The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) cleared another hurdle, bringing us one step closer to another economic disaster.
President Obama asked Congress for the power to accelerate trade deals like TPP through the legislative process, which is informally called fast track. 62 senators (13 Democrats, 49 Republicans) led by Senator Mitch McConnell (R), gave in to this demand.
Obama (and all other presidents) want the moon and the stars. Congress is supposed to hold the purse strings and keep the president’s power in check. McConnell has pointed out dozens of instances of abuses of power by the Obama administration. Yet when the president demands more power, McConnell ought to push back and attempt to reclaim some power the president has already seized. Instead, he merrily grants his request. If you’re keeping score, that is Logic – 0, McConnell – 1.
Aren’t you thrilled to be alive in a time when even impaired people have positions of power?
McConnell offered this justification for the void where his leadership ought to have been:
“We all know that trade is important for American workers and American jobs. And we all know that, by passing this legislation, we can show we’re serious about advancing new opportunities.”
Hate to contradict you, Mitch. (Well, not really). But in any case, we don’t all know that. Primarily because it is a completely dishonest way of presenting the bill.
The House of Representatives is now the only thing standing between Obama and the bill that will hurt American blue collar workers. If they don’t turn into the Alamo, fast-track will pass and TPP is all but certain.
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 Obama Administration’s official legislative approach
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.”
After being out in the cold for years, the GOP is finally back in power. And practically as soon as they took over, they started making one bad decision after another. Is it Mitch McConnell’s fault? John Boehner’s? Or is bad judgment the new Republican brand?
Three older laws are back on the table again. In 2 of the 3 cases, Republicans must accept half the responsibility for passing the laws and the bad consequences. However, now that the issues are up for discussion again, Democrats seem to be thinking more clearly than Republicans.
Let’s start with the Patriot Act, which I’ve recently spoken to at length. The Republicans (Senator Mitch McConnell, specifically) are leading the charge to extend the bill again – it was supposed to have sunset in 2011. Barack Obama extended it – and expanded it. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats kicked up a fuss. Now the bill is due to expire again, and this time Sen. McConnell is leading the way to salvage a bill that is very harmful to Americans’ civil liberty. The Patriot Act was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law by George W. Bush, a Republican president.
Original fault: Republicans and Democrats equally to blame.
Current fault:Republicans and Democrats. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) is leading the charge to extend the bill.
Lawmakers crowd around to get a last glance at their civil liberties before Bush forfeits them.