Richard Nixon's trip to China ended up being one the lasting hallmarks of his less than illustrious presidency.
Bush is headed there. I keep thinking about how well he's done with Katrina, Iraq, the five trillion dollar surplus he inherited. Then I think about his brilliant appointees-- Michael Brown, Harriet Maiers, all the posts he's filled with former lobbyists. And I wonder just how much damage he can and will do when he goes to China. Illustrious is a lot to hope for. IF the US survives this trip, we should be happy.
We know that Walmart does billions in business with China. I would not be surprised if several Walmart people are a part of Bush's entourage, or that they might have helped plan his trip. I wouldn't be surprised if former Walmart people were actually a part of the US diplomatic corps in China.
But China is not just about trade. We're dealing with a tough, agressive regime that has already played rough with the US, when one of our planes had to land on their territory. Remember, we had to cart it away in small pieces.
I fear that Dubya will get his testosterone stirred up again and make some kind of oafish, I'm a tough-ass from Crawford remark, like his moronic "Bring it On" dalliance with idiocy. We're not talking about a weak, impotent, militarily neutralized country like Iraq. We're talking about one of the toughest armies on the planet. And Bush has been somewhat on his own. We don't know if there will be anyone there to speak into the in-the-earphone Bush has been known to wear, like at presidential debates. That forces us to confront the frightening reality that he may wing it, on his own, just his brain. How will the Chinese react to be lectured about evil-doers and how the US is hated because of our freedoms?
Will the CHinese get his veiled use of biblical quotations? I don' think so.
Bottom line-- our best hope is that Bush won't sign a deal unbelievably favorable to Walmart or any of his other "base" campaign contributors that gives away the kitchen sink, won't make some incredibly idiotic remark that inflames relations with China, or gives them an excuse to start using some other exchange standard than the dollar, and that he won't totally embarass us.
If we are lucky and he does all these things, it is likely that he will still leave China with a great gift. They will see the president of the USA as the ignorant, inarticulate fool that he is-- a fake, an incompetent. And they will be heartened to believe that the future is theirs to take, as the USA's right wing, corporatist controlled leaders are doing nothing to build a strong future.
Is Bush China competent? We'll soon see.