Free trade agreement: Slang referring to government giveaways to the 1%, achieved via exploitation of the working class
The feud between Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama is the most entertaining aspect of this president’s 7-year tenure.
Background: President Obama is trying, with increasing desperation, to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement. Many foolish Republicans have joined him in this effort. The president is demanding extra authority to “fast-track” the bill into law. No one except Congress is allowed to see the bill until this request is granted – when it’s too late to stop the deal,
if when people don’t like what they find.
The “you have to buy it to see what’s in it” approach worked for healthcare reform, but after the massive kick in the teeth that is the Affordable Care Act, people are becoming more cautious.
The trouble started when Senator Elizabeth Warren, patron saint of the left-wing, pointed out that if the trade deal was a good thing, President Obama would be trumpeting it from the mountaintops. She then spearheaded an all-out mutiny to pit Democrats in Congress against the president, to block the TPP.
Anyone who saw or remembers what NAFTA did to the American blue collar workers is standing with Warren. She’s 100% right on this issue. Obama’s problem is that Elizabeth Warren’s criticism is simple and accurate:
“The president said… when people read the agreement for themselves, that they’ll see it’s a great deal. But the president won’t actually let people read the agreement for themselves. It’s classified.”
Obama obviously did not expect to be called on the carpet by his own party. In politics, when you’re cornered, the only thing you can do is discredit the messenger. How easy that would be, if only it had been the Republicans leveling the same criticism. He would’ve said, “They’re obstructionists. They’re against everything I do.” The media would have nodded in agreement and the world would keep on turning. But registered Democrats actually burst into flames if they criticize Elizabeth Warren. It’s in the party platform.
The president only had three choices:
A) Capitulate: Embrace the fact that Elizabeth Warren is the real leader of the party and abandon TPP
B) Compromise: Be open about what the bill contains and trust that if it’s good, Americans will support it
C) Insist on his own way
Regrettably, he chose C.
The president is furious that a senator in his own party is challenging him, but he played it cool during Q&A when he was asked about Warren’s mutiny. He attempted a “I threw a lamp at your mother, and she called the police to take Dad away, but we still love each other” style of reassurance that the Democrats were a united front. But Obama has never been good at hiding exasperation. Remember when he told Hillary she was “likable enough”? Ah, those were the days. He wrapped up with this gem: “The truth of the matter is that Elizabeth is, you know, a politician like everybody else.”
Warren was busy rolling her eyes and could not be reached for comment.
Enter Senator Sherrod Brown, dim-witted Ohio Democrat. Brown is siding with Warren on the trade deal, and took issue with Obama’s characterization of the Massachusetts senator as “another politician”, accusing the president of being disrespectful. (Side note: Don’t you think it’s revealing that politicians think being described as a politician is disrespectful?)
Brown said, “I’m not going to get into more details.” Immediately, he went into more detail: “I think referring to her as first name, when he might not have done that for a male senator, perhaps? I’ve said enough.”
Oh, the irony! The Democrats are never, ever through hurling thunderbolts of “isms”. “You dare to disagree with me about beans? Legume-ist!” Or sexist, racist, fascist, ageist, chlorophyllist, et cetera. There are sexists and racists out there. But in the Era of Political Correctness, labels like these have lost their meaning since they’re primarily used to silence dissent. Identifying Obama as sexist is soooo typical of Sherrod Brown, who has been making idiotic proclamations for years.
The White House, incensed, demanded an apology of Brown which boiled down to: “Hey stupid, we’re in the same party.”
The press wriggled with excitement. Barack Obama is the Elizabeth Warren of yesteryear. It used to be unheard of to criticize him and when people do so now, it still causes a stir. But the media doesn’t like to say anything negative about Democrats, even the really dumb ones like Sherrod Brown.
Look, I’m not known for defending Barack Obama, but it was obvious that he is just frustrated and angry with Warren, not demeaning her because of her gender.
Even a woman can understand that.
Join us next week on the TPP soap opera, when President Obama realizes he actually has united the right and the left (albeit against him), and Sherrod Brown injures himself while walking around without a helmet. Now, go in peace. May Elizabeth Warren smile upon you.