Another Trump victory?

President Obama adopted a policy of "strategic patience" to slow North Korea's rush to become a nuclear state.  The policy failed, but Obama's media enablers downplayed the looming threat and shielded him from criticism in the process.  Unsurprisingly, North Korea's ambitions became a big story after President Trump inherited the crisis.

Conventional wisdom held that Trump would find himself in the same box as Obama, the Bushes, and Clinton, unable to do anything except cajole China and hope Kim Jung-un was years away from achieving his goals.  We know now that the danger is imminent.

But Trump is an unconventional president whose history suggests he is not one to stand by idly or experience paralysis when confronted with major challenges.  He acts.  Witness the results when Trump unleashed the military to go after ISIS.

The president has declared he will not tolerate a North Korea with nuclear-tipped ICBMs.  I believe he's deadly serious.  While the "Great Successor" may publicly appear oblivious to his precarious position, the signs must be ominous even to him: we have amassed a mighty force off the Korean Peninsula; Japan and South Korea are preparing their people for war; and China, anticipating a conflict, is building refugee camps along its border with North Korea.

If, as is likely, Kim is a calculating survivor and not a self-styled martyr minus a faith, he realizes that President Trump is capable of pulling the trigger and annihilating him and his regime.  He's been off balance since he and Trump began trading threats and insults.  And why not?  No American president since the Korean War has gotten in the face of anyone in the Kim dynasty.  Until now.

A pause in the saber-rattling from both sides suggests that something may be in the works to defuse the situation before it all goes south.  The one thing we can be sure of: Trump will only commit to a settlement eliminating any possible North Korean WMD threat.

Should this confrontation be sorted out without hostilities, Trump's victory would be monumental and his stature enhanced.  Iran would be on notice.  The world would be startled and relieved.  At home, the president would be hailed for his boldness and resolve.  But not by everyone.

Trump's success could not be effectively spun by the anti-Trump media, but they would try: he took an awful chance, we came so close to getting nuked, it was Obama who laid the groundwork for this outcome, and so forth.  Of course, coverage of the story would cease in short order.

Peaceful resolution of the Korean crisis would be the mother of all political game-changers.  The left would be apoplectic when Trump's numbers hit 50 and continue rising; Mueller's probe would fade into irrelevancy; The Donald's path to a second term would be cleared; and Democrats' hopes for the taking back the House and Senate next year would dim.

I suspect that some of the left's hardcore Trump-haters prefer another scenario: he bumbles us into a conflict resulting in many casualties, including Americans in a flyover city hit by a North Korean missile that got through.  Oh, the headlines in the Times: "TRUMP'S WAR."  What a balm to them, and motivation for all who can't abide the president beginning constructing narratives on the risks of having such a man and the party supporting him holding our security in their hands.

Here's hoping it works out my way.

Steve Grammatico is the author of You Hear Me, Barack? PC-Free Conservative Satire.  He blogs at