Notes From D.C.: Google Decision Emboldens China Bashers

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Before running out to get breakfast (?? of course), a quick comment on some Congressional news out of D.C. The usual China Basher tools who rise to the occasion whenever a contentious China issue is in the news are out and about.

A quartet of House Republicans commended Google on Thursday for threatening to pull out of China earlier this week, saying the company’s actions could help spark the passage of legislation that aims to loosen the ties between American technology firms and countries that restrict human rights.

Speaking at a news conference outside the Capitol, the lawmakers — Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey, Frank R. Wolf of Virginia, Bob Inglis of South Carolina and Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan — also urged other companies to follow Google’s lead and criticized the administrations of both President Obama and former President George W. Bush for not taking a harder line against the Chinese.

“What Google has done,” Mr. McCotter said, “is to reaffirm what is greatest about our nation and to rekindle the lamp of liberty that we must show to the world and particularly the Chinese people.”

McCotter is a certifiable nutjob, spouting off on a regular basis on a variety of bizarre topics from the Far Right perspective, only one of which is China and its many faults. (Seriously, the guy is a loon — I”m sure a search of his name on this blog will turn over some fun quotes.)

The proposed law, which was introduced by Mr. Smith last year, would, among other things, create a State Department office to monitor Internet expression around the world and ban American companies from blocking U.S. government Web sites elsewhere.

Haven’t read this, but I’m sure its stupid and untenable, given its authors. I have no idea if there is a problem with U.S. companies banning U.S. government websites. Is that even an issue? I can access U.S. government sites from China just fine. (No, I haven’t actually read the proposed law, which has no hope of passing, is a publicity stunt, and was written by people with only a passing familiarity with the state of mind commonly referred to as sanity.)

Anyway, suffice it to say that the current, and future, debate over Google’s decision will no doubt provide cover for Fringy McCotter and his band of merry McFringerson lunatics out there. I’m sure that all Americans are happy that these jokers are out there fighting back the Red Menace on our behalf.

Another thing to look forward to in the weeks and months ahead.