The WaPo has a great wrapup of the “thinking” that went behind Team Trump’s foregone conclusion that the US should pull out of the the Paris Agreement on climate change, that world-historic event which, apparently, led to Togo, the Ukraine, Afghanistan, and everyone else to get together to laugh at us behind our backs.
If you don’t have time to read the full article, allow me to summarize: Trump wanted to do this, people tried to talk him out of it, other people told him what he wanted to hear, so he made his “choice”. This led to an all-time classic quote about incurious and intemperate children, by the Justification Queen, Kellyanne Conway.
“He’s stayed where he’s always been, and not for a lack of trying by those who have an opposite opinion,” said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president. “He started with a conclusion, and the evidence brought him to the same conclusion.”
Now, it did seem like there was alively discussion. But, since Trump started with a false idea (“climate change is a hoax and we’re getting screwed”) and never budged from that false idea, it is pretty goddamn clear that opposite notions weren’t entertained.
But that doesn’t mean America’s Working Mom Sweetheart, Ivanka Trump, didn’t try to sway him.
Ivanka Trump, meanwhile, helped lead the effort to stay in the deal. In meetings, she argued that withdrawing could hurt the United States’ global image and weaken its moral authority abroad. She and her allies pushed the case that the president would have more leverage if he remained part of the agreement and negotiated from within.
The opposing camp, however, dismissed the substance of her appeal, brushing off her concerns as a hand-wringing question: “What will the world think of us?”
She also understood she might not be successful in swaying her father. But she helped implement a process in which Trump heard voices from all perspectives, from both inside and outside the administration.
That’s perfect. First of all, the heckling reaction of Bannon and Pruitt about “the world’s opinion”, like that fucking matters, cuck. But, while her arguments seem solid, this is clearly part of her “people don’t know just how much I did” PR strategy to doing nothing. Anytime you hear this, remember that she used whatever credibility she had to try to convince Americans, especially women, to vote for her dad. She has no excuses.
Jared Kushner is even better.
Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser and Ivanka’s husband, agreed with the president that the Paris agreement was a bad deal. He felt that the carbon emissions standards were too high and that a U.N. fund that helps developing countries counter climate change was costing the United States too much. But he, too, felt Trump should not withdraw but simply renegotiate better terms.
He’s wrong about it being a “bad deal”, since it is voluntary, and wrong about “renegotiating” for the same reasons. He doesn’t know anything about the climate, climate science, or climate politics. But probably a lot about the Middle East! And, of course, screwing over poor people. Mostly just that. Which climate change does. So maybe he is a wunderkind.
But overall, this is nothing but a worldview of spite, summed up perfectly with this:
Pressure from leaders abroad also backfired. One senior White House official characterized disappointing European allies as “a secondary benefit” of Trump’s decision to withdraw.
Imagine that. I mean it, try to put yourself in that mindset. “Well, our main goal is sticking it to liberals at home, who care about clean air and water and land and livable cities, but if we can also make those snooty Europeans upset. Check. Mate.”
These, America, are our leaders.