Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Treason of Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats

When you have nothing to run on, nothing to recommend you, and no ideas on how to govern that don't lead to anything successful, you have to do something.  For the Democrats, that has been the "resistance", a tactic of simply opposing anything that President Trump does, in the odd notion that the nation that just elected him as president might sympathize with you.

That, of course, puts the Democrats on the side of, you know, MS-13 gangs, ISIS, illegal aliens, China and a host of other things.  Were they actually able to concede that at least some of President Trump's agenda might lead to prosperity and success, and helped instead of obstructed, they could have claimed a little credit for the economic boom that ensued as soon as Barack Obama was booted out of office by the grace of the Constitution, and his successor as a candidate, Hillary Clinton, rejected by the voting public.

But they haven't.  They are simply obstructing, and now I wonder if it is in a treasonous way.

As we all know, next week President Trump will meet with Kim Jong Un, the dictator of North Korea, in an attempt to create a lasting, denuclearized peace (at worst) and some kind of actual, productive relationship that raises North Korea out of its starvation (at best).

We know the way that the president negotiates, at least somewhat (he did write a book about it), so we can readily assume that it is possible that he could get up, leave the table and fly home abruptly if he feels that Kim is not acting in good faith.  He has nothing to lose -- Kim certainly does -- although it is not what he would like to have happen.

But a good outcome would be the framework of a deal he can take to Congress that leads to the relatively quick denuclearization of Korea, including unchecked inspections by Americans and possibly others as well, and possibly the outline of steps that could help the North Koreans get some kind of economy going.  That would be great -- although it would obviously be the first steps in a series of subsequent meetings to determine implementation.

So ... we shall see, as the president often says.

But in the meanwhile, the Democrats are acting like a bunch of beetles who have been rolled on their backs, flailing uselessly with nothing to add and no positive end state for them.  This is particularly true of good old Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the minority leader of the Senate, who has not had a good 17 months except where he has been able to slow the hiring of needed personnel into the Trump Administration.

Schumer and another half-dozen Democrats in the Senate actually wrote a letter to President Trump on Monday, demanding -- yes, "demanding", as if they had any standing -- certain outcomes of the meeting or they would, I don't know, wave their six legs in the air while the Senate approves a treaty.

Any deal that explicitly or implicitly gives North Korea sanctions relief for anything other than the verifiable performance of its obligations to dismantle its nuclear and missile arsenal is a bad deal,” they actually wrote.  They insisted that five requirements had to be in any agreement, or they would thrash their beetle legs.  Those were (hold your chuckles):

- Dismantlement and removal of all nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons from North Korea.
- A “complete and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea,” removing all items related to nuclear-weapons production.
- North Korea must end its ballistic-missile program
- North Korea must comply with “anywhere, anytime” inspections 
- The deal must be permanent.
So in essence, the Democrats insist that they will not vote up an agreement that does not have -- you guessed it -- the very things that President Trump has already said are the non-negotiables of the negotiation in the first place.  There are seemingly five "demands" by the Democrats, but in essence there are really only two; that the NoKo nuke program be permanently ended with all existing nukes and chemical/biological weapons turned over, and that the USA be able to inspect at any time to confirm that all that continues going forward.

Now, it seems weird for the Schumer beetles to say that they will try to obstruct any agreement that isn't, you know, what Trump is insisting be there in the first place, right?  Perhaps they are finally trying to get on the right side of things, even awkwardly, so they can try to claim that they had anything at all to do with it.

But even though I agree that those things should be in there, I have a problem with a handful of Democrat senators publicly stating what should be in a treaty of some kind.  It strikes me as their interfering, in advance, with the negotiation of a President with a foreign country.

In this case, everyone agrees with what should be in there. But what if Schumer had insisted that there be some other condition in there that was less favorable to the USA?  We know that Democrats have colluded with Russians in an effort to fix the 2016 elections by destroying Donald Trump.  How do we know that they have not colluded with them again, or with another country, and could essentially be negotiating in public through those demands to get something that other nation wants?

That is treason, of course.

I can't imagine that any nation outside of maybe South Korea would have the same goals as those Democrats claim to insist on, but in a comparable situation, such as when a president is planning to negotiate a trade deal, how treasonous might it be if a foreign power were to influence a senator to make public statements leading to more favorable terms for that country, sort of like Obama apparently did with Iran.

It's a fine distinction, because we do have stupid senators, and it is credible to think that one could make such a supporting statement claiming that such a deal would be better for the USA (as well as the other nation).  But I'm uncomfortable, certainly in this case, with senators from the other party "demanding" that certain terms be in an agreement with a foreign country before the negotiations.

In this case it seems OK, but it is easy to imagine a more treacherous rationale.

Copyright 2018 by Robert Sutton
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