It’s exactly what Democrats don’t want to see — so they weren’t invited.
While the establishment media and Beltway politicians were focused Wednesday on President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, the president himself was coming through on another campaign promise:
Signing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.
“This is a colossal victory for our farmers and ranchers,” Trump said at the White House signing ceremony, according to Fox Business.
“Everybody said this was a deal that could not be done, but we got it done,” he said.
The contrast between Trump’s announcement and the power-driven politics of the impeachment trial was more than striking — it showed the country the Trump presidency in a nutshell.
Trump-Middle East Peace Proposal
Trump-USMCA Trade Deal
Trump-Historically Low Unemployment
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) January 28, 2020
A day after Trump’s defense team wrapped up its case to the Senate — with noted attorney Alan Dershowitz delivering a crushing blow to the prosecution arguments of lightweights like lead impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff — the Washington media was intent on the guessing game of how senators would vote on the presentation of witnesses.
Politics as usual, in other words. The bitter, scorched-earth Democratic politics of the Trump era, of course, but still politics as usual.
Trump delivered his own kind of payback, though. Key Democrats weren’t invited to participate in the South Lawn ceremony, according to Politico.
And that had to sting.
Democrats — even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — know this is a big deal. That’s why it passed with huge majorities in the House in December and the Senate earlier this month.
If they hadn’t committed to a course of trying to destroy the Trump presidency despite its obvious triumphs in the country’s economy and on the world stage, Democrats might have been able to be on hand to at least pretend to their voters that they care more about the American worker than their own political agenda.
But the truth is otherwise — and Americans know it, no matter what their politics are.
Trump, meanwhile, has been exercising the powers of the presidency, releasing a potentially historic peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians on Tuesday and, a day later, marking the fulfillment of his campaign promise to overhaul the country’s trade agreements with other nations for the benefit of American workers.
And the North American Free Trade Agreement was at the top of the list. (Check out his 2015 comments to CBS’ “60 Minutes” here.)
“Two decades of politicians ran for office vowing to replace … the NAFTA catastrophe,” Trump said at Wednesday’s ceremony.
— Team Trump (Text FIRST to 88022) (@TeamTrump) January 29, 2020
“Yet once elected, they never even tried. They never even gave it a shot. They sold out,” he said. “But I’m not like those other politicians, I guess, in many ways. I keep my promises and I’m fighting for the American worker. … Everybody here is fighting for the American worker.” (Considering who wasn’t invited to the ceremony, that last quote took on a special edge.)
White House action like that during the Barack Obama presidency would have had the media swooning. And any impeachment effort by the Republican House — though arguably more deserved in Obama’s case — would have been treated contemptuously.
Yet a glance Wednesday afternoon at the websites of CNN, The New York Times, all three major broadcast networks and even Fox News showed impeachment coverage dominating, with the trade deal either downplayed or ignored completely.
Obviously, the impeachment trial is huge — the story of a duplicitous, embittered Democratic Party trying to undo the results of the 2016 election and sway the results of the 2020 campaign is worth keeping in front of Americans.
But the signing of the trade deal is a big deal, too. Fox Business described it as “the biggest trade deal of all time,” worth an estimated $1.3 trillion. It’s something Americans deserve to know about.
The deal does not go into effect until lawmakers in all three countries approve. Mexico was the first to approve it. Canada is expected to do so soon, according to The Washington Post.
While the media on Wednesday were ignoring it, it wasn’t going unnoticed on social media. Politicians who understand what their voters think is important — jobs, a strong economy, fair trade — made sure to get the word out.
President Trump will always put American workers first! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/Ptaax3OR3M
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) January 29, 2020
— Rep Van Taylor (@RepVanTaylor) January 29, 2020
Arizonans I talk to are focused on growing our rural communities & bringing good-paying jobs to our state. Ratifying the USMCA will help us do both. Today, I applaud the president for signing the USMCA & look forward to seeing the good it will do in #AZ01. https://t.co/SVAlrZVgbA
— Rep. Tom O'Halleran (@RepOHalleran) January 29, 2020
But this one from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich summed it up best:
Promises made, promises kept. Today is a huge win for American workers as President @realDonaldTrump signs #USMCA into law. More jobs and an even stronger economy are on the way. https://t.co/7GOJZo3b7S
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) January 29, 2020
Americans have seen Trump keeping his promises — or striving to while being thwarted by a Democratic opposition more obsessed with #Resistance than governance.
Above all else, Democrats don’t want to see the president succeed.
So on Wednesday, at the White House, they didn’t have to.