The saying “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” has apparently never made it to Washington, DC, judging by the number of people who dwell in crystal bubbles and keep hurling bricks at other people.
For instance, I’ve been hearing plenty of carping and mockery lately about the lack of progress from North Korea on its promises to President Trump. Ha! See?! They told him so! He foolishly dealt with Kim Jong-Un and got lied to and snookered, just like…well, they did, but let’s not bring that up. Let’s also not bring up that they’re painting Trump as a failure, a rube and an incompetent because it's been a month since that summit meeting and North Korea still hasn't completely dismantled the missile and nuke program they spent over 20 years building under the leadership of Trump’s "smart diplomacy" critics.<
It would be embarrassing enough for them simply to be hurling that rock through their hothouse walls if it weren’t for these two pieces of breaking news. Satellite photos show that North Korea is dismantling a launch site used to test long-range ballistic missiles…
And on Friday, they are expected to return the remains of 55 service members to the US, as Kim promised Trump…
Luckily for Trump’s ever-ready boo chorus, those embarrassingly positive stories were drowned out by others, both empty scandal stories like the Cohen tapes and Trump’s meeting with a European Union delegation. Unfortunately for his critics, that meeting was followed by his announcement that they had agreed on a framework to avert a trade war. European officials agreed to increase imports of US soybeans and liquefied natural gas, to work toward the goal of "zero" tariffs and subsidies on non-auto industrial goods, to reduce bureaucratic obstacles, work toward reform of the World Trade Organization and limit unfair market practices and to "resolve" recent tariffs that both sides have imposed. Or to put that last one another way, Trump held firm and the EU caved. Trump said, "This was a very big day for free and fair trade.”
I admit that even I was concerned about some of Trump’s tariff threats possibly sparking a trade war that would hurt consumers, but I also understood what he was doing and that it might require toughing it out through a transition period. The same type of self-proclaimed experts who allowed other nations to impose unfair tariffs on American goods for years assailed Trump for using the same tactic, accusing him of undermining free trade.
But in fact, we didn’t have free and fair trade; we were playing with the deck stacked against us. Trump made it clear that that was going to stop, and despite all the sneers from abroad and the howls here at home, he stuck to his guns. As he told the Europeans, he would love to see no tariffs at all, but we’re no longer going to tolerate tariffs largely stacked against the US. And it appears that he’s won the European round. In response to the news, stock markets soared.
I wonder how many of the people attacking Trump for not knowing how to conduct trade talks were also attacking him for not knowing how to deal with North Korea? You’d think his critics would at least grudgingly come to admire his resolve in ignoring their bad advice. It’s as if he just won a high-stakes poker tournament, even while his mother-in-law was standing behind him, screaming, “You’re bluffing! You’re going to lose! Fold! Fold!”
Might I politely suggest that all the people who’ve been screwing up trade deals and foreign policy for the past few decades stop going ballistic every time Trump tries something different than what they did that failed? Let him finish playing poker with China now. He’s good at it. Maybe you could go play bridge instead. That’s a game that requires dummies.