The Thinker: Rich Galen


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What I Expected from Trump

Rich Galen

Monday July 10, 2017

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  • The leaders of the nations with the 20 largest economies in the world (hence "G-20") met in Hamburg, Germany last week.

  • I was torn: Did I want Donald Trump to enjoy great success at the G-20 last week? Or, did I want Donald Trump to be the bullying fool he had shown to the world in Brussels at the G-7?

  • I know I'm supposed to say something about "the water's edge," and "he's America's President," or "What if it had been Hillary?"

  • I didn't want Trump to fail - if only for the benefit of the 7.5 billion humans on the Earth. I also didn't want him to fail because I truly believe that a weak and stumbling America will lead to some nation or organization to take a shot at doing us real harm.

  • I am not for that.

  • To be honest, though, I didn't want Trump to wow 'em in Hamburg because the only thing worse than being a bad loser is being a bad winner, and Trump has certainly proven to be that.

  • I needn't have worried.

  • Trump was better behaved - at least in front of cameras - than he was in Brussels when Trump rudely shoved Prime Minister Dusko Markovic of Montenegro out of his way so he could have a better position in the photo op at the NATO summit.

  • Part of the reason? Markovic wasn't at the G-20 because Montenegro's economy ranks 158th in the world and, so, missed its invite to Hamburg by just 138 places.

  • The big thing, other than acting like a Big Thing, for Trump was the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • That meeting was supposed to go about a half-hour, but lasted more than two hours. We were given to understand that the only people in the room - not counting 400-pound people listening in while sitting on their beds around the world and the two translators - were Putin, Trump, and the two Foreign Ministers American Rex Tillerson and Russian Sergey Lavrov.

  • Trump said the meeting was "Tremendous," which is exactly how he describes the carpeting at his golf club in Northern Virginia.

  • The big issue in the big meeting was Russian interference - attempted or accomplished - in the 2016 American elections.

  • Lavrov, according to "The Hill" newspaper "implied the topic was brief and non-contentious."

  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement:
    "The two leaders agreed that this is a substantial hindrance on the ability of us to move Russian-U.S. relationships forward and agreed to exchange further work regarding commitments of noninterference in the affairs of the United States and our democratic process as well as those of other countries."

  • Remember, that was from the guy for whom English is his native language.

  • Trump doesn't want to believe the Russians tinkered in our election or, if they did, it had anyhing to do with anyone who has ever walked past Trump Tower in New York, much less was a member of the Trump campaign. Or the Trump family. Or a lender to the Trump Organization.

  • There was an agreement on a cease-fire in Syria - formally known as a "de-escalation" between Russia, Jordan, and the U.S. Under normal circumstances, that would have been big (and widely applauded) news, but that would have required Trump to say, or at least Tweet something about it.

  • In normal fashion, Trump chose to use his power for bad, at one point sending out a Tweet not about a Syrian cease fire but:
    "Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and CIA. Disgraceful!"

  • Everyone knows Trump is still stuck on having lost the popular vote by three million votes, so it was left to former Hillary campaign chairman John Podesta to get the final word.

  • On a cross-country road trip with his wife, Podesta Tweeted from West Virginia:
    "God only knows what you'll be raving about on Twitter by the time we get to Utah."

  • And, in another: "Get a grip, man."

  • Maybe good advice to us all.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to who goes to the G-20, world population, video of that Trump shoving episode, and to the NPR summary of the fight between John Podesta and Trump.

    The Mullfoto is a license plate with excellent advice.

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