For as long as Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have been publicly antagonizing each other, I’ve been pointing out that it was little more than choreographed theater between two Russian puppets, as a distraction from the Trump-Russia scandal. For as long as everyone has been afraid that Trump would try to start a war as a last ditch distraction, I’ve been pointing out Trump isn’t within a country mile of having enough political muscle to get away with starting a war. Now here we are.
In the most convenient timing possible, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un announced today that they’re going to have a face to face meeting about all the barbs they’ve been publicly trading. In other words, they’re going to artificially de-escalate a situation that they’ve spent the past year artificially escalating. There was never an actual conflict between these two tightly controlled Russian puppets, and now they’re merely trying to cash in on the distraction they’ve spent the past year constructing.
The bad news is that large factions of the mainstream media are going to use this latest farce as an arbitrary excuse to give Trump credit. Because nearly all of what Trump does is negative or a failure, nearly all of the mainstream media coverage of him is negative. Most of the media worries that this leaves them looking biased in the eyes of the people in the middle. So when Trump occasionally does something reasonable, or pretends he’s doing something reasonable, the media seizes the opportunity to praise him and look balanced, before going right back to clubbing him for his many scandals the next day.
The good news, if you’re rooting for Donald Trump’s ouster, is that he’s now in a desperate enough situation, he feels he has no choice but to cash in his chips with Kim Jong Un. Their meeting, if it ever happens, will be so ineptly scripted that it’ll be a laughingstock. And if the meeting doesn’t happen, Trump will look worse for having touted it. So this is a risky move for Trump, and it’s a reminder that his back is firmly against the wall. But it’s also a reminder that Trump doesn’t have the political muscle to start a war with North Korea. He never did. He never will. His presidency is nearly dead, and even he knows it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report