The day the Democrats decided to schedule the House Oversight Committee hearing with Michael Cohen to coincide with Trump’s negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi is the day the Democrats ensured the president’s reelection. It was one of those rare moments of clarity you can imagine in the history books.
The Democrats revealed themselves as partisan hacks while the president was halfway around the world trying to save the lives of millions. That’s not just bad timing, it’s atrocious. And it has little to do with the success or failure of the talks with Kim. No one knows how that will turn out, probably not even the principals themselves. It has do with the priorities of the human race like global survival — what a normal person should care about.
At first the consensus (at least among the talking heads) was that the hearing would outshine whatever was happening in Hanoi, but as the day wore on with no revelations that were even slightly new (Trump paid Stormy — je suis shockay), no evidence of conspiracy with the Russians whatsoever, just tons of speculation and innuendo we have been hearing since the day Trump came down the escalator, and ended with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) in some racist rant at Rep. Mark Meadows (we already knew she was an anti-Semite), we realized we were witnessing a bizarre clown show that only a CNN commentator could like.
And then it segued into coverage from Vietnam, Trump and Kim talking to each other live in front of the world, and we began to understand something of great magnitude was happening, something genuinely amazing. We leaned closer to the television to hear Kim’s interpreter. What were they saying? Was it possible that things could change? Could the dictator be tamed by the businessman? What could be more dramatic?
Experts of all sorts were brought on, opining about things most people could figure out for themselves. Was Trump going to give away the store without guarantees? Kim’s regime depended on nuclear weapons for survival. He would never surrender them. Trump was clever to stage the event in Vietnam, whose economic miracle could entice Kim. It could happen to North Korea. Then we heard that Kim went to boarding school in Switzerland, so he’d already seen the fancy life. He wouldn’t be interested–or would he?
And then there was the matter of the Chinese. What did they really want? Was there going to be a peace treaty, ending the decades-old Korean War? A unified Korea looming in the future would be a threat to China, Samsung versus Huawei. But then what what if South Korea stayed separate and went nuclear with Japan? That could be worse. Was Xi playing two sides against the middle and four diagonals against a horizontal in three dimensional chess?
In all, this was a thousand times more interesting than the partisan palaver in Washington and a million times more significant.
What we are watching is a new form of diplomacy, more public than anything seen before, even though the crucial parts take place behind closed doors. We should recall, when we are quick to criticize, that the old method failed, miserably.
Trump says this negotiation will take time. That makes sense and we should give him the space. The test for Americans of all political parties, indeed of citizens of all countries, is whether they actually wish Trump well in this endeavor. If they don’t, they are truly evil.
Roger L. Simon – co-founder and CEO Emeritus of PJ Media – is an award-winning novelist and an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter.