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Friday, June 02, 2017


Trump's "new deal"

by Tom Sullivan

There are hot takes aplenty this morning on President Donald Trump's announcement yesterday that the U.S. would exit the Paris climate accord. Tesla's Elon Musk and Disney chief Robert Iger promptly exited Trump's business advisory council. "World unifies in dismay," reads one headline at the Independent.

Vowing a continued commitment to the historic agreement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the press, “The decision of the US President to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement is extremely regrettable, and I'm expressing myself in very restrained terms.”

French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking in English, said, "I do respect this decision but I do think it is an actual mistake both for the US and for our planet."

Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, called the decision a "bizarre attempt to restore the past" in the New York Times:

It’s a stupid and reckless decision — our nation’s dumbest act since launching the war in Iraq. But it’s not stupid and reckless in the normal way. Instead, it amounts to a thorough repudiation of two of the civilizing forces on our planet: diplomacy and science. It undercuts our civilization’s chances of surviving global warming, but it also undercuts our civilization itself, since that civilization rests in large measure on those two forces.
McKibben and others question the nominal scientific justifcations Trump gave for the announcement. But "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris," was a political one. (Pittsburgh's mayor disputes that.) The real reasons for exiting the accord incolve Trump's decades-old obsession with the notion that other countries are "laughing at us" (him).

Another lies in Trump's interest in a negotiating a "new deal," a better deal, a tremendous deal Trump about which Trump can boast to his rallies:
I’m willing to immediately work with Democratic leaders to either negotiate our way back into Paris, under the terms that are fair to the United States and its workers, or to negotiate a new deal that protects our country and its taxpayers. So if the obstructionists want to get together with me, let’s make them nonobstructionists. We’ll all sit down, and we’ll get back into the deal, and we’ll make it good, and we won’t be closing up our factories, and we won’t be losing our jobs, and we’ll sit down with the Democrats and all of the people that represent either the Paris accord, or something that we can do that’s much better than the Paris accord, and I think the people of our country will be thrilled, and I think then the people of the world will be thrilled. But until we do that, we’re out of the agreement.
This is a man over his head in a job for which he is stunningly unqualified, Toonces the driving cat at the wheel of a nation. Trump pulled out of the Paris accords because cutting "deals" is the only thing he understands (or thinks he does). Trump envisions a new deal where he can get a chance personally to "win" on his terms. Fresh off embarrassing meetings with European leaders far and away his betters in capability and maturity. Trump needs to dominate them, to show Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron who's boss with more than a jerky handshake. He's a toddler grabbing for his security blanket. Merkel and Macron already said no deal.

Perhaps the most infuriating aspect of any Trump news is how mature, civilized women and men, being mature and civilized, feel obligated to treat Trump with the respect due his rank. And people used to call George W. Bush a "post turtle."