Powerline’s JohnHinderaker notes Obama’s pratfall on the Russian rape of Georgia –comparing it to our invasion of Iraq– is just the latest in a string of gaffes, and John didn’t even know when he wrote it that Obama had also sung the praises of totalitarian engineering around Beijing.
Here’s what Obama said yesterday about China:
Everybody’s watching what’s going on in Beijing right now with the Olympics , Think about the amount of money that China has spent on infrastructure. Their ports, their train systems, their airports are vastly the superior to us now, which means if you are a coporation deciding where to do business you’re starting to think, “Beijing looks like a pretty good option.”
On many levels, this bit of Obama oratory is as troubling as Obama’s moral equivalence posture on the invasions of Georgia and Iraq. Obama’s praise for China’s Olympics building binge ignores how those structures were assembled, the source and conditions of the labor, the lack of pollution controls in Beijing and throughout China, the many complaints that Chinese infrastructure outside the Olympics zone remains shoddy, the recent record of Chinese manufacturing scandals, including the heparin fiasco which killed many Americans, and of course the catastrophe brought about by Chinese building standards in the region rocked by the recent earthquake. (The New Nixon’s John Taylor links to an extensive summary of the enormous shortfalls in Chinese engineering exposed by the quake.)
Obama also throws in a puzzling aside about “corporations deciding where to do business.” Did he mean to suggest that American manufacturing would relocate to Beijing because of the country’s fine infrastructure? Or that some outsourcing would go to China –which it already has, long before the shiny new Olympic facilities were built?
Or was he just indulging in some reflexive bash-America shtick, which seems to come to him whenever he goes off-prompter.
It is an unusual strategy to seek the presidency by arguing that American conduct abroad is the equivalent of Russia’s, that China’s engineering and architectural achievements are superior to ours, and that it could be understood how a business might think it would be better off relocating to the PRC.
Obama is definitely not running on American exceptionalism, but we knew that when he told the seven-year old that “America is no longer what it could be, what it once was.”