Trump at the UN: He Kept His Shoes On

Khrushchev and his shoe at the UN, 1960

Trump addressed the UN this morning, and I’m pleased to say that he did not at any point pull off a shoe and pound it on the podium. Credit where credit is due.

However, that’s the good news. Here’s the bad news: The content of the speech.

The headlines from the speech are calling out Trump’s threat to bury North Korea.  Well, okay, he said “totally destroy,” not “bury,” which arguably is worse. But at least he didn’t remove articles of clothing to make a point. I’m sure someone in media will give him presidential points for being presidential and all, that he didn’t disrobe on live TV.

Here’s a snip from the Washington Post:

The president warned of growing threats from North Korea and Iran, and he said, “The scourge of our planet is a group of rogue regimes.”

He praised the U.N. for enacting economic sanctions on Pyongyang over its nuclear and ballistic missile tests. But he emphasized that if Kim Jong Un’s regime continued to threaten the United States and to destabilize East Asia, his administration would be prepared to defend the country and its allies.

“We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Trump said, before calling Kim by a nickname he gave the dictator on Twitter over the weekend. “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself.”

Trump added, “If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.”

Ooo, we’re even calling Kim Jong Un funny names. That’s so … third grade.

Aaron Blake writes,

President Trump took to the floor of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday and, in his maiden speech there, called the leader of North Korea “Rocket Man,” decried “loser terrorists” and said certain parts of the world are “in fact, going to hell.”

But Trump’s perhaps oddly chosen colloquialisms masked what was a pretty astounding escalation of his rhetoric when it comes to North Korea. Just to be clear: The president of the United States threatened to wipe a country of 25 million people off the map.

Well, when you put it that way, it does seem unprecedented. And unpresidented.

Trump’s speech Tuesday ratcheted things up in two respects: saying the United States would also unleash a massive response on behalf of its allies, and threatening to “totally destroy” the country.

We still have allies? Who knew?

Polls show the American people are not confident in Trump’s ability to handle the North Korea situation, with 61 percent saying they are “uneasy.” Trump’s words Tuesday likely won’t calm many fears, but he’s clearly gambling on North Korea backing down in the face of big talk.

Yeah, that’s been working so well so far. Oh, wait …

The speech news gets better

President Donald Trump spent much of his address to the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday berating Iran and complaining about the “embarrassment” of a nuclear deal his predecessor signed with the country.

There’s an embarrassment, all right, but it’s not the Iran nuclear deal.

“It is far past time for the nations of the world to confront another reckless regime,” he said upon first referring to the nation, following a condemnation of North Korea. “One that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.”

The many leaders and nations worked hard for that nuclear deal, just as they worked hard for the Paris Agreement. They aren’t going to renegotiate it on Trump’s say so.

“The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind a false guise of a democracy,” he said.

Well, Trump would know corrupt dictatorships behind a false guise of a democracy. And I bet he knows shoes, too. He could have brought some samples of Ivanka’s shoes and pounded some of them on the podium. Then Ivanka could tweet about which retailers carry her shoes. I wonder why he didn’t think of that.

After all, at one point in the speech he said, “We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone but rather to let it shine as an example.” Some of Ivanka’s shoes are pretty blingy. Yes, we lead the first world in income inequality, I believe, or at least we’re in the top ten. We’re also number one among the wealthier industrialized democracies in the percentage of citizens with substandard health care. I doubt very much that other nations want our way of life imposed on them, frankly. But who doesn’t like shoes?

I’m sure there will be more commentary about this speech later in the day, as soon as the people who write political commentary have a stiff drink and mutter at the walls for a while. It was some speech.

See also: Here Are the Most Trump Things Trump Said in His United Nations Speech