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Sunday, August 25, 2019

“Stable genius” Trump’s idea to buy Greenland is even stranger than you thought

Mark Sumner, Daily Kos Staff

Pic of the MomentFor those genuinely interested, there actually was a point where the United States offered to buy Greenland in the past.

It was in the early years of the Cold War, shortly after the Soviet Union had exploded its first nuclear weapons, when concerns were high that Soviet bombers might try to reach American targets by coming over the pole.

Under Harry Truman, the U.S. conducted secret negotiations with Denmark over access to Greenland, and at one point in those negotiations the U.S. asked if Denmark would find it easier to simply sell the territory.

But they worked it out a different way … by joining NATO together and becoming founding members of the world’s most important and successful military alliance; an alliance that has persisted right up until Donald Trump set out to deliberately undermine its power and importance.

Naturally, Trump moved immediately from labeling the prime minister of Denmark another “nasty” woman, to attacking Denmark’s contributions to that alliance. And from there it was only one short step to simply resuming attacks on NATO as a whole … two days before Trump is slated to travel to France to attend an international summit.

As The New York Times reports, Trump is responding to his latest embarrassment in typical manner by lashing out in search of revenge.

Since revenge on a nation smaller than New York City is insufficient, Trump is using this moment to both further undermine NATO and, by an absolute non-coincidence, suggest adding Russia back to the G7.

Trump has stated that Russia was kicked out of the G8 because Putin “outsmarted” President Barack Obama.

If by outsmarted Trump means that Putin was smart enough to recognize that he could grab the Crimea while the U.S. was still bogged down in two protracted wars started by a Republican president and both the U.S., then sure.

Putin was also smart enough to bet that NATO would be reluctant to start a major European land war over a nation not a NATO member—in large part thanks to the lobbying efforts of Trump’s campaign manager who arranged mock riots in which rocks were thrown at visiting U.S. Marines.

But there’s another target of Trump’s bruises-like-a-grape ego that also has a less than sane connection to this whole Greenland affair. 

Because last year, Trump secretly tried to trade Puerto Rico to Denmark.

Trump’s efforts to snag a place to build a new Mar-a-Lago once the old one goes beneath the rising tides turns out to have been a lot more extensive than this week’s reveal makes it seem. 

The great dealmaker has been trying to make this deal for over a year; Trump was thrilled with the idea of adding a new area to the country that’s three times the size of Texas.

After all, despite Trump’s repeated claims about all he’s done in the last two years, he knows that in reality all he’s managed is to fill some seats that Mitch McConnell handed him and sign a tax bill pre-written before he was in office.

Picking up Greenland—or the 51st state of Trump—would be something that would actually be remembered thirty seconds after Trump is dragged kicking and screaming from the White House.

Trump even assigned buying Greenland as a priority for the National Security Council and ordered them to study the idea. And in one meeting on the topic Trump is reported to have suggested trading Puerto Rico for Greenland.

Trump apparently made this suggestion because he was then in the midst of a complaining about San Juan Mayor Carmen  Yulín Cruz, another person who he surely considers to be a “nasty” woman.

The report does not detail whether Trump made a pitch around giving Denmark access to some warm beaches, or whether polling indicates that residents of the island would be delighted to connect with a government whose idea of hurricane relief went beyond a roll of generic paper towels. 

In any case, the official who reported this meeting to theTimes called it a “joke.” But the only response has to be … in a story about buying Greenland to give Donald Trump the ultimate ego-boo, how in the hell do you determine what’s a joke?

Other than Trump, of course.