Bob Dole Stands Erect For Taiwan; Firmness Achieved By All This Money On The Nightstand
But shilling to reverse decades of foreign policy, that's easy
After a long career in the Senate, a failed run for the presidency, and the best debate answer to the question of why he wanted to be Gerald Ford's vice president ("It's an indoor job, no heavy lifting"), Bob Dole apparently decided he might as well toss out whatever respect he still had after working as a pitchman for Viagra, and is now taking credit for helping Donald Trump screw up U.S. relations with China. While the United States still has a president in office, no less.
It's a YOOGE FREAKING DEAL, and not in a good way.
Mr. Dole, a lobbyist with the Washington law firm Alston & Bird, coordinated with Mr. Trump’s campaign and the transition team to set up a series of meetings between Mr. Trump’s advisers and officials in Taiwan, according to disclosure documents filed last week with the Justice Department. Mr. Dole also assisted in successful efforts by Taiwan to include language favorable to it in the Republican Party platform, according to the documents.
Mr. Dole’s firm received $140,000 from May to October for the work, the forms said.
So much for the "gaffe" explanation for chatting with Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen; she and her party appear to have allied with U.S. paleocons to piss on almost four decades of the American "One China" policy, which has never sat right with the coldest Cold Warriors of the American right.
Dole, 93, was appropriately humble about his achievement in helping to piss off the world's other superpower before Trump even takes office:
“It’s fair to say that we had some influence,” he said. “When you represent a client and they make requests, you’re supposed to respond.”
Among other fine work Dole did on behalf of Taiwan, for which he's lobbied for 20 years: Dole helped arrange meetings between Jeff Sessions and Taiwan's top envoy to the U.S., although the U.S. no longer has official diplomatic relations with that country; he also set up a meeting between Taiwanese officials and the Trump transition team.
Politico notes that Trump's transition team is also
stocked with staffers from the Heritage Foundation, which has received funding from Taiwanese companies. They include Steven Groves, who is on the team responsible for the handoff at the State Department, and Ed Feulner, the conservative think tank’s former president and an adviser to the Trump transition, who met with the Taiwanese president in Taipei in October.
So it looks like America's simply going to have the very best foreign policy other countries can buy.
How well will pissing in China's Taiwanese cornflakes go for Sino-American relations? As former G.W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer pointed out last week, the topic of contact with Taiwan has been such a tricky concern that he was always supposed to refer to the government "on" Taiwan, not the government "of" Taiwan. So sure, China will probably be really chill with finding out a former GOP presidential candidate helped the Taiwanese government set up a fine provocation for Trump to walk into -- willingly, it seems.
It's probably no big deal -- once Trump gets to meet some Chinese leaders and they tell him he's smart and wonderful, he'll probably decide they're terrific people after all, and then he'll forget all that mean stuff he said about them before.
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