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June 11, 2021

Conservative, Inc. Is Suddenly Talking Tough About China After Condemning Trump For Taking Real Action Against China

China’s awful behavior - be it trade, human rights, virology, etc – is becoming so indefensible that even Principled Free Traders™ are suddenly rushing to condemn China. You’ll note that they are not suggesting that we do something that would really hurt China, such as cutting off imports of their goods or repatriating American jobs that were sent to China. No, not that. It is a high principle of “true conservatives” that denying American consumers the fruits of Uyghur slave labor is bad economic policy. And if Apple, Coca-Cola and Nike all agree that we mustn’t interfere with how China utilizes its slave labor resources, who are we to condemn it.

Central to Conservative, Inc’s charade is condemning Trump’s tariffs due to “principles” while also pretending they’re not actually pom-pom waving supporters of China’s authoritarian government. They want everyone to believe that Principled Free Traders™ could someday consider punitive action against bad actors such as China, but not if it’s in response to unfair trade. So, until America-first conservatives concede that exporting every possible American job is a worthwhile objective, then Conservative, Inc. will continue to pursue unilateral trade surrender to China. You see, their solemn principles demand that they put integrity about trade policy ahead of slavery and virological mass murder.

Feel free not to click on the links below, since these are all National Review links, but here are some of the endless NR posts that condemned Trump for prioritizing American jobs and for imposing tariffs on China.

Tariffs Beget Tariffs (June 2018)
National Review’s Jibran Khan condemned Trump for tariffs, and made the peculiar argument that while American tariffs on Chinese goods primarily hurt Americans, Chinese retaliatory tariffs on American goods primarily hurt…well…Americans too. No it doesn’t make sense. But when you’re advocating for surrender to a communist regime, it’s not going to make sense.

Free Trade Already Puts America First (June 2018)
National Review’s David Harsanyi condemned Trump’s tariffs and explained that unilaterally surrendering to China on trade is patriotic and pro-American.

China Trade Has Been A Bust (March 2018)
National Review’s Rich Lowry condemned Trump’s tariffs and instead proposed that the US engage the WTO and “influence multi-lateral agreements” and “muster an alliance” and “forge bilateral agreements,” etc. In other words, Mr. Lowry proposed failure theater while surrendering to China.


The Unmade Case Against China (July 2019)
National Review’s Michael Brendan Dougherty condemned Trump’s tariffs and proposed instead that Trump “use the bully pulpit” against China rather than take any actual action.

Out Of Order (Aug 2019)
‘The Editors’ at National Review condemned Trump’s tariffs, criticizing him for employing tariffs rather than “cooperating with others” or “prioritizing free trade” or talking to the WTO.

So, Principled Free Traders™ now have a problem. They love the Chinese dictatorship. They love the Chinese model of government. They feel that China’s slave labor can be justified if it can save American consumers even one penny on a purchase. And they especially love it when an American business lays off a deplorable and sends his job to China. But with the Wuhan virus adding to the yuck factor of China’s human rights record, China is toxic right now in the public’s mind.

So what’s a Principled Free Trader™ who’s been licking Xi Jinping’s shoes supposed to do? National Review’s Jim Geraghty has suddenly started churning out a flood of “tough on China” columns, trying to save face by pointing out that he has never specifically called the lab leak hypothesis a conspiracy theory. Presumably, Geraghty hopes he won’t be held accountable like all his beltway media allies who did call it a conspiracy theory, and who aggressively sought to censor those who expressed that forbidden opinion.

But fake tough talk aside, Geraghty and the rest of the National Review staff still refuse to propose any actions that would actually cause China economic discomfort.

Here are some recent CYA articles from National Review:

There Are No Issues on Which China Can Be Considered an Ally (Isaac Schorr – April 2021)

Let me summarize in my own words the bold recommendation in this article. “Do absolutely nothing, especially regarding trade with China.” And here is some of the actual NR tough talk:

It is incumbent upon the president and his diplomatic corps to identify these spheres — the environment, coronavirus, sports, etc. — as battlegrounds, and engage on them.

China’s Moral Disfigurement (Perry Link – May 2021)

Again, let me summarize in my own words the bold recommendation in this article. “Do absolutely nothing, especially regarding trade with China.” And again, here is some of the actual NR tough talk:

Pundits say that a collapse is highly unlikely anytime soon, and they might be right. I am not predicting a collapse. But if it does come, the pundits will have plenty of material to use in their explanations of why it happened.

I could do this all day, and it’s not just National Review. The Principled Free Traders™ throughout Conservative, Inc. are suddenly embarrassed that they have been exposed as de facto allies of the Chinese communist government. So, these faux-conservatives are now pretending to condemn China while furiously trying to ensure that nothing is actually done that would cause economic harm to China or its leadership.

(buck.throckmorton at protonmail dot com)

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posted by Buck Throckmorton at 04:48 PM

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