There are a couple of stories circulating today that are of the utmost importance if we are to understand why the GOP, and the rest of America for that matter, are in the state they are in.
The first is in the New York Post, and it’s review of a chunk from an upcoming book on big money in politics. The book details one of the myriad ways we as citizens are getting screwed by our supposed betters, from the Democrats and the Republicans.
The book is written by Peter Schweizer, the same guy who wrote Clinton Cash in 2016. He’s taken a deeper dive in his new book to detail the extent of financial corruption through all of Washington D.C. Some people will probably not be happy that their dirty laundry is being aired, but they will weather this criticism like they have all others.
The Post’s piece is about Mitch McConnell and his wife, Elaine Chao, who have made their personal fortunes based on their voting records dealing with China.
Forgive the large chunks of text, but there is a point to all this. Here’s a piece:
In 2004, current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, current US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, had an average net worth of $3.1 million. Ten years later, that number had increased to somewhere between $9.2 million and $36.5 million.
One source of the windfall, according to a new book from Peter Schweizer, was a 2008 gift from Chao’s father, James Chao, for somewhere between $5 million and $25 million. But this gift could be seen as more than just a gift. It may have been acquired, according to Schweizer, thanks to the couple’s fealty to China, the source of the Chao family fortune. And that fealty may have occurred at the expense of the nation they had pledged to serve.
Now, diving a little bit further into it, here’s a relevant bit on McConnell’s legislative record after he married Elaine Chao (he had taken hardline stances against China prior to the marriage).
In the ensuing years, McConnell has loudly defended China in its actions against Hong Kong and Taiwan, even claiming that “the United States needed to be ‘ambiguous’ as to whether we would come to the defense of Taiwan if attacked by China.” When Sen. Jesse Helms introduced the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act, pledging support for Taiwanese independence, in 1999, it had “twenty-one co-sponsors and heavy Republican support. But McConnell was not on the list.”
When Congress required China to document annual progress on human rights in order to maintain its trade status in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre, ditching the requirement became a priority for the country. In 2000, “McConnell cosponsored S.2277, which would do just that.”
McConnell also fought attempts to punish China for vigorously undervaluing its currency, a tactic that led Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to invoke the nuclear option, changing Senate rules on voting. The bill passed, 63-35, with McConnell voting against.
Chao, who is a two-time secretary under Republican presidents, has her own track record of promoting China despite its bad actions.
Chao has also done her part to support her ancestral home.
When she served as Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush, her department resisted efforts to “call out the Chinese government over its workers rights practices.” When a petition was filed against China on the subject of worker’s rights based on the US Trade Act of 1974, Chao opposed it.
After a bipartisan congressional report citing Chinese espionage against the US circulated in 2000, Chao “was critical of the report,” making clear she “in no way” agreed with its findings, and, Schweizer writes, “dismiss[ing] the idea that China could pose any threat to the United States.”
Schweizer, by the way, isn’t just hitting Republicans in this book. Another portion of the book hits the sons of Joe Biden and John Kerry, who also had some shady dealings with China while their fathers were meeting with the Chinese in supposed foreign policy matters.
This also ties into another story which is circulating, but probably won’t make the waves it should make.
Former RedState editor and current editor of The Resurgent wrote today about what happens when you cross Team McConnell.
Roger Ailes had Bill Shine reach out before he himself reached out. Roger had a problem and the only way he could resolve the problem was to take me off the air. Elaine Chao was on the Newscorp board of directors and, according to Roger, Elaine was “riding [his] ass” about me being on Fox. I was supporting Matt Bevin in the 2014 Republican primary in Kentucky against McConnell. And it didn’t matter why I was on television and on what topics I was or was not talking, Chao had told Roger I was an unwelcome presence on Fox and not a team player. Roger had not only told me, but conveyed to my boss at RedState that I was becoming a problem for him with Elaine.
That is just how bad things are. Someone who doesn’t like what a pundit has to say can wield their enormous power and silence them on the air. But the people who think and believe like Erick does? They don’t get a voice on television. Their views are effectively silenced as there is no one who is allowed to represent them. It’s insane.
Now, when it comes to conservatism, McConnell isn’t the whole problem. However he, and his wife, are indicative of the larger problem here: Politics has become about the money and the power, and representing the people who put you there comes second to getting yours. It’s a sad fact of human nature, but it still holds true: Power corrupts.
The one reservation I had about Chao when she was nominated for her current Cabinet spot was that she had been a Cabinet Secretary before. Unlike other members of Trump’s Cabinet, however, you don’t hear much out of Chao’s department, and the (not unfounded) fear many conservatives had was that this was an appointment to bring McConnell to Trump’s camp.
All it did was give McConnell and Chao more power.
We should be reading this and seeing this happen and take a stand against it. McConnell will retire post-Trump, and he’ll go back home to sit on wealth he didn’t truly earn and be remembered for power he never truly needed.
It’s a shame that this happens. We should expect better than this. The worst part will, of course, be the Republicans who stand up for McConnell and also have a record of condemning the riches the Clintons made off government. That’s the true hypocrisy.
This behavior is unacceptable on both sides, and we should fight to take the power away from people lke McConnell and Chao – people who misuse it at your expense.