China Policy vs the Democratic Candidates

“China if you’re listening…”

In an age in which no matter what Trump says or does, Democrats feel duty bound to do the opposite, Democrats are now the biggest supporters of “free trade” and are siding with China against the United States in our trade dispute with China. So it’s no surprise that both China and the Democratic candidates must have felt like they achieved some sort of victory when Trump backed down on his threatened China tariffs and postponed them until December.

Online I find numerous posts about how Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing and his trade policy is a disaster, and it does seem uneven, but my sincere question of “what’s the alternative?” go unanswered.  And for good reason; there are no Democratic talking points on dealing with China other than restoring the pre-Trump status quo, in which China had a free hand to do whatever they wanted, and some vague mutterings about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).  So rather than have a China policy, Democrats have a China reflex; if Trump wants it, they’re against it.

US China policy is a great example of how rule by experts has brought us to the brink of disaster. In the 1990’s, every pipe smoking academic, State Department East Asia expert, and think tank economist was preaching the gospel of turning China from a poor communist dictatorship into a rich beacon of democracy, all through the magic of trade. For example (from 2000):

“China expert Michael Oksenberg of the Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University believes, nevertheless, that over the long run the trade deal will help make China a more “humanely governed” land.”

How did that work out?  Is China more “humanely governed” than it was 20 years ago?

So the Clinton administration pushed, and Congress finally approved, granting “Most Favored Nation” status in the World Trade Organization (WTO).  However to be fair, this wasn’t just the Clinton administration supporting this; there was a bipartisan push for this.  Republicans and Democrats alike supported China’s entry in the WTO.

Normalizing trade relations with China counts as one of the major strategic blunders of the United States has committed.  We actually helped create not just an economic giant but a military power that threatens the US interests in the Pacific region.  China’s goal is to become the world’s “number one power,” displacing the United States, and we helped get them on their way.

So what do the Democrats suggest?

Nothing really except they oppose tariffs on China.  American Greatness detailed, Kamala Harris, Steve Bullock, and Beto O’Rourke all criticized tariffs on China all while the US was trying to engage in negotiations with China. Lefty journalist Peter Beinart observed:

“Bernie Sanders says nothing about China on his website. Neither do Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, or Kirsten Gillibrand. All Joe Biden says about China on his website is that it’s “rising.” On hers, Amy Klobuchar pledges to “invest in diplomacy and rebuild the State Department and modernize our military to stay one step ahead of China.” Kamala Harris’s website says the United States should “work in lockstep with our partners” to confront “China’s unfair trade practices.” That’s about as substantive as it gets.”

Of course the rust belt edge that Trump gained over Hillary was all about China.  I think a nation that has engaged in unfair trade practices since we’ve started trading with them, has engaged in intellectual property theft on the order of $225 billion to $600 billion annually, requires joint ventures in order to control any company that invests in China, and has vowed to replace us as the world’s leading power should be taken seriously as a threat.

Meanwhile the Democrats are resorting to their old habits from the cold war as viewing a Republican President as a greater threat than the Soviet Union and now China.  The Democrats might wise up some day, but my guess is it won’t be soon and will be way to late when they do.

 

The White Vote will be less important in 2020

The New York Times gives away the game yet again in another opinion piece on demography, liberal Democrats style.  I didn’t find this until after the string of mass shootings of the past week, so it probably reads a bit different to me than was originally intended.

Democrats Can Win by Running Against Trump’s Racism

“In every presidential election for the past 50 years, a majority of white voters have voted against the Democratic nominee, and the overwhelming majority of people of color have sided with the Democrats.”

This is the major political divide in the US, and has been for a long time.  Good luck trying to get this clarity on TV news, but on print in the Times, it probably feels like a safe space, with no one not in the club listening.

“What we learned in the 2016 election is that 37 percent of the white vote is enough to win the popular vote by nearly three million people. Obviously something went wrong in three critical states — Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — where Mr. Trump prevailed by nearly 80,000 votes, tipping the Electoral College in his favor.”

Despite the overwhelming Electoral College victory Trump enjoyed, it was hanging by a hair, and that will be doubly true in 2020.

“Mrs. Clinton came exceedingly close to winning those states. Had she secured just 0.5 percent more of the white vote, she would be president.

…The number of voters who stayed home in 2016 in Detroit, Milwaukee and Philadelphia was far larger than the margin of Democratic defeat in those states.”

This matches my conclusions from the result of the 2018 Midterms.  Democrats have finally cracked the code on midterm turnout, and a turn out increase during a Presidential election year could yield big wins for Democrats.

“As people of color become a bigger portion of the voting population, the number of white votes required to win steadily shrinks. In fact, a group of think tanks released a report last year showing that if all of the country’s racial groups replicate in 2020 their voter turnout and partisan preferences of 2016 — essentially a “do-over” — the Democrats would win Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, just because of the demographic changes over the past four years.”

Did someone just say, “Demography is Destiny?”

“America is getting browner by the hour, given that every single day, as of 2016 data, the United States population increases by 8,000 people and 90 percent of that growth comes from people of color. Moreover, an additional seven million teenagers of color will have turned 18 since the 2016 election. With this demographic revolution transforming the country, Democrats do not actually have to increase their level of white support — they just need to hold it steady, as the core of whites who vote Democratic have done for 40 years.”

I find myself in complete agreement with these conclusions.  All things being equal, Democrats win just letting things continue as they have.  It’s a bit amusing that this New York Times piece basically agrees with the El Paso shooter’s manifesto.  That’s why I’ve found no comfort in the full measure of insanity that the Democratic Party has embraced.  They’ve gone so far left so quickly, that Biden and Pelosi, liberals their entire political lives now find themselves “moderates.”  But none of that really matters in modern day America.

The real question is can the GOP increase their percentage of the white vote to counter this?  My obvious answer is no, since the establishment GOP doesn’t even accept this analysis.  They still think tax cuts and political positions matter.  Trump’s policy positions did matter to the 80,000 votes won in three States in 2016, but those people will likely be drowned out by the rising tide of identity politics voting.  That’s why I think Trump’s chances of winning, even with the benefit of being an incumbent, are slim, and are shrinking as the author of that piece says, “every single day .“

Tick tok.

China Making a Play to Interfere in the Election

Last night’s Democratic debate yielded little real news, other than my surprise that the party actual still has some moderates. Former Congressman John Delaney made a play for moderates in the party, gambling that much of the party hasn’t yet gone off of the “Squad” deep end.  Based on the latest post-debate polling however, Delaney is still down around 1%.  Who is up and who’s down in these early Democratic debates will mean almost nothing in the long run of course.  Of far greater import, and a story that may bob up and down for years, is the article veteran national defense reporter Bill Gertz posted yesterday at The Washington Free Beacon.

China Covertly Subverting Trump Reelection

China is conducting an aggressive disinformation and influence campaign designed to block the re-election of President Trump in 2020, according to a dissident Chinese billionaire who until recently was close to senior Beijing leaders.

Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese real estate tycoon-turned-anti-communist critic, said in an interview that details of the influence operation were disclosed recently by Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan in Beijing.

The campaign has been underway since the 2018 mid-term election and involves enlisting pro-China elements inside the United States to end the Trump administration after four years.

This actually makes sense.  Can you name a President who has been more of a thorn in the side of the Chinese leadership since the Korean War?  It has to be Donald Trump.  China is facing an economic slowdown due partially to Trump’s trade tactics, and if the Chinese leadership could choose the US leadership (which they are apparently trying to do) they would anoint China friendly Joe Biden in a heartbeat.

“For the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the security committee has given very clear instructions that it is not permissible for Trump to win the 2020 election,” Guo said speaking through an interpreter.

By deploying its intelligence and influence resources in the United States, the CCP is working to exploit the harsh political divisions between Democrats and Republicans in seeking to unseat the Trump administration.

“President Trump has already caused a lot of damage to the CCP, so they have declared he will not be allowed to have another four years in power,” the dissident said.

And how is China going to interfere?

Regarding Wang’s disclosure, the Chinese vice president reportedly said China plans on using “four weapons” to derail Trump’s re-election.

“I must tell you that you that you need to heed these four weapons because they pose a very real threat,” Guo said.

The first weapon to be used against Trump is the use Wall Street financial leaders.

The second political weapon in the anti-Trump campaign are those political leaders and lobbyists in Washington who can be enlisted to oppose Trump. “There are quite a few of these individuals who have been corrupted by the CCP for many years … and so they will be the No. 2 weapon,” Guo said.

American mainstream news and social media outlets, many of which have been shown to be hostile toward Trump, are a third tool in the Chinese campaign.

A fourth line of attack is China’s effort to co-opt the overseas Chinese and Asian-Americans, groups that have grown in political power through increased wealth and subsequent political donations and voting power.

At this point the third political tool to fight Trump seems the most interesting.  Would a mass media that’s spent the last two and a half years in hysterics over election interference gleefully cooperate with the Chinese to help them sabotage a US election to defeat Donald Trump?

Damn right they would!

 

The Democratic Open Borders Debate

To an outside observer, the Democratic debates last week looked like a one way trip to crazy town.  As The New York Times noted:

“Raise your hand if you think it should be a civil offense rather than a crime to cross the border without documentation?” José Díaz-Balart, one of the moderators, asked.

Eight candidates raised their hands, some more eagerly than others. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. raised a finger.

When pressed by Mr. Díaz-Balart about whether he would deport undocumented immigrants without a criminal record, Mr. Biden did little to clarify his specific stance, instead defending the Obama administration’s policies that deported roughly three million undocumented immigrants.

So come on in!  How a “civil offense” would work in real life was left unexplained.  If the Border Patrol comes across some border crossers, do they just write them a ticket and send them on their way?  “Civil Offense” is just another way to say we’ve stopped enforcing borders.

But that wasn’t even the craziest part.

As The Washington Times notes:

Every single Democrat on the debate stage Thursday said he or she would grant government health insurance to illegal immigrants, plowing new ground well beyond the boundaries of Obamacare.

“Our country is healthier when everybody is healthier,” said Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Even former Vice President Joseph R. Biden said he would extend coverage to illegal immigrants — a reversal from his stance in the Obama administration, when Democrats considered and specifically rejected the idea as too controversial and unfair.

“You cannot let people who are sick, no matter where they come from, no matter what their status, go uncovered,” Mr. Biden said. “It’s the humane thing to do.”

Democrats are so enthusiastic about illegal aliens, they’re going to give them healthcare.  I imagine the 7 billion plus future Americans all around the world know who they’re supporting! And yet, in spite of this insanity, I saw the media weekend damage control on the rounds of cable TV insisting that the Democrats were not open borders.

Really?

Although this debate was as in-your-face on open borders as you could imagine, it’s not actually a new position.  They’ve just decided to stop hiding it.  During the 2014 border crisis, prominent Democrats couldn’t wait to embrace all of border crossers who made it onto US territory.  Of course that was a different time, when President Obama could stack illegal children in cages like cordwood with zero bad press for his trouble.

It does make you wonder, who is the voting constituency for all of this pandering to non-Americans?  Is the desire for open borders really that strong among the Democratic base?  And even if it is, why is Beto campaigning in Mexico this week? Even by Democratic pandering standards, this is bizarre.  Well I hope the asylum seekers in Ciudad Juarez ask some tough questions of their candidate.

 

The News Media Primary Debate

Tomorrow is the first of two Democratic Presidential candidate debates.  With so many candidates running, even splitting the debate over two nights still seems like it’s going to be too crowded a debate stage.

As a consequence, there is likely to be nothing much of interest said in this first debate(s).  How many actual chances to speak will each candidate get?  One or Two?  So we might, if we’re lucky, get a few sentences out of each candidate.  That’s a shame because some of these candidates are interesting, and I would be curious to hear some give and take with candidates like Andrew Yang or Tulsi Gabbard; two candidates who are unlikely to get more than the minimum amount of airtime.

So at this point, the real story (at least to me) won’t be what the candidates say, but how the coverage of the debate is handled by the MSM.  The debate is being shown on NBC/MSNBC, which is well known for its own biases, so how they cover the candidates, and how the other TV media cover the candidates, will be more revealing than anything the candidates say.  As a casual viewer of mainstream TV news, here are my guesses on the media’s picks for the Democratic candidate.

NBC/MSNBC:           Although the network has shown love to all of the major candidates, the one they have come down to defending has been Joe Biden.  The Morning Joe gang routinely sounds like a Biden cheering section.  My guess is that NBC/MSNBC feels like Biden has the best shot to beat Trump, and have taken an editorial position to support Biden.

CNN:              CNN doesn’t sound like it has any animus towards Biden, but hasn’t made up its mind and just wants the most leftward candidate who can beat Trump. So it seems for now they are actually being an honest broker other than mostly ignoring the candidates who are too far down in the polls to have a shot.  They may have learned their lesson with Beto to not fall in love to early.  The heartbreak is still probably painful from that.

ABC:               This network has clearly taken the editorial position that Biden can’t beat Trump and his constant gaffes are not going away.  That’s why they’re the only major TV news station (other than Fox) to cover extensively the Hunter Biden corruption scandal.  ABC seems to want to clear the field of Biden quickly to allow a more electable candidate rise up.  They just don’t know who that is yet.

CBS:               This is the mystery to me.  I honestly have not been able to get a firm handle on their positioning yet (maybe after I see their coverage of the debate) but I suspect it mirror’s CNN’s position.

Fox News:  With nothing at stake and no frantic need to push the Democratic primaries on a mission to replace Trump, their coverage seems to be the most even handed.  They’ve had several Town Halls with Democratic candidates (including a successful one by Bernie Sanders) and have had the candidates who will actually appear (most of the top tier candidates boycott Fox) as guests.  I’ve seen Gabbard and Yang multiple times on different Fox shows.

I’m curious if we’ll know by the weekend if the MSM has settled on a candidate, or at least decided on a slate of possible candidates.  Since none of the candidates will probably get to say much (with the exception of Biden; this is on NBC/MSNBC after all), the ones declared “winners” will be purely at the media networks discretion.

Stay tuned!

 

The Reparations Gambit

I have been waiting for this ball to drop for a long time.  I thought maybe that 2014 would be the year that the Democrats would pull the electoral ripcord on the reparations issue, but they seemed to drop the ball on it and suffered in the elections accordingly.  Then in 2016 I thought Hillary would pull reparations out of her purse (it was right beside the hot sauce) and close the enthusiasm gap among black voters.  But she was so confident that she couldn’t lose that she decided it could stay in her purse.  Like Trump was really going to beat her?  After all, once you pull the reparations card, it’s out for good.  You can’t change your mind and stick in back in your oversized purse.

But now the issue is out, and it looks like 2020 will be the first Presidential election year (and forever more) that reparations become a real political issue. According to The New York Times, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Julián Castro have all come out in support of some type of reparations.  They are rather vague on the details and price tag, but eh, it’s still early, and besides, those sorts of details are not very important or at least no more important than details and price tag for a “Green Deal.”

By the time we get to the nomination, some form of reparations will be part of the candidate’s agenda and part of the Democratic Party platform.  And it can join the other trillion dollar promises, like Medicare for all, Green Dreams, Universal Basic Income (UBI), Universal Daycare, Free College, and the hundreds of other spending fantasies.  However unlike the other high dollar promises, reparations promise to be eternally racially divisive.

Just what this country needs.

To be fair, slavery reparations do have the tug of moral authority to them.  In a perfect world, I would support them myself. A great evil was done and there should be some sort of compensation for it. However it’s 150 years later. There is no one alive that was a slave, and the practicalities of coming up with a fair and just system to compensate their descendants seem pretty daunting.  I’ve thought long and hard on this subject myself and have yet to figure out a way, or have read of any such plan, that would be workable and just.

Never has the devil been more in the details of a policy than in reparations.  If Abraham Lincoln’s Freedman’s Bureau had been allowed to continue its work, and the newly freed slaves had gotten their 40 acres and a mule, this issue would have been one and done.  But now, who do you compensate?  If, for example, you have theoretical reparations of a $50,000 credit, to be applied to either college or home down payment (the two gateways to the middle class), do you give it to the man, his, son, or his son (assuming all living)?  Should it be given to the oldest living relative in a family, or the youngest?  Or do you just give it to every descendant of slaves from now on?

Of course, that means Barrack Obama, Colin Powell, or Kamala Harris would be entitled to zero reparations since none of them are descendants of American slaves. What about Malia Obama, the President’s daughter?  Would she get half of reparations? And how would you determine eligibility?  There are probably a lot of African Americans who would have a great deal of difficulty laying their hands on all of the documentation necessary to prove ancestry from the slaves freed in 1865.  So would you just go by skin color? Self Identification? DNA?  Imagine, Rachel Dolezal being eligible for reparations. Or imagine the millions of white people with sub-Saharan ancestry thanks to DNA testing, who want their piece of the reparations pie.  If the one drop rule is good for the goose…

But in a way, the very difficulty in figuring out the right policy is a feature, not a bug.  It’s more useful as an issue than an actual policy. And with the added benefit of being racially divisive, it’s the perfect issue for Democrats to run on in 2020.

And every election thereafter.