Home, with a side of bacon
But there’s no applause from the sore losers for a job well done
President Trump is home from the hill, and Thanksgiving isn’t far away, but the only words of gratitude from the liberals and the harder left is, “Thanks for nothing.” That’s all the president gets from his sore-loser critics following a whirlwind diplomatic and deal-making excursion through Asia. When they lock their partisan opposition in concrete and vow never to say an encouraging word, Americans are reminded why they voted to “Put America first.”
At age 71, the Donald had the importance of his mission and his own grit to pull him through an Asian jet-lag ordeal that took him to 5 nations in 12 days. During the first week, the president rallied U.S. troops stationed in Japan, matched golf strokes with his Japanese counterpart, waved the banner of liberty in common cause with the grateful South Korean parliament facing the nuclear threat to the north, and walked in more or less cordial ceremonial accord with China’s presidential Buddha.
Beyond the pomp and circumstance that characterizes state visits, Mr. Trump’s primary interest was the business of business, and the president used the spotlight to show his team’s art of the deal. The Commerce Department announced that American states and companies had signed 37 agreements with Chinese firms worth $250 billion during the president’s swing through Asia. The largest is a deal between the state of West Virginia and Shenhua Corp. to produce shale natural gas worth $83 billion. Another pact between Alaska and China Petrochemical Corp. for oil production carries a price tag of $43 billion.
Mr. Trump regarded his visit to the Middle Kingdom as an opportunity to diminish the trade imbalance between the U.S. and China, which has ballooned to $223 billion through October. Critics saw only clouds with no silver lining. “Trump’s Asia trip highlights lack of trade deals,” reported Politico, the left-leaning Washington news website, because the administration has yet to seal bilateral trade deals with Asian nations following the president’s exit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. American CEOs from Boeing, General Electric, Goldman Sachs and dozens of other major American firms are crying — all the way to the bank.
In Vietnam, the president taunted his critics by refusing to repeat the Washington catechism that Vladimir Putin interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. This is a song with never a new verse. Russia is, too, a threat to U.S. security, the excitable, partisan and easily astounded James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence, told CNN. “To try to paint it in any other way is astounding and poses a peril.” The president is, “for whatever reason, intimidated by [Mr. Putin], afraid of what he could do or what might come out as a result of these investigations,” added John Brennan, the former director of the CIA. Replied the president, in the voice of a frustrated professor, “When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing.”
At his final stop in the Philippines, the president answered Kim Jong-un’s mocking reference to his age. “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ ” he asked on Twitter, “when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’ ” The retort was effective for not wasting venom on the indulged young tyrant who insists on playing with matches.
The statesman-cum-entertainer from Queens did Asia on his terms. He nailed it on the world stage, gave his ungrateful critics heck and brought home a nice side of bacon. No standing ovation, not yet, but a good hand for the side is in order.