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Jon Huntsman For Secretary Of State?

Jon Huntsman

The Associated Press is reporting that another name may be added to Donald Trump’s short list for Secretary of State:

President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly open to expanding his short list of candidates for secretary of State to include former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

Huntsman was one of the possibilities reported by The Associated Press on Saturday night, citing a source close to the Trump transition.

Huntsman, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, previously served as ambassador to China and speaks Mandarin.

The AP reported that Trump is moving away from the two front-runners for the secretary of State position, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Trump has twice met with Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee who criticized Trump’s candidacy, but some of the president-elect’s aides and allies have slammed Romney as a potential Cabinet pick.

Questions have also swirled over the international business ties of Giuliani, an adviser to Trump during the campaign who has openly campaigned for the secretary of State position.

Huntsman vocalized concerns about Trump during the campaign, and was among Republicans calling for him to drop out of the race in October in the wake of the tape showing the businessman making lewd comments about women.

Of all the names that have been mentioned to date, there’s a strong case to be made that Huntsman may be the most qualified to serve in the role of Secretary of State in a Republican, or Democratic, Administration. In addition to serving nearly two full, and successful terms, as Governor of Utah, Huntsman also has extensive foreign policy experience with particular emphasis on experience with China and Asia. He was, of course, Ambassador to China under President Obama for more than two years before resigning to run for President. Under President George H.W. Bush and, briefly, Bill Clinton, he served as the American Ambassador to Singapore. Prior to that, he served as a deputy Secretary of Commerce for trade and commerce with East Asia, also under the first President Bush. Since the 2012 election, Huntsman has been a frequent guest on television news discussing foreign policy issues, particularly issues related to China, North Korea, and East Asia. Currently, he serves as Chairman of the Atlantic Council. Politically, Huntsman has been an advocate for bipartisanship and compromise and has been affiliated in the past with the “No Labels” movement, which has stood in opposition to the political polarization that currently plagues American politics. In 2016, he remained largely silent during the Republican Primary and, for the most part, the General Election although he did say in the late stages of the GOP primary cycle that he could potentially support Trump, only to call for Trump to drop out of the race after the Access Hollywood tape showing Trump making sexist remarks was released in October of this year.

The fact that Huntsman’s name is being released at this relatively late date, after we’ve been through several weeks of speculation about potential Secretaries of State, suggests one of two things. Either Trump truly hasn’t made up his mind about this position and hasn’t been entirely pleased with the names that have been floated so far (Mitt Romney, David Petraeus, Bob Corker, and Rudy Giuliani), or this is part of a deflection effort by the campaign to keep the press guessing about who the ultimate choice will be. In that regard, Reince Preibus, the incoming White House Chief of Staff, said this weekend that the final decision on the position could be as much as two weeks away, a possible indication that a final decision is nowhere near despite previous indications that the list had narrowed to as few as two people. Whatever the case, as I’ve said before, of the choices that have been mentioned, Romney and Petraeus would seem to be the best, with Senator Corker a close second to both of those two. If Huntsman truly is a potential candidate, though, I’d argue that he’s probably the best choice overall, especially given the importance of Asia policy and China in coming decades and the need for someone who understands the Chinese leadership and how to understand Chinese statements and actions from that leadership. That, as well as his foreign policy experience in general, should put him at the top of this list.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    I consider either Romney or Huntsman heroes if they take on the job. It will be miserable and humiliating. American prestige plummeted on November 8. We will not likely ever return to the position of respect and admiration we enjoyed in the past. And whoever is SecState will have to live with that shrinking reputation.

    Imagine negotiating a deal for six months and having the Man-Baby fire off a Tweet that destroys all your work. You’d spend four years on the phone going, “Sorry, Mr. Prime Minister, the president did not mean what he said, he’s a moron, please try to ignore him.” “Sorry, madam President, yes we are suddenly reversing policy. Yes, again.” “No, Premier, he didn’t mean that, you need to just mute his Twitter feed.”

    There’s not enough money in the world that would make the job attractive to anyone with any sense. It can only be an act of patriotic self-sacrifice on the part of Romney or Huntsman.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1

  2. Liberal Capialist says:

    .

    Of the deplorables, he is least so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  3. Gustopher says:

    Is Trump floating a new name just to pressure Romney to apologize? Something along the lines of “well, we can find another Mormon if you won’t apologize…”

    Huntsman is entirely qualified and not insane. The idea of Romney is reassuring because he’s an adult, and would probably be fine. Huntsman is an adult who is actually qualified.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  4. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Gustopher:

    I’m with Reynolds on this one. Ether of them would be an acceptable choice – IF Mango Mussolini would allow them to do the job.

    But he won’t. You know he won’t. I know he won’t. He has already stepped in it re: China and he seems incapable of putting Twitter down. The latest rant fest re: SNL was just ridiculous.

    It’s going to be four years of unforced errors and China / Russia / G-d knows who else running the table on us diplomatically. There isn’t enough money or prestige in the world to make this role attractive under this person.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  5. Guarneri says:

    Wow. The. Henny Penny’s can read minds and have crystal balls, too.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 19

  6. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Guarneri:

    I’m not sure why you’re still gloating (aside from the obvious explanation – that you’re generally just an asshole & it’s all you’ve got). Aside from the damage to the nation itself, which is more than bad enough, this disaster of a president and all his screw ups over the next four years is something that your party gets to own.

    The country suffers. Your party suffers.

    Henny Pennys? Nah, you guys are Wrong Way Riegels. Enjoy the next four years.

    We certainly will :-)

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  7. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:

    Three major, unforced foreign policy errors in about as many days: China and Taiwan; Pakistan and India; and for fun we now support extrajudicial murders in the Philippines. And the idiot’s not even sworn in yet.

    If you had a shred of intellectual integrity or honesty, I’d ask you to explain how that’s a good thing. But there’d be no point. You’re as post-reality as any of them.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  8. Guarneri says:

    Sounds like whistling past the graveyard. But maybe you are correct, he should be doing the sensible thing like stacking up on his cronys, Obama style. Like, say, Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff. You guys remember Rahm, right? He’s the guy who went on to be Mayor of Chicago, where he covers up his cops blowing away black guys until after he’s re-elected. Or bankrupts a city. Charming and competent fellow, and stellar Obama appointment.

    But you guys don’t want to talk about that………because intellectual honesty is in short supply. Spare me the childish Trump handwringing. None of us knows what’s going to happen yet. We just know you guys remain in denial. Look, maybe they can give Hillary a certificate of participation. Everyone wins!

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 17

  9. michael reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    We should start an office pool on when he Tweets that all of the West Bank should be open to Israeli settlers. Or randomly blurts that South Korea is on its own. Or, why shouldn’t Estonia belong to his good friend Putin?

    On the plus side, we get the good seats again. It was pretty easy ‘defending’ Obama, and it will be easier still, and much more fun, shoving the cretin’s lies, frauds, betrayals and imbecilities in his supporter’s faces. I’m starting to enjoy myself. I even considered starting up my own blog.

    So far the Great Populist has handed the economy over to the bankers who ruined us eight years ago. Pretty sure that’s what his goober voters wanted, right? More Goldman Sachs?

    And the wall is now a tasteful 12 foot section of wrought-iron fence. Kind of what he promised, right?

    And he’s already the most corrupt POTUS since Harding. Which is totally what the raving jail-Hillary mob was baying for, right? That bitch with her speeches, thank God that’s over and we can get down to straight-up, nuance-free corruption on a massive, worldwide scale.

    And he’s getting right to work shifting the tax burden off the 1% so that the 1% can have an even more dominant position, which is absolutely what those unemployed coal miners wanted.

    Never in the history of presidential politics has a president-elect managed to betray so many promises in such a short time. You almost have to admire the efficiency and speed with which he stabbed his voters in the back, getting it done before he’s even sworn in.

    And despite all this he still has time to rant about SNL.

    Leader of the Free World!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

  10. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    This really is entertaining. I don’t know if the people here are too ignorant to recognize what Trump’s doing, or too invested in hating and dismissing him to admit they do get it.

    As I and others are seeing it, Trump’s moves with Taiwan and the Philippines are opening moves in a grander strategy, and seem like good ones. Especially when you factor in that, officially, he’s still just a civilian and President Obama is the only one who can speak for the country, it gives just the slightest hint of unofficiality (probably not a word) to his actions so far.

    China seems to be recognizing what game Trump’s playing, and they seem to be signaling that they won’t freak out and overreact.

    As far as Huntsman goes… his extensive experience in Asia could be very useful. And his daughter’s now a regular on Fox News, so there’s that potential back channel that might be worth something. (And she’s far better at TV news stuff than Chelsea Clinton ever was.)

    Things could get very interesting come January 20. And for once, “interesting” in a “good for the US” way.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 19

  11. CSK says:

    This job is akin to that of the guy who has to follow the horses on the parade route with a broom and giant dustpan, sweeping up the huge smelly droppings.

    Pence and Conway are making the rounds of the talk shows this morning, trying to downplay the significance of the Taiwan call.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  12. James Pearce says:

    @Guarneri:

    he should be doing the sensible thing like stacking up on his cronys, Obama style.

    Yes, you get it. Trump should be just like Obama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  13. dennis says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    “The Emperor does not share your optimistic appraisal of the situation.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  14. Tyrell says:

    Certainly the person for secretary should be experienced, traveled, intelligent, calm, and sees the big picture.
    These statesmen set the high standard for secretary of state: Clay, Webster, Adams, Calhoun, Hay, Rusk, Hull, and Kissinger.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  15. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    As I and others are seeing it, Trump’s moves with Taiwan and the Philippines are opening moves in a grander strategy

    This is laughable, of course, but if true, the “grander strategy” that requires you to partner up with Duterte is the “grander strategy” you don’t want.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  16. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    You’re as dumb as your messiah.

    China seems to be recognizing what game Trump’s playing, and they seem to be signaling that they won’t freak out and overreact.

    What exactly is the three-dimensional chess you think is being played here, genius? A week ago Taiwan was not on the table and now, thanks to Cheeto it’s on the table, and there are three possible outcomes:

    1) Grovel and walk it back.
    2) Go to war with the PRC by backing Taiwan independence.
    3) Throw Taiwan under the bus.

    You will note that each of those outcomes is worse than the status quo ante. The best choice is to grovel. Unlike you and your white nationalist leader, the Chinese can walk an action forward and see consequences and opportunities. We just handed Beijing an ace. And we just encouraged the most reckless elements in the Taiwan political class, and the most retrograde elements in China itself.

    Yay!

    Taiwan is to China what Hawaii is to us – but a hell of a lot closer. Through diplomacy we achieved a status that kept Taiwan alive and safe. And now the Man-Baby has blown that up. Like handing a pile of chips to the guy across the table. And deal-making was supposedly his strength!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

  17. Bobb says:

    @Gustopher: Agree. Qualifications matter when it comes to foreign affairs, and Huntsman is in a different league from Romney, Guiliani and the others who are being considered. On China and Asia, Huntsman is the most qualified candidate we have.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  18. charon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Probably be some Syria and ISIS stuff in the future also.

    Trump and Deep State

    Aleppo

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  19. michael reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:

    Calhoun was pro-slavery and by pushing for its extension in the west helped to bring on the Civil War. And Kissinger is directly responsible for the invasions of Laos and Cambodia which resulted in the Killing Fields genocide.

    But Cordell Hull, absolutely. FDR’s guy in some damned trying times. Just as good, the great General George Marshall, as useful a human being as this country has ever produced.

    Trump loves Patton and MacArthur because he saw movies about them. Patton was good single-use general, not a military genius, and MacArthur was an erratic and only-occasionally-effective general but an excellent occupier. But our greatest WW2 general was unquestionably Marshall. There should probably be cities named after that man.

    You want great battlefield generals, look to Grant and Sherman, Matthew Ridgway, James Gavin, Winfield Scott, maybe George Hays or Chesty Puller. Of course, if you include confederates the list expands quite a bit. They had good generals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  20. Slugger says:

    The what may be more important than the who. The Secretary of State probably does not make many independent decisions; they hand him a vial of white powder, and he tells the UN it contains anthrax from Iraq. In my opinion, Obama’s foreign policy had some significant errors. I can not figure out what we are doing in the Levant. This morning’s news said the the rebels in Aleppo were having a bad time; it took me some time to remember whose side we support. We’re for the defenders of Aleppo and against the defenders of Mosul, right? We are helping somebody bomb civilians in Yemen for no good reason.
    I would like to see a review of America ‘s security needs. I think that the current oil glut gives us a good chance to step back in the Levant.
    I’d like trade agreements like TPP to be scrutinized from the national security viewpoint. A trade deal is tantamount to a military alliance.
    Trump has said some things along the lines of my thinking, but he seems a bit labile and apt to put out a 3 am tweet based on an emotion rather than cool thought.
    Huntsman does seem a cool head. At least he isn’t a general.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  21. Grumpy Realist says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: I suggest you pick up a history book and review how WW1 started.

    Contrary to what your side seems to think, this isn’t a video game.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  22. michael reynolds says:

    @Slugger:

    It’s a bunch of overlapping levels of conflict. It’s Shia vs. Sunni (essentially Iran vs. Saudi Arabia.) It’s also Russia trying to prop up Assad. And us trying to crush ISIS and AQ. And the Kurds trying to create a state in fact if not in law. There is literally no possible outcome that will in any way be ‘good,’ because basically all the players are assholes.

    Look at it as a list of possible winners:

    – Iran
    – Assad
    – Saudi Arabia
    – ISIS
    – Turkish Islamists
    – Russia
    – Hezbollah

    Which team should we back? Starting to think we should just back out of the room. The temptation is strong. On the other hand, what happens in the MENA has a tendency not to stay in the MENA. I’m certainly open to re-evaluation, just wish it wasn’t re-evaluation by our new TV Critic in Chief.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  23. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Pence and Conway are already all over the Sunday shows today desperately trying to pull off #1.

    I’m wondering when the Chinese are going to play the next card, because with them there is always a next card. They won’t let this opportunity go unutilized.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

  24. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: Click.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  25. MBunge says:

    Has anyone checked to see if Trump is a mutant? He certainly seems to have the power to lower the IQ of his opponents by dozens of points while simultaneously imbuing them with the delusion of precognition.

    The wild fantasies of all these horrific things he will do can be put aside. We’ll all find out soon enough. This Taiwan thing, however, is really turning into quite the spectacle of stupidity.

    1. Taiwan does not exist because of diplomacy. It exists because the political costs of conquering it are higher than China is willing to pay. That was true before Trump’s phone call. It remains true after Trump’s phone call.

    2. China is neither Dr.Doom nor the Boogieman. Reading you people rave on about what China’s going to do to us makes me feel like I’ve stepped into a 1950s John Birch Society lecture about the communist threat.

    3. China needs good relations with the United States at least as much if not more than we need good relations with them. We are the most powerful nation on Earth. They are a distant #2 at best. We have a much greater hold on the allegiances of the other major powers. While we have a sick but still functional economy and polity, China is a brittle dictatorship struggling with an economy that is more 19th century than 21st. In 50 years, it may be different but this is today.

    Liberals loved to call Reagan stupid and conservatives wanted to see Obama’s college transcript because they just knew it would show him to be someone who only advanced due to affirmative action. But don’t worry. I’m sure that kind of thinking will work out much better for you this time.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 13

  26. Ben Wolf says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: Be careful in airbrushing history this way. The Bush Administration had a grand strategy that was certainly grand and nothing at all of a strategy; we see how that worked out.

    Strategies have clearly identified political goals. If a politician is keeping those goals secret and/or failing to reveal how it measures progress in meeting them, she has no strategy. So far Trump’s foreign policy is so ambiguous as to be playing it by ear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  27. CSK says:

    Well, Putin today described Trump as “clever,” so Trump will curl up in ecstasy and give Putin Alaska, I suppose.

    Do any of you who adulate this man understand how easy he is to manipulate? Tell him he’s swell and he’s yours. Tell him he has less money than he claims to have, and he goes nuts, and you can jerk him around like a trout on a line. Tell him he has short fingers and he’ll spend 30 years mailing you photos of his hands intended to prove his fingers are long and graceful.

    Marla Maples got Trump to marry her by going to the New York Post gossip columnist and telling her that sex with Trump “was the best sex I ever had.” Headlines. Trump was enthralled.

    He’s not tough. He’s a gullible sap who knows nothing, and is proud of being an ignoramus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  28. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:

    I thought you weren’t going to defend every stupid thing Trump does?

    From the WSJ:

    There’s a world of difference, however, between causing gratuitous offense to Beijing and building on a longstanding friendship with Taiwan. As president, Mr. Trump will have to distinguish with utmost care. Clumsiness could trigger more than a diplomatic rebuke from Beijing. It could mean a choice between peace and conflict.

    Here’s Brookings:

    It is too soon to tell if the Chinese will overreact by taking steps against either Taiwan or American interests. So far, it would appear that cooler heads will prevail in Beijing. They seem to be blaming Taiwan’s leadership, rather than publicly asserting that Trump or the United States was responsible. They may judge that they should show restraint in order to avoid rocking the boat too soon in their relationship with the incoming Trump administration. That is not an experiment, however, that Trump should have conducted. It will put Beijing more on edge to react harshly to future challenges by Trump . Additionally, relations between Beijing and Taipei are especially sensitive right now, since the election of the candidate of the historically pro-independence DPP party earlier this year. That prompted Beijing to cut off political ties with Taiwan until President Tsai recognizes the “one China principle” that, under various interpretations, underlies previous contacts. President Tsai cannot do that for reasons of politics and conviction, and before the Trump-Tsai conversation there was a risk that Beijing might increase pressure on a recalcitrant Taiwan in damaging ways. That risk can only be compounded by this gratuitous phone conversation.

    And even the Iraq-Will-Welcome-Us! neocons at Weekly Standard aren’t so sure:

    And the benefits, meanwhile, could be significant. Ever since the Russian annexation of Crimea, it has seemed likely that Beijing will be encouraged to try to retake Taiwan. The precedent, after all, has now been set: National boundaries can be redrawn with only minimal consequences. And the parallels are stark as well—Crimea, historically, had been part of Russia as indeed Taiwan had at one point been part of China. It wasn’t that hard to envisage Chinese strongman Xi Jinping going with the “Crimea option.” That seems a lot less likely now that the U.S. president has made such a bold stand in defense of Taiwan.

    There are a couple of ways Trump’s call could backfire, however. For one, there have been news reports that Trump has potential business interests in Taiwan. This, again, shows that the president elect needs to fully separate himself from the Trump Organization, as even when he pursues worthy policies they will look suspicious to some.

    See the part I bolded? What does that look like to you? You want war with China? You want to risk war with China? You think maybe that’s just the kind of situation that can easily get out of control?

    I could go on listing rational and even right-wing sources that are, to say the least, skeptical, but that’s enough to refute your ignorant assertion that we’re being hysterical.

    Don’t become Jenos, you’re better than that. Stop arguing against reality. See my list of three possible outcomes up there? Which do want: Grovel, War or Betray. Because that’s what we’ve got on the table now, a discussion which serves no American purpose but could be a God-send to Chinese hardliners.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  29. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    As I and others are seeing it

    Ah, so its “Bevis & Butthead do foreign policy”?

    they seem to be signaling that they won’t freak out and overreact

    Freaking out is not the Chinese way. As for “overreact” – their reaction, whatever it is, will seem appropriate to them, so in their view it will not be an overreaction. We may or may not agree.

    It’s instructive to think back to the Korean war. When US/UN forces routed the North Koreans and sent them reeling back towards the Chinese border, China sent a quite message that we could do what we had to do on the Korean Peninsula, but our forces must not come closer than 100 miles to the Chinese border. If they did, China would attack to prevent our forces from reaching their border. In our arrogance, we ignored this warning. China crossed their border and attacked.

    For all our power, China inflicted a bloody, brutal, and expensive lesson. “When we tell you we mean it, believe what we say.” At the zenith of our power, we were able to do no better than an expensive draw, one with negative consequences that create significant danger to this day.

    The Chinese foreign minister has made it clear that they are very, very unhappy about this moronic phone call. I realize that you are too stupid to understand this. I also realize that you are reveling in your “We are the Champions” moment, but those among of who have actually read and understood our history know that playing chicken with another great power is a game that can lead to death and destruction on a massive scale.

    It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that China absolutely has the means to screw with our economy and cause mischief in any number of areas. They’ve lost face, and now they need to get it back, one way or the other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  30. James Pearce says:

    @MBunge:

    1. Taiwan does not exist because of diplomacy. It exists because the political costs of conquering it are higher than China is willing to pay. That was true before Trump’s phone call. It remains true after Trump’s phone call.

    2. China is neither Dr.Doom nor the Boogieman. Reading you people rave on about what China’s going to do to us makes me feel like I’ve stepped into a 1950s John Birch Society lecture about the communist threat.

    3. China needs good relations with the United States at least as much if not more than we need good relations with them. We are the most powerful nation on Earth. They are a distant #2 at best. We have a much greater hold on the allegiances of the other major powers. While we have a sick but still functional economy and polity, China is a brittle dictatorship struggling with an economy that is more 19th century than 21st. In 50 years, it may be different but this is today.

    How much of that do you really think was going through Trump’s mind when he was talking to the Taiwanese government?

    We can come up with all kinds of post hoc reasons that may appear to be some kind of grand strategy. That doesn’t mean there’s some kind of grand strategy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  31. rachel says:

    @Liberal Capialist: What? Huntsman’s not a Deplorable; he’s just a Republican.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  32. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @anjin-san:

    Exactly. People forget that China has several options at its disposal for utterly wrecking the US economy were it to decide doing so was warranted. It would hurt them as well, of course, but it’s difficult to fund a war when your currency and your economy are collapsing.

    We don’t hold as many cards in this relationship as some seem to believe we do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  33. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @michael reynolds: You’re as dumb as your messiah.

    That’s really getting tiresome. It seems that anyone who didn’t worship at the feet of the brain-damaged, corrupt, congenital liar must have some sort of religious fixation on Trump.

    And to those who have actual religious beliefs (yes, there are such people), it’s really unnecessarily rude.

    Grow the eff up, will you?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 20

  34. anjin-san says:

    @MBunge:

    China is neither Dr.Doom nor the Boogieman

    Nor where they when they inflicted 50K+ KIA on our forces in Korea. They are not Dr. Doom, and we are not Superman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  35. Tyrell says:

    @michael reynolds: George Marshall: yes for sure. I was compiling that list in a hurry, but he is at the top. General McArthur: did well in Japan after the war, but really should not have been charge of Korea. Bradley was also a great general. My favorite Civil War general is Burnside, followed by Sheridan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    Here are some thoughts from a pretty good observer of international events, and a bit of special knowledge about the Philippines in particular.

    With Duterte, there are essentially three general options:

    1) Pull him back into our influence.

    2) Shove him into China’s influence.

    3) Eliminate him. (Assassination, engineer a coup, support the opposition, something like that.)

    The unstated assumption in the “but he’s so horrible!” is that what he has done is, objectively, worse than what others we have dealt with have done. That his actions are worse than those of the Iranian Mullahs, the Castro brothers, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and several other reprehensibles I could name.

    It’s the same kind of selective, opportunistic morality that had Hillary seizing the opportunity to intervene in the Libyan civil war and turn that (now quasi-) nation into an Islamist hellhole. Don’t ask if Kaddafi was more useful alive and in power or dead; he’d done bad things, so we need to score our revenge.

    China’s been waging economic and cyber war on the US for some time, and has gotten complacent with being able to get their way on pretty much everything. (Just look at their corporate espionage, hacking, and total contempt for the notion of intellectual property, and what that’s cost us.)

    Trump talking to Taiwan could be taken as him telling them that he won’t treat the things they assume as their right as sacrosanct, and the concession over Taiwan is back on the table. And it won’t be alone there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  37. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    China’s been waging economic … war on the US for some time

    Comments like this one make you look even more like an idiot. China engages in some minor currency manipulation to keep its exports cheap. That’s not economic warfare. It’s business.

    True economic warfare – through any combination of dumping Treasuries, dumping dollars, forestalling exports to the US, slamming the brakes on new purchases of Treasury issues, and a few other tactics – wouldn’t be pretty, and given the size of our reserves relative to China’s, we’d lose. We don’t have the horsepower to respond to it for more than a few months at most. The amount of debt this country carries is a terrible vulnerability.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  38. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    he’d done bad things, so we need to score our revenge.

    Yes. He was a mass murderer of American citizens. That’s a line you don’t get to walk back across. He needed to be put down.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  39. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @HarvardLaw92: 1) I gave specific examples of what I considered “economic warfare” — the espionage and theft of intellectual property.

    2) The amount of debt this country carries is a terrible vulnerability.

    Funny, I don’t recall you saying anything like that while Obama oversaw our national debt doubling. Hell, I recall a lot of people saying that the debt was no big problem, and even having a debt ceiling was a terrible idea.

    Were you among them?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  40. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Hell, I recall a lot of people saying that the debt was no big problem

    You are thinking of Dick Cheney and his Republican enablers…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  41. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Obama oversaw our national debt doubling

    Think I will let someone else eviscerate this comment. I’m listening to Dann Penn demos & it is really too pleasant to spoil with your nonsense :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  42. anjin-san says:

    Here you go Jenos – step outside of your sad little world for a few minutes:

    The Dark End of the Street

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  43. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    1) I gave specific examples of what I considered “economic warfare” — the espionage and theft of intellectual property.

    That’s business. We all play the same game.

    Funny, I don’t recall you saying anything like that while Obama oversaw our national debt doubling. Hell, I recall a lot of people saying that the debt was no big problem, and even having a debt ceiling was a terrible idea.

    In a normal environment, with interdependencies operational and functioning, it’s not that much of a concern. In an environment of open economic warfare, it pins us to the mat very quickly. It’s the reason why the concept of us holding all of the cards in that sort of scenario is a joke. We don’t, and that’s why it’s an abysmally bad idea to be tweaking China’s nose. It’s almost as stupid as his “I’ll get the holders of US debt to accept a haircut” idea.

    That said, Congress controls spending, specifically the House. You’ll need to talk to them about why the debt increased so much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  44. wr says:

    @MBunge: “Liberals loved to call Reagan stupid and conservatives wanted to see Obama’s college transcript because they just knew it would show him to be someone who only advanced due to affirmative action.”

    Yeah, we get it. Liberals are stupid. Conservatives are stupid. There is only one truly intelligent man on the plant and that’s you.

    Give it a rest already. You are impressing no one but yourself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  45. wr says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: “And to those who have actual religious beliefs (yes, there are such people), it’s really unnecessarily rude.”

    Oh, look! Baby Jenos is standing up for the hurt fee-fees of all the nice religious people who are so fragile that if anyone ever uses the word god except when referring to their deity of choice. Good Baby Jenos, so thoughtful and true — you protect the fee-fees. That will show us all what a truly good person you are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  46. Pch101 says:

    @Slugger:

    In Syria, the US wants Assad to step down, yet it does not wish to support most of Assad’s opposition. So while there is a US desire to destroy ISIS, the US does not wish to provide much aid to Assad, who has the most to gain by fighting ISIS.

    In Iraq, the US wants to support the government in Baghdad and to fight ISIS. While the US is happy to include the Kurds in the fighting, it does not wish to aid the Kurds in such a way that it bolsters a Kurdish independence movement, as full Kurdish independence would cause Iraq to implode.

    Supporting the Kurds also creates issues with NATO member Turkey, which opposes any effort that would encourage Kurds within Turkey to seek their independence.

    Hence, the US has an interest in using a Baghdad-led force to do much of the fighting so that Iraq doesn’t fall apart once ISIS is defeated.

    Juggling all of these interests is complicated, of course. Doing so without the use of a large US ground force adds yet another layer of complexity, as it has been necessary for the US to wait for Iraq to build its ground forces prior to launching an effective ground offensive.

    As a result, the policy will necessarily be ambiguous and will not produce any instant gratification. Still, it makes more sense over the long run for the US to use this approach, even though it remains to be seen whether Iraq can remain unified. (A divided Iraq would create a power vacuum that would help Iran, so it isn’t just about ISIS.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  47. anjin-san says:

    @wr:

    It’s kind of cute when Jenos plays grown up…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  48. Lisa Cavalieri says:

    He needs all of them on his cabinet somewhere. Giuliani, Romney, and Huntsman

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. Pch101 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Here are some thoughts from a pretty good observer of international events…

    When you make statements like that, only to post a link to Pajamas Media, then I can only feel embarrassed for you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  50. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: Then you should be just as mad at the US. How do you think we got a lot of our science and technology back in the 1800s? We stole it from England and European countries. In spite of it being patented.

    P.S. I suggest you also learn a little about patent law. Something that is patented in the US but isn’t patented in China is NOT PROTECTED in China.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  51. rachel says:

    @grumpy realist: The TPP was supposed to address that issue, but so much for that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  52. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @rachel:

    What? Huntsman’s not a Deplorable; he’s just a Republican.

    Traditionally, the proposed candidate and then president-president become head of the party.

    There is no more Republican party, at least as we knew it.

    It’s Trump’s Party.

    Trump adviser tells House Republicans: You’re no longer Reagan’s party

    How Republicans went from the party of Lincoln to the party of Trump, in 13 maps

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  53. wr says:

    @anjin-san: “It’s kind of cute when Jenos plays grown up…”

    Always makes me feel like I need a shower.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  54. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Just curious: which Trumpian lie are you attaching to? You have a choice:

    1) The call was initiated by Taiwan, Trump was just being polite.
    2) Okay, the call started with Trump but didn’t mean anything.
    3) It was all part of a master plan to. . . um. . .

    Three distinctly different iterations of reality, all from the Trump camp within about 48 hours. And let me guess: they’re all three completely 100% true, because reality is whatever der führer says it is. In his most recent tweet. Right?

    God this is going to be fun. Twist little worm, twist into whatever shape the Man-Baby wants.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  55. CSK says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    That was an interesting article about Stephen Moore. So, essentially, Moore doesn’t agree with many of Trump’s policies, but he’s prepared to support them and “give the people what they want.”

    Moore sounds like a perfect Trump advisor: Tell the boss what he wants to hear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  56. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @michael reynolds: I don’t know, and I don’t particularly care. We ought to show a little more respect to Taiwan, and a lot less to China.

    But it’s nice to know you think we should continue to kowtow to a country that, among other things, apparently harvests organs from still-living convicts and resells them to desperate foreigners.

    And I wasn’t going to say it, but since you went all Der Fuhrer, I bet Dr. Mengele would approve of that policy that you have no problems with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  57. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Well, that was pitiful. How are you going to get through the next 4 years? You’ve already had to pretend to believe that there were 2 million illegal votes, and now you’re evidently so exhausted by your contortions you can’t even come up with an answer as to which Trump lie you prefer.

    Stretching exercises, Jenos. You’re going to need to be very, very, very flexible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  58. Benjamin Wolf says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    True economic warfare – through any combination of dumping Treasuries, dumping dollars, forestalling exports to the US, slamming the brakes on new purchases of Treasury issues, and a few other tactics – wouldn’t be pretty, and given the size of our reserves relative to China’s, we’d lose. We don’t have the horsepower to respond to it for more than a few months at most. The amount of debt this country carries is a terrible vulnerability.

    You go ahead and trade on those assumptions and I will happily take your money.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1