Rep. Kirk is beamed up, on another planet


Imagine if a  Democratic congressman had visited a nation with whom the US has a troubled but financially-dependent relationship, say oil-rich Venezuela, and pronouncing during an official tour that the US could not be trusted to keep paying for oil purchased from that nation.


Limbaugh. Cheney, and Gingrich would be organizing an instant lynching on the grounds of treason.


But somehow, there has been relative quiet around a freshman Republican congressman named Mark Kirk of

Illinois openly told the Chinese government not to trust the current administration in Washington.


The Straits Times

reports that Kirk told the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a conservative Washington think tank, about his: and discussed a meeting he had with Chinese leaders trip in these terms:

"One of the messages I had — because we need to build trust and confidence in our number one creditor is that the budget numbers that the US government had put forward should not be believed. The Congress is actually gonna spend quite a bit more than what’s in the budget, and the health-care bill probably being the lead driver of additional spending by the Congress."

Essentially, Kirk was not only directly questioning the credibility of the Obama administration on soil of a nation whose authoritarian government and economic interests diverge sharply from the values of the American people, but also clearly stating that the full faith and trust of the United States government was not backing up US debts to China.

Kirk’s statement was no attempt to build "credibility with the Chinese, but an undisguised effort to sabotage the US economy at a time of massive unemployment and acute suffering. Nor it was it a mere criticism of the Obama administration, which would be protected free speech, even though it defies 233 years of bipartisan protocol for dealing with other nations. Moreover, it goes beyond Rush Limbaugh’s hopes that Obama’s presidency would "fail," and is an overt effort to induce failure by getting the Chinese to stop purchasing US debt.

Many progressives have laughed off Kirk’s maneuver as the delusional ravings of an egotistical freshman with hallucinations of grandeur. I view it differently: it was an act of treason, pure and simple, and should be prosecuted as such.

For decades, the Republicans have been playing by hard-ball rules against Democrats for minor infractions, and the Democrats have rarely if ever responded in kind. But this is no minor infraction: it was a direct and conscious effort to sabotage the US economy.

Rather than writing memos in support of the Defense of Marriage Act and withholding pictures of US torture at GuantanamoBay from the US public, Eric Holder’s Justice Department ought to seriously pursue treason charges against Kirk.

While congressmen have even wider leeway than the average citizen in making outrageous statements, the lodging of treason charges against Kirk would at the very least help to kill his political career–and send a message to his fellow hard-liners that this administration will not tolerate efforts to harm our economy in order to hurt Obama politically

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