Fantasy and Envy

Fantasy and Envy

by digby

WATCH: @chrislhayes on the perverseness of the politics behind Trump and the Taliban: “I think the only person who could sell a deal to 40% of the country is Donald Trump. If the shoe were on the other foot…the right would lose its mind.” #inners

— All In w/Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) September 10, 2019

I thought this exchange was pretty good as well. Frum nails exactly what was going through his head:

David Frum: The meeting was never going to happen. This is a story about fantasy and envy. The president's fantasy about being a great deal maker and his envy of President Obama's peace prize. Zalmay Khalilzad, our former ambassador to afghanistan was running a process of negotiation with the Taliban to see if an agreement could be reached. About the first of September, he seems to have reached some kind of interim deal. What should have happened at that point, it goes into the government and different agencies look at it and say, do we like it, can we look at it, so we go forward do we stop. Trump got the smell of this and thought "this is done deal, Zalmay is going to get the credit, he's going to get the Nobel Peace Prize."

Matthews: How do you know his motive?

Frum: I don't know his motive but I do know the timeline. This is a moment where it goes to an agency process not up to the president of the United States. But Trump swoops in and he invites everyone to Camp David. And the Taliban, these terrorist murderers, say with mature wisdom, why don't we have the meeting at the end of the process? But Trump said, "I want to make the deal. I don't want to leave it to Khalilzad because then he'll get the credit. I want to make the deal. Only, of course, he can't make the deal.

Matthews: he wanted it to pop out there. so he could walk out with ...

Frum: Exactly, He wanted to be Jimmy Carter without the work. And so when it becomes clear that the Taliban says "we're coming after the deal, not before" and there are a lot of problems with this interim arrangement, at that point, as the fantasy of the Nobel begins to recede, he says "in that case, you can't fire me, I fire you!" and he blows up the whole thing and he does it on twitter, probably damaging a process that needed to continue.

He says the talks are "dead" and that they're killing Taliban as fast as they can. So, "damaged" may be a bit mild.

What a monumental cock-up.