goldberg rightfully excoriates Trump and his sycophantic enablers for acting as if so many of us were gullible “idiots.”

But Trump himself surely is aware that few Americans actually believe his dodgy denials of attempted collusion with Ukraine’s government. He simply ignores that inconvenient fact. Plus, he demeans insightful political observers like Goldberg who have the integrity to publicly pillory the president for such scandalous conduct.

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Trump knows that he will thrive so long as he can keep most of his fellow Republicans wallowing in the fog of cognitive dissonance. When Trump’s house of disingenuous cards finally collapses, forthright conservatives like Goldberg will stand tall.

Sarah S. Williams, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: Yes, Trump thinks we’re idiots, and that even includes his devoted base. He plays us all like fools, and he always plays fast and loose with the truth.

He honestly thinks his is the only game in town. All the other players are losers and weaklings, and his rules must apply to everyone, regardless of party, or he will pick up his toys and leave the playground in a huff, like any other annoyed child might do.

His latest tantrum, entirely the result of his own sloppiness, this Ukraine fiasco, is making friend and foe alike very concerned and upset. In a country that is founded on the rule of law, where no one is above the law, our president honestly believes that he, the master deal maker, is not only above the law, but is the law.

Bette Mason, Corona del Mar

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To the editor: Yes, the president does think we’re idiots — and it works, especially for the Republican members of Congress.

At best Trump is a master of spin, at worst he lies like a rug. And, there is barely a peep or an eye roll from his Republican colleagues.

Do these lawmakers care more about their own well-being than the state of our democracy? To paraphrase Joseph Welch, have they no sense of decency?

Susan Clayton, Goleta, Calif.

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To the editor: Trump only thinks Republicans are idiots. If they give him a free pass to get away with his Ukrainian caper, I’d say there’s some pretty good evidence he’s right.

Barbara Carlton, El Cajon


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