Friday, May 25, 2018

Rivalries in the administration did not kill the summit, a president who is not up for the job did

These kind of takes, attributing an administration's decisions to behind-the-curtain rivalries between close advisors make more sense in other administrations. I think that the Bolton-Pompeo rift might have contributed to the timing of the collapse the the North Korea summit. But the primary cause has little to do with advisors. The summit failed because the President is a fucking moron who has no idea how hold high level negotiations like these and has little familiarity with the basic issues that would be relevant to the discussions.

The summit was doomed from the start because Trump is not able to pull off a one-on-one summit. While it didn't necessarily have to fall apart before it happened and the meeting could have taken place. But if it did, the possible outcomes would be: (1) accomplishing nothing, (2) giving North Korea at least one big concession with little or nothing in return, or (3) Trump feeling slighted or embarrassed and lashing out in a destructive way. In no plausible reality would the thing be a success even if they managed to pull of a meeting.