As the impeachment trial began in the United States Senate, President Donald Trump journeyed to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. His purpose was the tout the success of his economic policies and to forge new trade agreements, especially with the European Union. He kicked off the meeting by delivering the keynote address to the assembled world economic and political leaders.
The National Review gave the highlights of the 30-minute speech.
“When I spoke at this forum two years ago, I told you that we had launched the great American comeback. Today, I’m proud to declare that the U.S. is in the midst of an economic boom, the likes of which the world has never seen before,” Trump said.
The president ticked off several statistics to buttress his case. They included decreasing unemployment, a booming stock market, and millions of jobs created. He also touted new trade agreements that he has signed and seen ratified, one with Canada and Mexico, the other with China.
How did this economic miracle take place? Trump had the answer ready.
“Every decision we make on taxes, trade, regulation, energy, immigration, education and more is focused on improving the lives of everyday Americans,” Trump stated. “Only when governments put their own citizens first will people be fully invested in their national futures.”
Trump being Trump, had some criticism to go with the boasting of American economic success. Among his targets were socialists and “alarmists” and “prophets of doom” who predict climate change will destroy the planet. The last, many in the media felt, was directed as teenage environmental scold Greta Thunberg who could be seen scowling in the audience.
Trump did not neglect the environment. He announced that the United States would join the WEF’s trillion tree fund, according to Business Insider. The idea is that if the world community were to plant a trillion trees not only would deforestation be reversed, but a lot of excess carbon dioxide would be absorbed, thus alleviating some of the effects of climate change. Trees are also a renewable resource given proper management.
Planting trees has the virtue of avoiding the destruction of the fossil fuel industry and the resulting economic dislocation and job losses that would ensure. The plan is a ready-made political answer to politicians such as Sen Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, who are touting the draconian Green New Deal as a way to remake civilization by government fiat.
More than one media organization asked itself, Is this the same guy who was impeached? Indeed, Trump did not mention impeachment, which some called “the elephant in the room” during the speech. Speaking with the media later, the president complained about how unfair the impeachment trial is, noting that it was based on flimsy at best evidence and was taking place against a backdrop of economic success.
Indeed, the economic forum and the impeachment trial seemed to be taking place in two completely different universes. The National Review noted that the kabuki theater aspect of the Senate trial. Everyone knows, especially the House Democrats who voted to impeach the president, that the conclusion is foregone. The president will be acquitted and will not be removed from office,
Beyond creating some sort of “judgment of history,” what is the Democrats’ purpose?
“Democrats probably want the impeachment process to make Trump’s reelection less likely. I think it is safe to say that so far they have not achieved that goal, as most polling indicates that Democrats will have to work to beat Trump, and impeachment is unlikely to be a major factor in voters’ minds in November.”
The only question is how long will the Senate trial take. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has issued some rules that, if things turn out well, should have the trial wrapped up in a week. Democrats are crying foul, demanding that witnesses be brought forth who will presumably be able to testify to the president’s perfidy.
If they get their way, the trial could last for months, complicating the Democratic presidential primaries as the senators who are presidential candidates will be shackled to their desks, unable to campaign effectively. The rumor is that this is by design, giving the presumably more electable former Voce President Joe Biden a tremendous advantage,
How American voters will react in the end is anyone’s guess. Some pundits hope (or fear depending on their political persuasion) that the result will be the easy reelection of the president as Americans focus on their economic circumstances and not on the insider baseball of impeachment,