Monday, July 16, 2018

Sports metaphors sometimes make us lose sight of what matters

Make no mistake, I think Trump's one-on-one meeting with Putin is terrible. But all these takes on the meeting that call it a "win" for Putin or otherwise evaluate the meeting in terms of who will win or lose drive me crazy. This isn't a sport. There is no clear system for assigning points.

The problem with the meeting isn't that it will give Putin a "win" (or that Trump or the U.S. will "lose"), it's that our idiot president may give up key American interest just to get Vladimir to like him. Until Trump next runs for reelection, I don't care if he "wins" or "loses", I can about the substance of what he does or decides not to do. That is what is terrible about the meeting.

(The lack of other people in the room with Trump is also bad, but it contains a bit of a silver lining. Whatever the President promises Putin will only matter to the extent they can carry out those promises after they leave the meeting. No one believes the President's account about anything. So there is a chance that the U.S. will be able to easily back out of whatever boneheaded commitments he makes when there is no official record and no credible witnesses other than the self-serving Russian leader)