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Opinion: The president has regularly trashed the former president on Twitter. Obama has had many opportunities to strike back. Trump has more than 61 million followers. Obama has more than 100 million

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President Donald Trump has gone out of his way to trash former President Barack Obama.

He did so before he was president. He’s done so since being elected.

In one important instance, Trump has even criticized Obama for doing exactly what Trump wanted him to do.

Last week – and numerous times before that – Obama could have struck back.

Trump has more than 61 million Twitter followers.

Obama has more than 100 million.

Imagine the trouble Obama could cause for Trump if he had a mind to do so.

He could bury him.

Trump had a 'bumbling' Iran reaction

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Following Iran’s shootdown of an American drone, tensions are high. But this is nothing new for the U.S. and Iran. We have the FAQs. Just the FAQs, USA TODAY

For example, Trump is taking a lot of heat over his policy of attack/don’t attack decision/indecision concerning Iran.

Trump said that at the last minute he backed away from a strategy that would have killed 150 people in response to Iran shooting down a drone. The fact that the process got so far along before Trump knew how many lives were at risk is troubling. Kind of an indication of the chaos in the administration. A lack of communication. Incompetence.

The author of two histories on the National Security Council, David Rothkopf, said Trump’s decision making was “not a sign of restraint so much as evidence of indecision and bumbling — the situation remains very dangerous and prone to accidental escalation and/or spinning out of control.”

Republicans like Rep. Liz Cheney (former Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter) have criticized Trump. She said, “So I’ll wait to see additional information on it, but I think it’s important that people recognize that the United States is going to keep its word and not go down the path that President Obama went down.”

Cheney and others have compared Trump’s decision to former President Barack Obama's decision to call off military retaliation after Syria crossed what he called a “red line” in use of chemical weapons.

Others have made the same comparison.

What do former presidents say?

In response, did you hear what Obama had to say of Trump’s decision making?

Did you hear what former President George W. Bush said about it?

Or Bill Clinton?

Or Jimmy Carter?

No?

That’s because each of those former presidents knows how difficult the job is and they aren’t willing to undermine the authority of the person in the Oval Office by publicly criticizing his crisis decisions.

Imagine that.

Civility.

Propriety.

Respect.

Even if it’s not earned.

Praise/criticize the SAME action

Do you have any expectation that Trump will be as respectful after he leaves office?

Me neither.

Consider this. Just last year Trump attacked Obama for not have responded militarily against Syria after it crossed that “red line” by using chemical weapons. He tweeted:

He said this after repeatedly tweeting just the opposite in 2013, during the crisis. As in:

Obama could have tweeted in response, alerting his 100 million followers to Trump's lies and hypocrisy. He could have trashed Trump the way Trump has trashed him. He could have pointed out that Trump’s decision with Iran was not unlike his decision with Syria.

Instead, on the day Trump was taking heat over his bumbling policy with Iran Obama simply tweeted some support for the U.S. women’s soccer team.

We could not ask for more from a former president.

And not expect any less from the current one. 

Reach Montini at ed.montini@arizonarepublic.com.

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