And what did Posner win for his efforts? Bingo: a new round of talks to be held in China in 2011. With any luck, this will give the administration a chance to give up for global censure Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio as a too-flamboyant advocate for tough immigration enforcement.
Meanwhile, back in the United States, the Obama administration was working overtime not to know what was in the Arizona bill. Attorney General Eric Holder declared the bill could lead to racial profiling -- before he admitted to the House Judiciary Committee on May 14 that he had "not had a chance" to read the 17-page bill. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that she would have vetoed the bill -- as she, too, had to admit she had not read it.
Now you just know that if these folks thought they would have found something damning in the bill's language to throw against the Arizona Legislature and Gov. Jan Brewer, they would have read the measure ASAP.
Thursday, Obama declared, "The United States is proud to walk with Mexico." As Posner told reporters, the administration is anxious for any opportunity to engage in a respectful and informed dialogue with Beijing. But don't expect Obamaland to try to show the same eagerness to understand the Arizona law.
If Obama were a unifying figure, he would try to end the boycott wars that threaten to pull this country further apart. If Phoenix were Beijing or Mexico City, then the White House would be working overtime on a policy to accommodate both the Arizona bill and the administration's important goal of preventing racial profiling.
But as far as this administration is concerned, Arizona might as well be an enemy nation.