Joe Biden Tells Chinese Citizens To 'Challenge The Government,' Neglects To Mention His Administration Doesn't Like Being Challenged

from the no,-but-you-guys-should-totally-do-it dept

Vice President Joe Biden is in China and as usual, he took the opportunity to try to insert his foot in his mouth. China may be veering towards its own brand of capitalism simply because it’s a manufacturing powerhouse, but it’s still a long way from being an open country in any other respect.

Biden’s pep talk to some Chinese citizens gathered at the US embassy included this “empowering” exhortation.

“Innovation can only occur when you can breathe free, challenge the government, challenge your teachers, challenge religious leaders.”

All well and good, I suppose. Of course, it’s much easier said than done, and Biden’s contribution only included the “saying” part. These sort of challenges have actual repercussions in China, which still wishes unruly citizens into high-walled political cornfields prisons.

But what’s even more irritating about his blithe statement is the fact that his own administration isn’t really keen on being challenged by its citizens.

Case in point: the NSA leaks. For a long time, the administration stood firm in its support of the agency. It only stepped back when it realized the situation was going to get a whole lot worse before it got any better and that the NSA itself wasn’t just lying to the public, but to the president and the rest of the government as well. It also smelled blood in the water after amendments and bills targeting the NSA and its programs began gathering bipartisan support and wanted to be as far away from the massacre on the horizon.

This administration has also prosecuted more whistleblowers than all other administrations combined. This is what happens to people who challenge the administration. They end up broken by the system, the same system that tells them it wants to be “open” and “transparent.”

The administration has also shown a fondness for shutting out inquiring minds with the overuse of state secret exceptions. Sure, information may want to be free, but its overseers won’t let it roam without being covered in black ink. Its track record on civil liberties has eclipsed the awfulness of the Bush administration, which at least had the courtesy to be openly evil in its intentions.

Even the press has grown disillusioned with Obama’s administration, recently complaining that it controls the narrative by handing out approved promo shots rather than allowing press photographers to do their jobs.

Now, I realize that as vice president, Biden doesn’t truly represent the administration. He may be second-in-command, but the reality of the job demands someone who can stay out of the way while whipping up support for the administration’s policies and pet legislation behind the scenes. It requires him to make appearances on behalf of the administration but kindly asks him not to embarrass it while doing so. Biden has failed to hold up his end of the bargain with his statements.

Here he hands Chinese citizens advice they can’t possibly use while simultaneously highlighting the hypocrisy inherent in the administration’s treatment of criticism. “Challenge your government,” he tells people who can be ripped from their families for doing so before retreating to the safety of an administration that actively seeks out and punishes those who challenge its methods and actions. With this mindless bit of “go team!” posturing, Joe Biden is hurling stones from the balcony of the administration’s glass house.

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Comments on “Joe Biden Tells Chinese Citizens To 'Challenge The Government,' Neglects To Mention His Administration Doesn't Like Being Challenged”

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out_of_the_blue says:

Like mentioning spying yet omitting Google and Facebook!

And at best this is political posturing, not worth the bandwidth.

Industrial output of China’s communist slave state now rivals the former US of A. It’s actually a more “efficient” form of capitalism.

05:55:06[g-026-6] [ This suppresses the kids from fraud of using my screen name. ]

Anonymous Coward says:

How much help and support did the US government give the Chinese people when they challenged their government back in 1989? Diddly squat. The US government whined about how bad Saddam Hussein supposedly was to the people of Iraq (and Kuwait) and used that as part of the excuse to start a war, but have you seen the US go after China? Of course not. Why, China is our most favored trading partner. (And the US has a history of attacking only smaller and weaker countries. That’s not heroism, that’s cowardice).

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Biden isn't the only one in the administration

Biden isn’t the only one in the administration making hypocritical statements like this to other nations. John Kerry had this to say to Iran over its election practices.

?The Council narrowed a list of almost seven hundred potential candidates down to the sort of?officials of their choice, based solely on who represents the regime?s interests,? U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters during a visit to Israel.

?That is hardly an election by standards which most people in most countries judge free, fair, open, accessible, accountable elections.?

Not really a smart thing to say when the US’s presidential elections are stacked against everyone but the two duopoly candidates.

Anonymous Coward says:

he said this so as to try to stir the shit. like all so-called ‘democratic countries and governments’ the USA condemns, frequently, the lack of human rights in places like China. it is getting to be more and more like China, however, but still wants to use the ‘we have freedom and privacy, you dont’ which is now nothing other than a lie. i wouldn’t mind betting there are more killings and serious injuries inflicted on ordinary people, including kids and students, in the USA by police and other security agency officers than in China! that is nothing to be proud of!

Jerrymiah (profile) says:

This administration has also prosecuted more whistleblowers than all other administrations combined. This is what happens to people who challenge the administration. They end up broken by the system, the same system that tells them it wants to be "open" a

The thing is that the world transparency does not exists in Eric and Barrack’s dictionary. This is the worst admnistration that has ever existed in this regard, worse even than G.W.

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