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The latest entry for 'What if Obama had said what Trump just said?': Ordering US businesses to seek alternatives to China


We're in CrazyLand now

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Here at TheBlaze we tend not to cover the nutty things said in President Donald Trump's Twitter feed or his impromptu press conferences or his MAGA rallies. And for obvious reasons: We don't have the hours, energy, or staff to really do it justice. Plus, it wouldn't really be a great use of our time — or yours, frankly.

There's a good argument to be made that the president should be judged by what his administration does, not what the president says on Twitter, after all.

However, today we see that perhaps there are times that the craziness of the things our president simply declares must be pointed out — and the people who offer knee-jerk defense of his nonsense made to feel uncomfortable.

Quite a week

Forget the Greenland silliness and pissing match with Denmark.

Forget his tweeting of Wayne Allen Root's claim that Jews in Israel "love" the president "like he's the King of Israel."

Forget the fact that he called himself " the chosen one" when it comes to dealing with our Chinese trade deficit. (Interestingly, he didn't point out that, despite the stated goal of his tariffs on Chinese goods, the trade deficit remains in the hundreds of billions of dollars.)

Forget even his question of whether Fed Chairman Jay Powell, whom the president nominated, or Chinese strongman Xi is a bigger threat to the U.S.

And that's just from this week.

Today, however, you should note that our president assumed that he could simply use the power of his office to order U.S. businesses to seek non-Chinese places to do business.

"The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP," Trump tweeted in response to China's retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. "Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA."

I wonder who on the White House staff drew the short straw and had to break the news to him.

Please to be noting: His command for U.S. businesses followed his declaration that "we don't need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them."

Fun fact: China holds $1.11 trillion of U.S. debt (second only to Japan, which holds $1.12 trillion). We kinda do need them, unfortunately.

And keep in mind, these tweets are not a declaration of sanctions on Beijing, which would destroy our economy, but an attempt to intimidate American manufacturers. Few people question whether the president can order sanctions on a country — particularly a country that supports terrorism (a la the sanctions on Iran) — this is not that.

The imposition of sanctions requires a formal process that involves the administration making statutorily defined findings — findings which can be challenged in court. For instance, if the United States declared Australia a state sponsor of terror and imposed sanctions on companies that dealt with Australia, those companies would be allowed to challenge such a finding in court, per federal law. It requires a lot more than just a president unilaterally deciding that he wants to punish a country for not acting as he would prefer during a tariff war.

What if Obama said it?

We in serious CrazyLand now. Things like this must be pointed out and shamed.

There was a day — a loooooong time ago ... like, maybe, three years? — when conservatives and Republicans would have gone into conniptions if such an outlandish, power-grabbing statement had come from Barack Obama.

And if Hillary Clinton had said it during the 2016 campaign? Trump and his acolytes would have (rightfully) campaigned on it and bludgeoned her with the audaciousness of the comment.

Oh, the good ol' days of the mid-2010s, when conservatives were "principled" and GOPers were willing to keep standing for the things they apparently didn't actually believe in.

Good times.

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