There’s an old adage that one should never attribute to maliciousness what can be explained by stupidity, and no administration has ever equaled the Bush Administration’s ability to present a never-ending string of choices that deposits observers squarely on the horns of that stupidity-or-strategy? dilemma.

The latest iteration of the Nelson Report observes that the visit of President Hu of China was one of many governments the Bush Administration has managed to offend over its short life. Another three years of this and the only governments that won’t hate the US will be tribal chiefdoms deep in the heart of the highlands of Borneo. Some Greatest Hits from the Nelson Report:

HU VISIT FALLOUT…we are reliably informed that despite President Hu’s apparently calm exterior, he and other top Chinese officials were irate, when the White House announcer intoned “and now, the national anthem of the Republic of China” the Secret Service stood by while a known Falun Gong demonstrator was not just cleared into the White House, but disrupted Hu’s long-planned “live” TV back to the mainland, no Chinese flags were displayed near the White House, and other “mistakes” took place which we are sworn not to print.

Back in Beijing, Hu and his colleagues do not believe that the many protocol slights were mistakes…in fact, we are told, to both Hu and his enemies, the number and pattern of incidents would seem to confirm that all were deliberate.

American officials and commentators thus find themselves in the position of arguing that the truth is more embarrassing than simply letting the Chinese indulge in their conspiracy theory: the truth being that White House staff, including the Secret Service, really blew it…with the possible exception of clearing-in the Falun Gong demonstrator…more on that shortly.

The bottom line is that the Hu visit is seen by sources in Beijing as a potentially serious problem for future US-China relations precisely because the mistakes/slights seem deliberate. And whether true or not is now beside the point. Sources say that Hu is not just angry personally, but that the debacle at the White House has hurt him politically, since the far left of the CCP sees it as proof that Hu was foolish to trust the US, and to try and work with President Bush……


……….except that Acting Senior Director Dennis Wilder DID try to block the Falun Gong demonstrator from being cleared.

If that is in fact true, does it mean that some official in the White House took it upon him or herself to ignore, or over-rule the policy professional on China? This explanation would certainly be more comforting, in a sense, than the claim that the Secret Service just blew it.

But politically, it opens up a whole new line of concerns,…

Yes. The obvious concern is that our President is playing Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with national security, the world economy, the global environment, and our relationships with other Powers. Without question the worst President in the history of the nation, and I suspect that what is yet to come will set new records.