One of the unspoken 'indications' in the medical sense of the ever-metastasizing Trump Derangement Syndrome is that the sufferers have a deep conscious/unconscious fear that Trump is right. What if the man they have excoriated unremittingly as a barbarian-racist-xenophobe-homophobe -misogynist-nitwit turns out to have been on the correct side of a fair number of issues on which they have failed, sometimes miserably, for decades? Talk about personality disintegration — it would be hari-kari meets the Wicked Witch of the West. Well, emotionally anyway.
The current North Korea crisis is a perfect case in point. Susan Rice — has this woman no shame — took to the pages of The New York Times to inveigh against Trump for "bluster" regarding the NORKS. The integrity-challenged former national security adviser was far from alone, however. Virtually all Democrats and their local media minions plus a good swatch of Republicans (including repellently vengeful John McCain) criticized the president for the same thing — using blunt language to counter the crazed dictator in Pyongyang when Trump should have been "diplomatic."
This although almost any grown-up not comatose knows that "diplomatic" language has been employed by the U.S. ad nauseam for that purpose for the last twenty-five years through three administrations with no discernible impact whatsoever. Indeed, "abject failure" would be an accurate characterization of our diplomatic policy vis-a-vis the NORKS. If you view this video of Bill Clinton extolling his administration's "successful," diplomatically-achieved nuclear deal with Pyongyang back in 2006, the word "nitwit" does come to mind, but it's not about Trump. Here's Madeleine Albright in another glorious moment of diplomatic achievement with Kim Jong-un's dad Kim Jong-il laying on the splendor in Pyongyang Stadium before signing some meaningless agreement whose import is known only to Dennis Rodman.
How do you spell hornswoggled?
Of course, George W. Bush didn't do much better and Barack Obama — who evidently hid the North Koreans' development of mini-nuclear warheads for several years from the sensitive ears of the American public, only to leave us in the disastrous situation we are in today — was considerably worse. This is the same Obama who pushed through the still mysterious Iran Deal handing the NORKs' best friends the mullahs enough cash to run rampant in Syria. Soon thereafter Barack reneged on his pledge to prevent the use of chemical weapons by that very country's leader. Sense a pattern?
And yet it's the "blusterous" Trump who is supposed to be the problem. Actually, he's the one left to pick up the pieces of an American reputation in tatters.
Perhaps what we need is a little bluster. It's an old technique and a sound one — good cop/bad cop. It was played out well by Nixon and Kissinger when Henry went to Beijing to negotiate with Mao and Chou. Kissinger threatened to let his "madman back home" (Nixon) loose unless the Chairman cooperated and made a deal. It worked.
Now we have Trump, Tillerson, Mattis and McMaster playing various levels of good cop/bad cop. They are even reportedly working the backchannels in the old diplomatic game. Let's hope they learn from the past and do it better this time. Color me skeptical because without a serious military threat, I doubt the Chinese will listen.
Did I say Chinese? Of course, I did, because they are the true audience for what is going on. Mr. Kim is a whack job sideshow. The Chinese are the ones with the power to do something and stop a conflagration. And, like the Democrats and the Never Trumpers, they may be more afraid of Trump than they let on. Unlike Obama, he has shown he is not afraid to use force — and he did that while having dinner with Xi Jinping. Friday night he is supposed to be having a chat with Xi.
By now we may all know what happened — at least the part the leakers deign to tell us — but we do not know what will happen. The facts on the ground have yet to be revealed.
What has been revealed, however, is the psychology of those attacking Trump on this matter. They fear that they will be revealed as having been fools for the last twenty-five years — and indeed they were.