That doesn’t mean they’re on the same side.
The Democratic Party v. the Chinese Communist Party
On the American left, the desire to blame Trump entirely for the coronavirus is understandable: It is an election year. And hatred for Donald Trump in the Democrat-voting electorate has reached a fever pitch.
But the Democratic Party should not shield the Chinese Communist Party in an attempt to cast more blame on Donald Trump. There is more than enough blame to go around. And the CCP deserves its fair share.
Republicans and Democrats, especially divided in an already-contentious election year and divided further by the Covid-19 crisis, are taking very different approaches to dealing with China.
The Chinese Communist Party- avid readers of both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, no doubt- have been quick to exploit preexisting political divisions between the two parties.
“The U.S. Democratic Party wants to prove the weakness and inability of the Trump administration’s epidemic fight.” — “Washington’s hysterical COVID-19 claims will fail”. April 13, 2020. (Global Times, state-run Chinese newspaper)
Efforts to shut shut down Chinese wet markets, from which scientists largely believe Covid-19 emerged by jumping from animals to humans, have been largely bipartisan. But elected Democrats have been far more reticent on the subject of the Chinese Communist Party’s role in deepening the Covid-19 crisis than their Republican counterparts.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for president, may be one exception. Targeted campaign ads have sought to counter the Trump’s campaign’s recent assertions that Biden is soft on China.
“Everyone knew they lied about the virus. China. President Trump gave China his trust. And Trump gave China more than praise. He shipped China 17 tons of American masks and medical supplies. Our masks and supplies; supplies we need now. Trump trusted China. Sent China our supplies. And just look at the mess we’re in now.” — Political ad for Joe Biden. Paid for by AB PAC. www.americanbridgepac.org.
For some Democrats, a strong Biden stance on China is a welcome one. Even left-leaning publications are entertaining the possibility that Trump and Republicans might be taking the right stance on China. Or, at least, that a strong stance on China might be politically expedient.
“I’m delighted he pushed back. I think it’s right to define the issue and say we’re not going to take punches on this question. It’s going to make it difficult for [Trump] to keep engaging in this issue when he’s not been very transparent, and been so weak in dealing with China. So I think that was an important battle to win early.” — Stan Greenberg, Democratic Pollster to NPR
What the Democratic Party cannot do, what it must not do, is align itself with the communist regime of China in order to hurt Donald Trump.
This will hurt the Democratic Party far more than it will hurt Donald Trump. No reasonable person who has opened a newspaper or read news online over the last few years could possibly believe that President Donald Trump has been that soft on China.
Of course the Chinese government doesn’t like Donald Trump. They would much prefer to work with someone more easily cowed by the media, someone more predictable who didn’t like hurting feelings.
If the Chinese government would prefer to deal with Joe Biden, this is not a good thing for the Democratic Party to advertise. There is already way too much footage of Joe Biden dismissing and laughing off China as no serious threat to U.S. interests.
Joe Biden perhaps shouldn’t have been so quick to condemn Trump’s early travel-ban on people traveling from China, calling it hysteria, xenophobia and fear-mongering. Now that the travel ban looks prescient, and likely contributed to keeping the outbreak under control in the U.S., Joe Biden looks foolish and naive about China.
A strong stance on the Chinese Communist Party would be striking exactly the right tone for the Biden campaign. Biden can be compassionate, diplomatic and firm in dealing with the Chinese Communist Party and its leaders. He can spin their preference for him into their willingness to work with him.
Biden also has an opportunity to discuss how he would deal with the World Health Organization, which has been under fire for being too obsequious to the CCP in wake of the crisis. A bi-partisan effort to ensure future pandemics aren’t met with similar levels of incompetency and geopolitics would be an excellent place to start and Biden would have no shortage of support from top Republicans.
“I just don’t think they can get away with it this time. I think the World Health Organization should play a role here in- instead of applauding China for their efforts- really holding them responsible for what they’ve done. They are the cause of a global pandemic.” — Rep. Michael McCaul, House Foriegn Affairs Committee
The Democratic Party wants to defeat Donald Trump in November. The price of this must be a Democratic willingness to talk honestly about China’s role in the Covid-19 crisis.
Especially if Democrats want to inspire willingness to examine Donald Trump’s role.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)