Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
Tired of all this Winning yet? Part I – Nevada Senator Dean Heller told a Las Vegas radio station on Thursday that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will be retiring this summer. Let’s hope he’s right – Justice Kennedy, in his role as the wishy-washy swing vote on the court, has been responsible for more awful decisions in the last 30 years than perhaps any Justice in U.S. history. Given President Trump’s record of appointing real constitutional conservatives to the bench, Kennedy’s retirement cannot come soon enough.
Tired of all this Winning yet? Part II – February’s official non-farm payroll report from the Labor Department shows that the Trump economy added a whopping 313,000 new jobs during the month, out-pacing expectations by more than 50%. WINNING WINNING WINNING WINNING WINNING WINNING.
Tired of all this Winning yet? Part III – President Trump formally imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum tariffs, but as I speculated last week, he is using them as tools in negotiations with other countries. As always with Mr. Trump, everything is a negotiation.
His initial tariffs provide exemptions for both Canada and Mexico, pending the outcome of ongoing re-negotiations of the NAFTA treaty. Carrot, meet stick.
The President also noted that other countries – are you listening, China and Japan? – would have the ability to negotiate their way to lower tariffs or outright elimination of them.
“I’ll have a right to go up or down depending on the country, and I’ll have a right to drop out countries or add countries,” Trump said Thursday while previewing his announcement in an appearance alongside his Cabinet. “We’re going to be very fair, we’re going to be very flexible, but we’re going to protect the American worker — as I said I would do in my campaign.”
So, Mr. Trump keeps a campaign promise – one that has already seen U.S. Steel announce the hiring of 500 new workers – provides a carrot to North American allies to negotiate in good faith, and provides a stick to encourage China and Japan to engage in fairer trade with our country. The stock market responded to Mr. Trump’s announcement by shooting upwards. The fake journalists at the Washington Post characterized this as Mr. Trump backing down from his original plan. Mr. Trump characterizes it as #Winning.
Tired of all this Winning yet? Part IV – President Trump had a very busy day on Thursday, as he also announced that he has agreed to meet with North Korea’s Crazy Little Fat Guy. According to South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong, the Crazy Little Fat Guy expressed “eagerness” to meet with the U.S. President “as soon as possible” to discuss de-nuclearization in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions on his country. President Trump has agreed in principle to the meeting, and boy wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall for that one?
The hilarious thing about yesterday’s announcement was watching Fox, and CNN spend a full hour between 6 and 7 ET hyping the press conference that was going to take place outside the White House at 7 p.m., and then having Mr. Chung come out, deliver a 15-second announcement, and promptly march right back into the White House without taking a single question. This, of course, leaves the press and the rest of us with more questions than answers about the proposed meeting.
Before we get too excited about all of this, it’s important to note that it is all being filtered through the South Korean government, which has been holding talks with the Crazy Little Fat Guy and his entourage of hangers-on. There has not yet been any formal communication directly between the U.S. and North Korean government on this meeting, so all we have right now is speculation.
We don’t even know, for example, where such a meeting would take place. It is doubtful the little North Korean dictator would want to venture down to South Korea, and there is no way the President of the United States will be traveling to North Korea, or even to the demilitarized zone, due to security reasons. So any meeting would have to take place either in the U.S., or in some neutral place such as Geneva, Switzerland.
A meeting in a neutral country presents all sorts of logistical hurdles and time limitations for having President Trump involved, so the reality here is that the U.S. would want to hold heavy preliminary negotiations before the two leaders actually meet. If the Crazy Little Fat Guy is not really serious about giving up his strategic nukes and is just looking to use a negotiation process as a delaying tactic to hold off any U.S. military action while he continues to develop his intercontinental ballistic missile delivery systems, American negotiators should be able to determine that early on, and the proposed meeting between Kim and Trump would likely never take place.
President Trump referred to yesterday’s announcement as “great progress,” and perhaps it is. We can always hope, at least, that that will turn out to be the case. But what we really have right now is a lot of speculation with little real information to support it. The North Koreans have a long history of sandbagging U.S. presidents like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama with glowing promises of good behavior, but then failing to come through once sanctions have been lifted.
To that point, Mr. Trump promised his administration would not make the mistake of lifting any sanctions while diplomacy is taking place. In the coming months, he will almost certainly come under pressure from the appeasement-minded boobs in the State Department to do exactly that. Everyone should hope that Mr. Trump holds firm. No one named Kim has ever proved to be worthy of American trust, and we can be sure that the Crazy Little Fat Guy is no exception to that sad rule.
I predicted back in December that the situation with North Korea would ultimately be resolved without the firing of a single shot, and still believe that. Yesterday’s events are encouraging on that point, even though there is still a very long road to be traveled.
Just another day in Donald Trump just keeps on winning America.
That is all.
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