WASHINGTON (CNN) – Moderator Wolf Blitzer asked the Democratic Presidential candidates to raise their hands if they would support boycotting the 2008 Beijing Olympics if China does not assist in dealing with the genocide in Darfur. Governor Bill Richardson, D-New Mexico and Fmr. Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, were the only candidates to raise their hands to show their support for a boycott.This is straight out of the Jimmy Carter playbook. Carter boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980 over the issue of their invasion of Afghanistan, and as a result, the Soviet bloc boycotted the L.A. Olympics in 1984. So who got hurt by these boycotts? Our athletes.
Gov. Richardson, who traveled to Darfur to rescue a journalist from New Mexico in January, was the first to mention the idea of a boycott. Richardson said, “We need China, which has enormous leverage over Darfur. If the Chinese don’t want to do this, we say to them, maybe we won’t go to the Olympics.”
Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Connecticut, laughed at the idea of a boycott and said, “I think that goes too far.”
Fmr. Sen. Edwards praised Richardson and Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Delaware, on speaking out about Darfur. He agreed with Richardson about potentially boycotting the Beijing Olympics. “We should use whatever tools are available.”
Boycotting the Olympics might have some minor impact on China, but it surely won't cause them to change their evil ways in the Sudan. All it will do is punish our American athletes who have been training for years to compete against the world's best. Boycotts are useless, symbolic gestures that end up punishing the wrong people.
Very true to form for Democrats.