January 11, 2023

A Big GOP Win on China

A funny thing happened while the Democrats were crowing about Republican incompetence.

Welp, that didn’t take long.

Just a few days ago, House Republicans were a mess, a failure, a disgrace, a laughingstock of a political party unable to agree on something as fundamental as the leadership of its conference. At least, that was the hot take from all the hand-wringers and pearl-clutchers on the Left and in the media (but we repeat ourselves), as well as an assortment of hysterical Republicans who apparently think “freedom” means freedom from conflict, and who apparently yearn for a Pelosiesque obedience within their caucus.

Just how bad was it? This bad: President Poopy Pants You Know the Thing called the Republicans “embarrassing.”

And then, just like that, the Republicans stopped being embarrassing. They elected Kevin McCarthy to the speakership, and then he and his band of 222 incompetent boobs pulled together a resoundingly bipartisan 365-65 vote to establish a new select committee on the threats posed by China.

Short of a select committee to stamp out child pornography, it’s hard to imagine an issue on which every Republican and 70% of Democrats agree. And yet there it was, just days after House Republicans had been written off as incapable of governing.

The committee will include 16 members — nine Republicans and seven Democrats — and it’ll be chaired by Republican Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, a Marine, an Iraq War veteran, and a leading voice in the GOP caucus on China issues.

“It is time to understand the urgency of the threat,” said Gallagher. “It is time to reclaim our economic independence in key areas. The select committee will expose the [Chinese Communist Party’s] coordinated whole-of-society strategy to undermine American leadership and American sovereignty while working on a bipartisan basis … to identify long-overdue, commonsense approaches to counter CCP aggression.”

That aggression comes in many forms. The trade imbalance Donald Trump always railed against is an issue, as America is flooded with subpar Chinese products and its supply chains have become beholden to Beijing. Another problem is the intellectual property and private data theft prevalent from everything Chinese made to its spyware called TikTok. There’s also ChiCom influence on American college campuses. Oh, and there’s that little pandemic unleashed from a Chinese virology lab.

The committee will have its hands full.

With the many domestic wounds that the Biden administration has inflicted upon our nation — crises of energy, inflation, immigration, influence, defense, debt, trade, intellectual property theft, government overreach, and others — we can be forgiven for failing to remember that the Communist Chinese are lurking, and that the ChiComs seek nothing less than to displace the U.S. as the dominant player on the global stage. Everything President Xi Jinping does is built toward that end. To borrow from Trotsky, who knew a thing or two about commie ambition: “You may not be interested in China, but China is interested in you.”

“Here’s the good news,” said Speaker McCarthy on the House floor yesterday. “There is bipartisan consensus that the era of trusting communist China is over.”

“It is time to push back against the Chinese Communist Party’s aggression in bipartisan fashion,” said Gallagher, “and today’s overwhelming bipartisan vote to create the Select Committee on the CCP is an important step in that direction. The next step is to populate the committee with serious members on both sides and get to work with a sense of urgency.”

Ah, a sense of urgency. Committees aren’t laws. They aren’t even legislation. In fact, they’re the butt of many a much-deserved joke about governmental incompetence. After all’s been said and done in committee, there’s been a lot more said than done.

This isn’t meant to be a bucket of cold water, though. Republicans deserve real credit for bringing bipartisanship to the issue of China, which is the greatest geopolitical threat to our way of life. But they can dispense with any thought of a victory lap. The hard work hasn’t even begun.

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