Home GRASP GRASP/Korea Dems grit their teeth and cheer for Trump on North Korea

Dems grit their teeth and cheer for Trump on North Korea


A successful meeting with Kim Jong Un would give Trump and the GOP a big morale boost just a few months before the November midterms.
Democrats face a political minefield ahead of President Donald Trump’s historic North Korea meeting: how to root for success for a president they usually want to see flounder.
Trump is reportedly reevaluating the prospects for a significant denuclearization commitment from Kim Jong Un, but if he manages to land a foreign policy coup that has eluded past presidents, it couldn’t come at a worse time for Democrats.
The party is planning to center its midterm campaign message around the numerous scandals engulfing the administration. A successful meeting with Kim, however, would give Trump and the GOP — already encouraged by record-low unemployment and other positive economic indicators — a big morale boost just a few months before the November midterms.
Still, Democrats know they can’t cheer for a diplomatic failure that could heighten U. S.-North Korea tensions and potentially trigger a worldwide crisis. So they’re raising concerns from the sidelines for now, declaring hope for a Trump-Kim breakthrough, while dismissing it as a long shot at best.
“President Trump has engaged in a type of Twitter diplomacy that is unprecedented in our history, a degree of bombast and public threat followed by conciliation and offers of negotiation,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said in a recent interview. “Perhaps that’s the unexpected key that unlocks the riddle of dealing with North Korea. I’ll be very surprised if that’s the case.”
With the planned summit nearing, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in headed to Washington on Tuesday, Coons underscored the fine line that his party must walk.
“It is important to emphasize that Democrats want America to succeed, and that means in this negotiation we want the president to succeed,” he said. “But not at any cost.”
Democrats have been optimistic about their chances to retake control of the House in November, though they face longer odds to win back the Senate. Republicans and the White House, meanwhile, would benefit from a signature foreign policy accomplishment to campaign on, particularly given the less-than-guaranteed appeal of the massive tax bill the GOP forced through Congress last year.
Well aware that Republicans will try to tout foreign policy efforts, Democrats are already setting the bar high for any prospective North Korea deal, even as they profess to remain on Trump’s team ahead of the June summit. Recent interviews with a dozen House and Senate Democrats show the minority party carving out two key warnings to the president: Avoid any deal that leaves Kim’s nuclear capability intact or that cedes too much regional sway to China.
“I really worry that the president is so desperate to get a deal that he’s going to sign a pretty terrible one that would guarantee North Korea remains a nuclear power,” Sen.

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