The live feed from Hanoi has been riveting. Trump and Kim appear to be getting along well. The President pats his counterpart on the back, the dictator smiles. They share a laugh as they walk through a garden. Kim’s haircut looks oddly flattering. Everything seems to be going so nicely that one could almost forget that he has at times acted like a madman. As for Trump, he is his usual self, but with the abrasiveness held in check.
Besides giving hope to the world that peace and prosperity could break out on the Korean Peninsula, Trump has effortlessly upstaged the Democrats during what was to have been their hour of redemption. They are tuned not to the summit, but to their own witch-hunt bent, obsessively bent on proving Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election. Not only did Thursday’s grilling of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen produce no evidence of this, it may have iced Mueller’s probe.
What We Know for Sure…
One thing even Trump’s detractors would have to concede is that whatever happens in Vietnam, and whatever the President says while he’s there, it won’t be scripted. We can be certain he will speak his mind, as he always does, and that he will not claim a deal has been made unless this is so. We also know that unlike his predecessors, Trump will not promise North Korea a wad of cash. Another thing we know, something that no other U.S. President before him has been able to convey, is that Kim the Madman is in fact a rational actor. If it were otherwise, Trump would not be meeting with him.
If a deal does result and North Korea agrees to de-nuclearize, we will see black smoke billowing from the ears of Congressional Democrats, the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and from a great many who wish the President the worst. In a more honorable society, harikari would be demanded of Pelosi and a few others. This would not only be unbeatable kabuki for five billion TV viewers, it would also set a noble example for some of Capitol Hill’s newest lawmakers.