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A SWAT for meddling in foreign affairs

Submitted by on Thursday, 12 March 2009 No Comment

You’ve just embarrassed yourself with months of childish stubbornness and inability to agree on how to solve a $42 billion budget problem. Only 18 percent of the state thinks you’re doing a good job.

What are you going to do next, California Legislature?

I’m going to try to thump China around about Tibet.

Lest you think this is just another case of the California crazies, the Golden State isn’t the only one to stick its nose into a problem it can’t possibly solve. The Wisconsin Legislature declared March 10 Tibet Day. That these are the country’s top dairy-producing states immediately brings to mind a barnyard euphemism for describing their actions.

Not to make light of the situation in Tibet. A government in exile, millions dead to violence and famine, a child nominated as a religious leader held as a political prisoner.

China, though, contends that Tibet always has been part of its country. The Chinese officially took control in 1951, a move China regards as liberating Tibetans. Not all Tibetans would agree with that: Tension has existed ever since.

So emotionally, it’s understandable why California Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee would introduce ACR 6, which would declare March 10 “Dalai Lama and Tibet Awareness Day.” Oops. The Legislature handled that deadline about as well as it does the annual budget.

It’s already been amended to remove any references to support for Tibet independence, and Chinese officials have lobbied legislators heavily to kill the resolution that they regard as an insult.

Here’s a basic civics lesson, though, that the Chinese probably aren’t aware of but that Blakeslee should know: Tibet and China are none of the California Legislature’s business.

There’s this little document called the U.S. Constitution that says any power the federal government didn’t take, the states get to keep. The feds took the right to wheel, deal and blow to bits foreign countries. Which probably is a good thing lest Michigan decide to invade Toronto or Florida declare Cuba a suburb.

The U.S. Congress also passed a resolution Tuesday condemning China on Tibet, and the Chinese got just as hot and bothered about that action as they are about the meaningless California resolution. It was an effort to “glorify the treacherous Dalai Lama,” one columnist wrote. It was actually wasted effort, since the congressional resolution doesn’t accomplish anything either.

At least it was closer to germane than anything California, Wisconsin or any of the other 48 can come up with.

State legislatures, Stop Wasting America’s Time by meddling in foreign affairs. You have a enough work on your hands without trying to do Hillary Clinton’s job, too.

Know of someone who deserves a SWAT? Click here to make a nomination.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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