Columnist for the New York Times – i.e. the leader of the “Resistance” – Thomas Friedman (or “Fraudman”) penned a spectacularly dumb submission on June 28 titled “Trump is China’s Chump”. He focused primarily on Trump’s pulling out of the Tran-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, but had the following to say with regard to Trump’s relationship with China more broadly:
“Out here everyone gets it: China has Trump’s number. Its officials were afraid of him at first — with his tough trade talk. But they quickly realized how easy it was to distract him with shiny objects, like promises to defuse the North Korea threat for him or by giving stale sector-specific trade concessions, such as for American beef exports to China — things China has promised multiple presidents before — that Trump could brag about.”
The TPP was negotiated under the Obama Administration – one of the most business-unfriendly administrations in modern American history – so by definition, with almost no knowledge of the underlying details, it is safe to assume a reset of those trade negotiations is more than OK.
My focus is today, rather, is on the wildly off-base claim made in the quote above. Fraudman’s assumption that Trump is a chump is vital to the Never Trumpian narrative that there is no substance beneath the chaos, and thus he is merely putting on a show.
I have long pointed – as “far” back as pre-inauguration – to Trump’s rockstar cabinet as proof that there is in fact significant substance beneath the chaos. But it is actions such as those outlined in today’s NYT regarding Trump’s recent dealings with China, in response to North Korea, that emphatically confirm Fraudman’s stupidity. (And good on the New York Times – i.e. the greatest political newspaper in the world, yet the leader of the “Resistance” – for not burying this article.) The money quote is as follows:
“Mr. Xi, they said, miscalculated what China needed to do to satisfy Mr. Trump, thinking he could buy him off with a few highly visible measures, like banning coal purchases from the North. Mr. Trump overvalued the personal touch by betting that a few hearty handshakes with Mr. Xi would overcome China’s deep-rooted resistance to pressuring North Korea.”
Did Trump overvalue personal touch? Well of course – he always does, by definition, since personal touch is his shtick. But were he to simply wilt upon evidence to the contrary, then he would in fact be China’s chump.
Actions speak louder than words.