“Red China” had been effectively closed to U.S. trade for years when President Nixon began softening things up in the 70s. Subsequent Presidents from both parties have followed Nixon’s lead, and now, along with state visits like the one Chinese Leader Hu Jintao made last week to the White House, we get nearly everything from China, from t-shirts to iPhones.
We’ve also racked up an impressive trade deficit with our valued partner. And China holds $895.6 billion in U.S. Treasury debt, along with millions of jobs that might have gone to Americans. Hooray for free trade!
But never mind all that — for rightbloggers the history of Sino-American relations began with Hu’s visit, when President Obama sold America down the river by letting the Chinese invade the White House and sing their America-hating songs.
Official meetings between U.S. and world leaders are like icebergs, with some showy stuff on top and the real action under the surface. Presumably after their public displays of affection Obama and Hu got down to cases about their respective countries’ economic dealings — like China’s recent, unexpected sell-off of some U.S. debt.
One of the summit’s theatrical set pieces related to human rights, with Obama saying that China’s unfortunate approach created “an occasional source of tension between our two governments,” and Hu promising to do better. After decades of this sort of thing (say, what did we actually do about Tiananmen Square, anyway?), we are less than enthused; we’ve seen what happens to U.S. Presidents who actually try to do something about foreign human-rights abuses, and so has Obama.
Newspapers reacted to the happy-clappy as you might expect (“Obama Pushes Hu on Rights but Stresses Ties to China” — New York Times). And so did rightbloggers. But they didn’t take the world-weary approach we favor; they just came up with a countervailing brand of bullshit.
The Angry Arab News Service*, for example, explained how the Times‘ headline “propagandizes on behalf of Obama”: In the copy that followed the headline, AANS noted, the Times said, “President Obama on Wednesday gently but pointedly prodded China to make progress on human rights…” AANS leapt in with a laser pointer: “And then the headline in in the inside (hard copy) pages (in continuation of the front page article),” they said, “becomes ‘Obama presses’ China on human rights. How could gentle mention be equated with pushing and pressing?”
Having appropriated Saul Alinsky, it seems, conservatives have moved on to the linguistics of Noam Chomsky. (*Update: Or so we thought — we are informed that AANS isn’t conservative — merely anti-Obama-Administration! Easy mistake to make. Let’s see how the more reliable rightwing brethren reacted…)
The Washington Examiner‘s Julie Mason headlined, “Obama careful to avoid criticism of Hu during state visit,” and reported, “Obama, bestowing full state visit honors on Hu, is under fire from both parties at home for so elaborately hosting a leader accused of repression, censorship and disregard for democratic rights and principles in China.”
Both parties? Mason explained: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Tuesday called Hu a ‘dictator’ before walking it back and saying it wasn’t a good choice of words.” Wow, Reid called Hu a dictator, then reneged? That’s it — Obama’s definitely getting primaried in 2012.
At Human Events, Rachel Marsden declared that Reagan never “threw a ball for Mikhail Gorbachev during the Cold War” because Reagan wasn’t “morally confused.” (Placing flowers on the graves of SS officers at Bitburg was presumably a sign of Reagan’s moral clarity.) Jennifer of Cubachi compared “the slobbering Obama and his administration gave to China’s dictator Hu Jintao” with the “tough stance” taken by a real statesman, Donald Trump.
Ben Shapiro had a fascinating conspiracy theory: Why, he asked, was Hu going to Obama’s hometown of Chicago after his White House meeting? Some observers thought the trip was to make trade deals, but Shapiro had a spicier angle: “Hu is visiting Chicago,” he said, “because he is likely meeting with Obama’s campaign, which is located in Chicago… During the 2008 election cycle, foreign money flooded into Obama’s campaign coffers from countries, including Thailand, France, Austria, Germany…”
Shapiro seems to be talking about allegations that Obama’s campaign solicited foreign donations, which were often repeated but never proven. (We’re surprised he didn’t include Iran and Saudi Arabia among the nefarious contributors.) Shapiro went on to explain why the Chinese would favor one running-dog Presidential candidate over another: Because “Obama has made America’s economy almost completely reliant on China’s… Obama has already outsourced America’s debt to China. Why not outsource his re-election campaign, too?” Apparently Santayana was right, but incomplete: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it incorrectly to their readers.
Some of the brethren saw signs and portents in the red dress Michelle Obama wore to dinner with the Chinese. The Sarah Burton/Alexander McQueen original was an off-the-shoulder number, which led Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft to announce, “Michelle Obama’s Dress Slips Off at Commie Red China Obama State Dinner.” When fashion writer Robin Givhan mentioned that the dress “paid direct homage to China; red symbolizes good luck and happiness,” Ann Althouse added, “And Communism.” HillBuzz compared “Michelle Antoinette Obama” in her “tentacled dress with moray-eel inspired wrap and ostentatious earrings” to Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid. Mrrowr!
“Michelle Obama appropriately enough wore a red dress,” said Doug Powers; he did not seem to be thinking of good luck. (Also, regarding Obama’s quotation of a Chinese proverb — “If you want 10 years of prosperity, then grow trees. But if you want 100 years of prosperity, then you grow people” — Powers observed, “‘Growing people’ is an odd choice of proverb when speaking about a country that encourages some 13 million abortions per year — many of them forced.” Powers would make a hell of a toastmaster.)
But the highlight of the affair for rightbloggers was the late word from the Epoch Times that Lang Lang, the internationally famous Chinese pianist, had played at the White House an anti-American tune — a song from the Chinese film Battle on Shangganling Mountain, in which the “jackal” mentioned in one verse (“When friends are here, there is fine wine / But if the jackal comes / What greets it is the hunting rifle”) was understood back home to be the United States.
Clearly this was the stealth attack Hu had been planning all along! Now, after he pays off Obama in Chicago, he can lead a reenergized Chinese people in war against the United States.
“Chinese Humiliation,” cried Patterico. “Turns out [the state dinner] was an even worse decision than previously thought,” said Commentary. “Obama Snaps His Fingers and Taps His Feet While Chinese Pianist Lang Lang Plays Anti-American, Communist Propaganda Piece at State Dinner,” cried Urban Grounds.
“China Is Openly Mocking Us Now. AT THE WHITE HOUSE,” said Chicks on the Right. “As if it weren’t enough that China basically OWNS our collective assular area, now we’ve got Chinese pianists playing anti-American propaganda music at the White House.” “Obama’s been in office for only two years and already they’re playing Red Chinese commie songs at State Dinners in the White House,” said Jim Hoft.
“UNREAL, IS THIS WHAT OBAMA HOPE AND CHANGE HAS COME TO … Pro-Communist songs played in the White House!!!” yelled Scared Monkeys. “This administration is as clueless as we have ever had in the WH. But wait, remember last year when the WH had no clue there was a Moa Tse Tung ornament on one of the Christmas trees in the WH?… Of course Barack and Michelle Obama most likely had a clueless smile on their faces the entire time as they listened to the anti-American diddy.”
Scared Monkeys, of course, caught it on C-Span and immediately recognized that the “diddy” was P — for Pro-Communist! But Warner Todd Huston didn’t think Obama had been fooled: “There is little doubt that Obama knew this was going to happen,” he claimed, “but that he had no problem with it fits neatly with his world apology tour, his three years of apologizing for the United States in foreign lands, his bowing and scraping (literally) before kings and tyrants the world over, and his constant need to punish this country.”
Somewhere in Hell, Richard Nixon — who while visiting Mao Tse-Tung in 1972 was treated to a performance of The Red Detachment of Women, a ballet about the victory of Chinese Communists over their capitalist oppressors — is laughing his ass off.