I’m often on the receiving end of the Trumpentariat’s criticisms of Never Trump conservatives.
Don’t I get it? Don’t I love how Trump is achieving the impossible, and soaring to heights to which no other president could aspire? Haven’t I gotten over the election yet? When, oh when, will I finally MAGA? I received an email Tuesday from a Trump fan asking why for once I couldn’t congratulate Donald Trump for his work with North Korea.
Leaving aside my usual critiques of Trump, which are, as you may have noticed, colorful, varied, and pointed, let’s give the president a fair assessment of his week’s activities, and thanks and credit where thanks and credit are due.
Of course, we start when Trump fled the humid confines of Washington, D.C., jetting to Quebec to blow up the G7 summit and take a massive political and rhetorical dump on some of our longest-standing and closest allies. But I’m playing nice, so thank you, Mr. President, for adopting 19th-century trade policies that combine both raging economic illiteracy and inevitably adverse outcomes for America. Well done.
Thank you, because nothing says Presidential Stature like your juvenile dick-waving and insults attacking the heads of state of the G7 nations. Thanks are also in order for deploying your clown-car motorcade of loudmouth, shock-jock aides to make the damage worse.
Great work taking direction from the Home Office in Moscow; you spent more time at the G7 summit doing Vladimir Putin’s bidding than you did strengthening the ties between the United States and our closest allies.
Even so, I’m supposed to thank the president, right? Well, thank you, Donald. You sent a message to our allies in Asia and beyond that you’re willing to compromise their security and ours for an inconsequential photo-op with a hopped-up fatboy dictator who looks like Pyongyang already has a Krispy Kreme and a Popeyes, and he’s the only one allowed to eat in them.
Russia, Iran, Syria, and other bad actors want to thank you, Mr. President. You sent the clearest of signals that sanctions regimes, inspections, and verified denuclearization are no longer relevant in our brave new era of nationalist populist strongmen and Michael Bay knockoff videos.
Evidently, all the bad guys have to do is kiss your ample ass long enough and shower you with enough superficial praise and they can play you like the trifling intellectual lightweight you most certainly are. So, thank you for that reminder.
Nobel Prizes may have been dancing in your head on your way to Singapore, and perhaps the Nobel Committee will fire up the forge and cast you an extra super-glitzy giant prize, out of gratitude. Perhaps the medal will make up for the fact Kim Jong Un took away every single thing he wanted from this meeting, including the propaganda coup of all propaganda coups.
Ever wonder what the consequences of legitimizing a nuclear-armed madman who has used chemical weapons on his own family, starved his people, and engaged in systematic mass murder to retain power might be? Congratulations! You’re about to find out. Us too.
Evidently, the purpose of the trip was to produce a communiqué so shallow, meaningless, and ephemeral that its contents were a combination of already-broken DPRK agreements and back-of-the-envelope wishcasting. Our South Korean allies may seem freaked out, but it’s just their way of appreciating you.
Well done, Mr. President. You got your on-camera handshake with a man who orders the deaths of children. You got your lunch with one of the few remaining dictators on this earth and put the Leader of the Free World on the same level as a hereditary thug who killed his half-brother with chemical weapons.
Good job, Mr. President. You’ve terrified our allies with your cavalier and sloppy art-of-the-moron negotiating style. You’ve told American troops who will remain on the Korean Peninsula they’re no longer going to practice with their Korean counterparts as a deterrent to the North’s long, long history of aggression. I’m sure if the balloon goes up, they’ll thank you for stopping their exercises.
Mission accomplished, Mr. President. You’ve set your fans up for a spectacular comedown when North Korea does what it always does. Right now, they’re cheering themselves hoarse, dancing in the streets, and believing to the bottom of their deplorable little hearts that you’ve denuclearized North Korea, brought Kim to heel, undone the evils done in the Hermit Kingdom for generations, and started building Trump Tower Pyongyang.
Hats off to you, Mr. President. You’ve cut the sinews of a strategic alliance with Japan and South Korea that has contained North Korea, and kept a brake on Chinese power in the Western Pacific.
Thank you, Mr. President, for reminding us that Kim Jong Un is talented. I couldn’t agree more. He’s talented at killing his uncles, half-brothers, cousins, and countrymen with poison, anti-aircraft guns, chemical weapons, and flamethrowers. He’s talented at starving his people, systematically reducing their life expectancy, health, and even height because of the chronic malnutrition his evil policies entail. He’s talented like his father and grandfather before him at rooking Western leaders. They’re talented at proposing deals they never had the slightest intention of keeping.
Heckuva job, Mr. President. No matter what a weapons-grade dumpster fire this week created, you’re safe from congressional oversight, but you know that by now. Nothing you do matters to this Congress. No matter what damage you inflict on our economy, our alliances, trade, our stature in the world, our role as an exemplar of democratic values, our ability to serve as an honest broker in the international community, and our security, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell will lay supine before you. (Supine is that position you usually have to pay for, hoss.)
Their evident, constant terror at running afoul of your volcanic temper, lunatic followers, and media cheer squad mutes their tongues and stays their hands even when they should know better. They should fear a world where America is isolated, mistrusted, and weaker economically, morally, and politically. They should worry the acid drip of your rhetorical and moral poison reduces American power and influence.
Instead, they fear their own president, hiding behind furrowed brows and elliptical, mealymouthed expressions of grave concern.
So congratulations, Mr. President. You spent the week deliberately wrecking American alliances and leadership, allied yourself with one of the most egregious enemies of freedom in the world, and abandoned the shared values of our friends like Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany.
You must be so proud.