President Derp

Trump Maladministration

Possibly the most frightening thing about the recent fiasco in Singapore is that Trump is now bragging that he has completely solved the whole world peace problem.

In tweets that began as Air Force One landed, Trump declared that there is “no longer” a nuclear threat from the rogue regime and lashed out at those who questioned what he had achieved, branding the media as “Our Country’s biggest enemy.” …

…“Just landed — a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea,” the president said on Twitter.

From this we can reach three possible conclusions:

  1. Trump is a moron.
  2. Trump thinks everyone else is a moron.
  3. All of the above.

Since I don’t see a smart reason why Trump would so publicly brag about something that so easily and so probably will blow up in his face, I assume that #1 is true. Uri Friedman at Atlantic:

 “Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, even though fears of war mounted after Trump took office, as North Korea’s nuclear program advanced rapidly and Trump and his advisers threatened military action to stop it. “President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer—sleep well tonight!”

Well, in a way Trump is right. Our biggest and most dangeroous problem isn’t North Korea any more. It’s Donald Trump.

Quite the contrary, North Korea remains a big and dangerous problem. And it’s also dangerous that Trump, in his recent tweets at least, doesn’t seem fully aware of the pitfalls that American officials have repeatedly encountered over the last 25 years of nuclear talks with North Korea.

For example:

Hours before Trump’s summit with Kim, the Republican Senator Jim Risch, who has discussed North Korea with the president and his top aides numerous times in recent weeks, told me that “nobody” in the Trump administration was wearing “rose-colored glasses.” “We have been taken by the North Koreans at least a couple of times [in previous rounds of negotiations], and that’s not going to happen again,” he said. “We’re [not] at a point right now where they say, ‘Okay, we’re going to denuclearize the peninsula,’ and then the president says, ‘Well, okay, we’re going to lift the sanctions.’ That is not going to happen. The president has been very, very clear that there is going to have to be positive, doable, ongoing things that are happening before anything happens from our side.”

And?

And yet, in Singapore, North Korea said exactly what Risch predicted: Sure, we’d love to eventually denuclearize the peninsula. And Donald Trump responded by proclaiming an end to the nuclear threat from North Korea.

Paul Waldman thinks that Trump, implicitly or explicitly, actually agreed to let North Korea keep its nukes.

 Let’s think about this from Trump’s perspective. He just came back from what he wants desperately to characterize as a huge success, so that’s precisely what he’ll do. He’ll say it was tremendous, fantastic, yuge, the greatest diplomatic victory in the history of human civilization. In the coming months, as the professionals try to work out concrete steps the two countries can take — a process that over the past few decades has produced endless frustration and broken promises — is Trump going to throw any wrenches into the works, say by tweeting nasty things at Kim and raising tensions again?

I seriously doubt it. Trump has plenty of other enemies he can pick fights with, and he wants to be able to pocket this as a victory, so he can say that he’s doing such a fantastic job because he cut taxes and moved toward getting rid of North Korea’s nukes. When people ask what the status of that denuclearization is, he’ll say, don’t worry, it’s happening, everything is going according to plan, it’s just that these things take time. Scientifically.

In other words, when the “agreement” falls apart in the weeds of the details, Trump is not about to admit his great achievement was a mirage and that Obama was right. He’d rip off his own lips before admitting that Obama was right.

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un react at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. doug  •  Jun 13, 2018 @5:19 pm

    Perfect for those who do not know the difference between this reality-show presidency and ,well, reality.

    In other news, Cohen seems to be wetting his pants publicly over his imminent arrest. The documents on which charges would be based don't go to the prosecutor until Friday. IMO, Cohen is toast when the papers get transferred even if Trump pardons Cohen on Monday. The reason – any documents which support a violation of NY State statutes can be copied and transferred to the NY State attny general's office. If Trump pardons Cohen before Friday, maybe the warrant and transfer of documents could be prevented. If Cohen is looking at life in Attica, he's gonna make a deal and Trump can't keep the NY attorney general from looking into Cohen's crimes. 

    In terms of damage, Manifort may know where some of the bodies are buried but Cohen knows where ALL the bodies are buried.

  2. csm  •  Jun 13, 2018 @6:29 pm

    In response to a reporter who essentially asked what he'd do if (when) the US doesn't get what he's claiming victory on today, Trump cheerfully said he probably would not be able to admit failure and would just make up some excuse.  Literally, he said that. 

    We’ve reached a point where the GOP’s monster has come to realize there is neither any person nor institution that is willing or able to hold him to account, for anything. We know politicians lie, but here you have one who is telling us to our faces he WILL lie whenever it suits him. Now that is very dangerous. Maybe Fox was on to something when they misspoke and referred to Trump and Kim as “two dictators.”

     

  3. freetofu  •  Jun 13, 2018 @6:34 pm

    North Korea is going to keep their nukes. Anyone who claims to have a way to force them to get rid of them is lying or deluded. That door has sailed. Sorry.

    Meanwhile the conniptions of so many mainstream liberals gone suddenly ultra-hawkish is getting tiresome. 

    Maybe I'll post some reactions that consider the Korean POV later. Thinking about going to hear some music tonight…

  4. freetofu  •  Jun 13, 2018 @6:48 pm
  5. freetofu  •  Jun 13, 2018 @7:08 pm

    Having now read that new Shorrock article… I think these earlier ones were a little more useful as background:

     

    "In South Korea, War Hysteria Is Seen as an American Problem" (April 17, 2017)

    https://www.thenation.com/article/in-south-korea-war-hysteria-is-seen-as-an-american-problem

    "South Korean President Moon’s Gamble for Peace With North Korea Has Paid Off" (March 22, 2018)

    https://www.thenation.com/article/south-korean-president-moons-gamble-for-peace-with-north-korea-has-paid-off/

     

    Sorry to spam you with his stuff, but he really has been the best guy on this, imo, and a necessary antidote to stuff like Maddow launching an unhinged rant about how NK shares a border with R-U-S-S-I-A etc.

  6. freetofu  •  Jun 13, 2018 @7:39 pm

    Well apparently NK has announced in their official newspaper that they've taken steps toward denuclearization. It still seems very unlikely to me but it's always best to hedge your bets about these things…

  7. c u n d gulag  •  Jun 13, 2018 @7:59 pm

    No, North Korea won't ever give-up their nukes.

    Not ever.

    And tRUMP will continue to lie as he grifts.

    And even as the situation over there rapidly degrades, tRUMP will continue to tell his loyal witless minions that everything is fine, never better, you'd be amazed!  

    tRUMP will whine if he isn't given his Nobel Peace Prize – which he obviously hasn't earned.

    "Peace on Earth.  And Good Will Towards (White) Men!"  And the jelly-brained lemmings  will believe every single word.

    And bad things really begin to happen around the world.

    Eventually, all of us Americans will have to be bilingual:  In Russian and Korean.  But only after "tRUMP's World Wide Depression" ends.

  8. Tom_b  •  Jun 13, 2018 @9:53 pm

    Regarding human rights abuse in North Korea: “When pressed further, Trump responded: “Yeah, but so have other people done some really bad things. I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.”

    Once again, Trump demonstrates leadership skills significantly inferior to the average Sea Cucumber.

  9. elkern  •  Jun 14, 2018 @9:53 am

    I've come to the sad conclusion that (many? most?) people WANT leaders who are good liars.  It makes sense, in two ways: one, it's advantageous in negotiations with other groups/countries; two, it helps us bury/avoid guilt and doubt.  (Our Leader says we're Good and Those Others are Bad, so it's OK for us to kill them)

    This is largely how Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter (well, that and some treasonous secret negotiations with Iran).

    Reagan was a B-movie actor – shallow, but capable of some normal emotions.

    Trump is a Reality TV "Personality", proudly devoid of empathy.  I'm surprised that he's been able to incorporate so much irony into his act; that's more like something we'd see from a Performance Artist.

  10. moonbat  •  Jun 14, 2018 @10:56 am

    From this we can reach three possible conclusions:

    Trump is a moron.
    Trump thinks everyone else is a moron.
    All of the above.

    He’s delusional. He really believes he has brought about World Peace. There’s a great interview on Salon of a former psychiatry professor who talks about this in detail. Also from the interview:

    …I truly believe that the elected Republican politicians are completely lost souls. They are like the characters in a zombie movie who keep their father in the basement because they don’t really understand that he is a zombie. He’s not coming back. I really, truly think it’s that bad. There a few Republicans who are trying to sound the alarm about Trump, but the Republican Party as a whole is like organized crime at this point, and Trump is the boss…

    [interviewer] I have long argued that Donald Trump is version 1.0 of the American fascist. American fascist 2.0 or 3.0 is going to be far worse. We’ve crossed the Rubicon at this point, and the old version of American democracy, however flawed and [in] need of improvement, is gone.

    Look at the people who are winning nomination on the Republican side. Nazis are running for office as Republicans. There are candidates who take Trump as a role model and will be even more extreme than him. There have been elections where Republican candidates and officeholders who dared to criticize Trump have been punished by Republican voters. It’s almost like a refinement process. This happens in fascist societies. We saw this with Nazi Germany.