Romney has only himself to blame for what is shaping up to be yet another looming campaign screw up created by eagerly inserting his foot into his partisan mouth before thinking. A few days ago, a Chinese dissident under house arrest managed to sneak away and make it to the US embassy. Imagine the embarrassment and heads rolling over that in the People’s Republic: a blind guy essentially broke out of jail guarded by the Chinese gestapo. They wanted him back, real, real bad. So the Chinese creeps kidnapped his family, probably held the equivalent of a gun to their heads, and the man, Chen Guangcheng, left the embassy and turned himself in.
Romney sees this, and like everyone else, he knows the Chinese hold all the cards. It’s their country, it’s their citizens, they have Chen and his entire family in custody, and thanks to the Republican party the Chinese also have a huge lever over the US; they hold a vast amount of US debt in the form of highly liquid bonds. If they start dumping those bonds they could crash the market, destroying deficit financing and sending interest rates through the roof. They can threaten to do it, or really do it a little bit, or a little more or a little less and so on, back and forth, whenever they want to with great precision.
So, US vulnerable, government agency alone in a strange country with control freak dictators, human rights at stake, super delicate situation with lots of downside, it’s a conservative wet dream! Time to try some sabotage! Romney lurched into the task with a look of near ecstasy on his otherwise soulless face:
(ABC News) — ‘The reports are, if they are accurate, that our administration wittingly or unwittingly communicated to Chen an implicit threat to his family and also probably sped up or may have sped up the process of his decision to leave the embassy,” Romney said. “If these reports are true, this is a dark day for freedom, and it’s a day of shame for the Obama administration.”
This was a big discussion on Morning Joe today, with Romney toadie Dan Senor — the same Dan Senor who was too wrong to fail under Bush — taking shots at the WH while GOP Joe played concern troll.
But the US didn’t give up, under the direction of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has pleasantly surprised me with her work ethic and efficacy ever since she was appointed, we went to work behind the scenes, negotiating with the Chinese despite being at a huge disadvantage. And guess what happened next?
(Times Colonist) — The United States said Friday that China had indicated it would let blind activist Chen Guangcheng and his family leave the country soon, raising hopes of a resolution to a damaging diplomatic crisis.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said China would expedite travel documents for the rights campaigner, who escaped house arrest and fled to the U.S. embassy, where he spent six days before emerging Wednesday.
If that ends up happening we have yet another situation where Romney could have kept his mouth shut or talked about something else. He clearly had no idea what he would do — not that anyone would blame him for that given the circumstances — he certainly didn’t bother to say what he would have done. But no, he chose to prattle on from the Fox News peanut gallery like a bull in a China shop and now risks looking like an idiot, again. While the Obama administration seems to be coolly and quietly working out a near miraculous resolution on a delicate matter with an otherwise stubborn, unyielding nation. How the fuck is this election even close?