So that was it, then. Donald Trump, with his presidency failing on every level and his criminal scandals threatening to end it all for him, decided to put down the last of his few remaining chips on the bet that he could outwit Kim Jong Un at the bargaining table. Trump’s premise was that if he could bring North Korea under control, the public might somehow decide that Trump is doing such an amazing job, his treason should be overlooked. That was never going to work anyway. But now it’s all officially over.
Trump proudly unveiled a deal with North Korea which is, by any objective measure, the worst in United States history. The deal doesn’t require Kim Jong Un to budge on anything – not his nuclear missile testing program, not his human rights violations, literally nothing. Kim will continue doing what he’s already doing, even as Trump has given away the farm. Trump is still taking victory laps because he walked away with a deal at all – but he’s celebrating his own demise.
Trump’s hope was that if he managed to strike any deal – no matter how awful – the media and the public would decide that it was too much of a “step in the right direction” to dare criticize it. Instead, the deal has been quickly exposed as a major and devastating step in the wrong direction, one which will further empower Kim Jong Un and embolden him to do anything he pleases. Even some members of the Republican Congress are exasperated when it comes to just how much Trump gave away, even as they try to figure out what he actually gave away.
So now that Donald Trump has taken his last best swing, and it’s a strikeout, there’s not much else left that he can try. This was his big desperate shot at convincing the American people that he’s such an amazing president, we should let his lifetime of felonies and his treasonous election rigging scheme slide. The timeframe for Trump’s ouster is as tricky ever, because the political and criminal justice systems each have their own internal clocks. But make no mistake: this North Korea deal not only ensured Trump’s demise, it helped speed it up.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report