Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Clinton Doctrine

Referring to China's notorious disregard for human rights, Secretary of State Clinton stated recently:

Successive administrations and Chinese governments have been poised back and forth on these issues, and we have to continue to press them. But our pressing on those issues can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis," she told reporters in Seoul, South Korea.

Whatever you say, Mr. Wen!
We submit that this position can be distilled to the following without any logical torture: Political expediency rules. The only issue that matters is the one that serves that end. Power matters. The peasants of China can't give me a stitch of power or influence, but legislative fiat contained in global warming legislation can. The peasant slaves of China cannot finance my insatiable political ambitions, but a well-distributed windfall can. I'm about to score trillions-with-at-T dollars of taxpayer money -- that's unheard-of clout -- and I'm not about to piss off Wen Jiabao and jeopardize that. Screw them.

We suspect there were many who held to this view during the awful era of slavery. But economic well-being has never been a pure or strong enough motive to carry a people through the tortuous task of overcoming some greivous evil, like slavery. Fortunately, a visionary president, one Abraham Lincoln, was imbued with a conviction quite the opposite of that espoused by this administration: that nothing is as important as human rights, and government has no purpose whatsoever if not protecting them. He was willing to risk the Union to establish those rights here.

On the contrary, Madame Secretary, one might argue that a statesman worthy of the title would recognize the uniqueness of the moment and leverage it to insist that China begin to officially recognize all its citizens as equal human beings. A statesman who valued the sanctity of human life would seize the historic chance to press the issue in favor the poorest and the weakest, not regardless of them. When she was telling the world "it takes a village," she apparently envisioned a village with lots of peasants living like slaves in order to keep the ruling classes in opulence.

This, readers, from the champion of government controlled health care: human rights don't matter as much as money, and damn the powerless and silent. What sorts of scenarios might that result in when czars and consultants decide who gets treatment for what medical ailment, and for how long?

This administration may broker deals to get the mechanisms of money working again so that the market indices make new highs, but morally, they're making record lows daily. And we hold that moral short selling brings down financial markets, too.


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