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Taiwan: The New Israel

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FILE - Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kansas) and President Richard Nixon outline the Republican campaign plans January 25, 1971. Dole said Wednesday May 15, 1996 he was quitting the Senate after 27 years to challenge President Clinton full time, ``with nothing to fall back on but the judgment of the people.''  (AP Photo, files)
FILE – Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kansas) and President Richard Nixon outline the Republican campaign plans January 25, 1971. Dole said Wednesday May 15, 1996 he was quitting the Senate after 27 years to challenge President Clinton full time, “with nothing to fall back on but the judgment of the people.” (AP Photo, files)

Glad to know that conservatives are looking to turn Taiwan into the new Israel, allowing the interests of a client state to supersede that of the superpower in order to serve right-wing foreign policy goals that severely undermine American prestige around the world. That Bob Dole is ending his long history in politics by seeking this goal should not surprise us.

Bob Dole’s lobbying Donald Trump on Taiwan went far beyond a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan’s president.

Dole, the only past Republican presidential nominee to endorse Trump before the election, briefed the campaign’s policy director, set up meetings between campaign staff and Taiwanese emissaries, arranged for Taiwan’s delegation to attend the Republican National Convention, and helped tilt the party platform further in the island’s favor, the disclosure released to POLITICO shows. He even arranged for members of Taiwan’s ruling party to take a White House tour, according to the filing.

Taiwan paid the 93-year-old Dole and his law firm, Alston & Bird, $140,000 between May and October, according to the new disclosure. His spokeswoman declined to comment.

Dole’s work is part of Taiwan’s decades-long investment in grooming conservatives to bolster its U.S. relations at China’s expense, dispatching lobbyists to ply Capitol Hill, feting congressional staff with trips to Taipei, throwing parties at a vast DC estate, and funneling money to China hawks at right-leaning think tanks.

Earlier this year, Dole set up a meeting between Taiwan’s representative to the U.S., Stanley Kao, and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, a key Trump adviser and later his choice for attorney general. He also convened a meeting between Taiwanese diplomats and the Trump transition team. The disclosure didn’t specify exactly when the meetings occurred.

The filing also reveals Dole’s hand in making the Republican platform the most pro-Taiwan it has ever been. The 2016 edition added language affirming the “Six Assurances” that President Reagan made to Taiwan’s security in 1982.

Boy, how could this go wrong…..

And while I recognize that Bob Dole is not exactly a figure who attracts a lot of nostalgia, when Dole dies, can we please avoid talk of those days in the past when the Republican Party was full of reasonable moderates? It’s true enough that conservatism was less fanatical when Dole started his career but that was partly because it was out of power. Dole did more than his share to move this nation sharply to the right and continues to do so today, undermining national and regional security. Thanks Bob.

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