The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

The Meeting is Back On

Those with Trump Derangement Syndrome are experiencing a lot of cognitive dissonance lately. First the economic numbers for the past month are so good, even the New York Times admits that there aren't enough positive synonyms to describe them. The TDS crowd is struggling to explain how a "stupid incompetent" like Trump could have achieved in 16 months what their icon, Barack Obama, could not achieve in 8 long years.

Now, after a master stroke in negotiating technique in which Trump cancelled the planned meeting date for the North Korean de-nuclearization summit, it's back on again—at the behest of the NoKos. To help shore up their case that we're being led by a "insane madman," the DTS crowd suggested that Trump's letter of cancellation was another indication of his "instability." With that empty criticism, their utter lack of negotiating knowledge became obvious. The very first thing any negotiator must impart is a willingness to walk away. Trump did that—in spades! The second thing he telegraphed was that the U.S. would not be bullied with empty threats. He did that. The third thing he implied is that the NoKos have far more to lose that we do. True again. It obviously worked.

Now, the TDS crowd has pivoted to a new meme—one in which Trump has flip-flopped by initially insisting on immediate and full de-nuclearization. I guess they've never entered into a negotiation. You ask for the moon and settle for a bit less. No rational person believes that after 70 years of hostilities, the Nokos will roll over. They should not be trusted, and Trump and his team of foreign policy 10s understand that. They'll get what they can in phase one, will not, reward half-measures with full measures, and may very well achieve much over time.

It's comical to listen to the TDS crowd suggest that Trump is "unprepared" and "rushed" into these negotiations. Heh. The previous administration simply kicked the Noko can down the road, never entered into any meaningful talks, and allowed North Korea to become more bellicose and more dangerous. Nice work! And the TDS crowd worries about the speed at which this is happening?

Finally, the TDS crowd warned that Trump could get played by the NoKos—that he wants the deal too much to salve his ego. Trump's ego is huge—that's true, but unless I'm mistaken, was it not Trump who cancelled the meeting when the NoKos acted as the NoKos act? Indeed it was.

Robin Wright ends a New Yorker piece on the summit in which she tries hard not to compliment Trump, but grudgingly does so while looking for trivial issues to pick apart. She writes:
Skeptics remain, however. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Trump on Friday against being “snookered” by North Korea. “For these situations to work, you have to not want the deal too much," he said, at a conference in Kentucky. “If you fall in love with the deal, and it’s too important for you to get it, and the details become less significant, you could get snookered.”
That would be, I suppose, exactly the way Barack Obama was "snookered" by the Iranians because he wanted "the deal too much." Trump corrected Obama's egregious error, and it's unlikely that he'll repeat it in Singapore or in the meetings that follow.