President Barack Obama threw a lavish state dinner for Chinese premiere Hu Jintao last night. For the right perspective on just how objectionable this particular decision was, I’ll turn to my Twitter reader Lash3, who retweeted a succinct diagnosis of the issue:
Liu Xiaobo Liu Xiaobo Liu Xiaobo Liu Xiaobo Liu Xiaobo Liu Xiaobo Liu Xiaobo Liu Xiaobo Liu Xiaobo Liu Xiaobo Liu Xiaobo Liu Xiaobo
i mention Liu Xiaobo because NO ONE has mentioned his name at any of these events
What message did the Nobel Prize winner deliver to his guest? Andrew Malcolm highlights the key message:
We also think that China’s rise offers enormous economic opportunity. We want to sell you all kinds of stuff. (Laughter.) We want to sell you planes. We want to sell you cars. We want to sell you software.
The demands of “realpolitik” do not include a “lavish state banquet,” to borrow the AP’s words. George W. Bush did not bow to the Chinese Communists in this way. (Remember, Obama has literally bowed to the Chinese.) He gave them a lunch. Sino-American relations proceeded normally in his eight years.
Let me get a little corny on you: America is a nation that’s supposed to stand for something — for freedom, and human dignity, above all. We’re not supposed to be like every other nation. We’re supposed to be exceptional. Different. A beacon unto man.
I’m not a babe in the woods, and I understand the necessity of getting along in a wicked world. But we don’t have to abase ourselves as we are doing now. We should not be honoring the PRC boss. We should be honoring, and standing with, the men and women in the camps and the cells. Are we America? (Does this sort of talk make you gag?) What is America? What are we supposed to celebrate on the Fourth of July? Is it just an excuse for fireworks and a picnic?
For some, apparently yes, just as Nobel Peace Prizes are opportunities for self-aggrandizement.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!