by William Skink
Stupid Skink, you allowed a glimmer of hope from Democrats to blind you to how DC functions. You thought enough Dems on Capitol Hill would continue to oppose fast-track authority, but you were wrong. Fucking Democrats. How could you forget that there are Rich People’s Rules when it comes to the desires of the corporate class? I guess you need Dean Baker to remind you:
Congress gave the American people and the world something to celebrate last Friday. The House of Representatives refused to pass the package of bills that would have given President Obama fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This was a huge victory for a campaign led by labor unions, environmentalists, consumer groups and other activists against the country’s biggest corporations.
A victory by the masses, or “everyday people,” over big money and big media is always grounds for celebration. But it is important to remember the game is far from over. This is one of those bills, like the TARP, where we are playing by rich people’s rules.
That means that the other guys get to have do overs until they get the outcome they want. Some folks may remember the vote on the TARP, the Wall Street bailout package. The Washington establishment was shocked when liberal Democrats and populist Republicans combined to defeat the original bill in the House. But that was not the end, after all the life of the Wall Street banks was at stake.
We know how that temporary stand against the TARP bailout turned, don’t we? And now the same thing with fast-tracking America into tighter corporate control. Here are your worthless Democrats, as reported by Mother Jones:
Well, it looks like the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty is in business. The standalone fast-track bill just passed the Senate by a hair, 60-37. Several Republicans defected and voted no even though they had voted yes the first time around, but only one Democrat defected. So now it goes to President Obama’s desk, where he’ll sign it.
I wish Democrats experienced consequences for these constant betrayals, but they don’t. At Salon they think Hillary is going to lose to Bernie because of her deftly vacuous rhetoric around issues like trade. Sure, Salon, and I’ll have some of what you’re smoking please:
Clinton spoke on Roosevelt Island the day after the House TTP vote. She said the word ‘trade’ once, when breathlessly observing that she could see the new World Trade Center over her shoulder. In a year she has made just one statement on the issue. Months ago, when asked a question by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell she said, “Any trade deal has to produce jobs and raise wages and increase prosperity and protect our security. And we have to do our part in making sure we have the…. skills to be competitive.”
The morning after Announcement II, John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, appeared on “Meet the Press.” When asked her position on the TPP he managed to sound indignant: “She actually has been very clear about where she stands on trade…. First, does it grow jobs, grow wages and protect American workers and second, does it protect our national security…”
Podesta said Clinton would “render her final judgment” after the deal was done. That was it. Her non-answer would be her final answer until such time as it no longer mattered what she thought. Podesta’s performance may have tripped an alarm even in the tone-deaf Clinton camp. Later that day in Iowa, she talked for the first time on the record about the TPP. In a story headlined Trade Deal Comments Put Hillary Clinton at Odds With Her Former Boss, the Times told how she “bluntly suggested that the president should ‘listen to and work with’ Democrats to improve the deal and ensure better protections for American workers. If that cannot be done Mrs. Clinton said, ‘there should be no deal.’”
This may have been the story my liberal friends read. It reads as if Clinton came out swinging, but read it again and it’s clear she said even less there than she said to Andrea Mitchell. If Obama can’t work with Democratic House leaders who both support the TPP, there shouldn’t be a deal. But why wouldn’t he? Her verbal feint was sublimely subtle. Without changing her position, without even taking one, she repositioned herself on an issue roiling her party and nation. As message politics goes, it was state of the art. Too bad for Clinton it isn’t working.
Hillary puffs on the hopium and her followers breathe it in deeply. Through the haze the husk of her words are filled by the hopes of her supporters. It’s a choreographed dance of deceit with just enough suspended belief to make it palatable.
John Halle, over at Counterpunch, puts the treasonous support of free trade in juxtaposition to the racist execution of 9 church goers in Charleston. He calls it Obama’s Neoliberal Endgame:
It is a testament to the optimism of the left that some of us were able to find a silver lining even in the most toxic of black clouds which was the Charleston massacre. One of these was Maurice Mitchell of the Movement for Black Lives who was quoted as taking comfort in “the organizing and the heart and resilience we are seeing on the ground”. Mitchell was “hopeful that it will continue—that we might be able to precipitate a meaningful, transformative political and cultural shift in this country.”
Unfortunately, Mitchell’s optimism was probably misplaced for reasons Naomi Klein provides in The Shock Doctrine: crises, even those which might seem to galvanize the left, are routinely used as a smokescreen under which the right pursues their most regressive policies.
Last Thursday was no exception.
Indeed, while the bodies were being counted, the U.S. Congress approved HR 1314, a major step to achieving Trade Promotion Authority, or TPA, which will result in far more devastation in African American communities than white supremacists’ bullets. The difference lies in the violence being effected by fountain pen wielding men in suits resulting in unseen destruction–of jobs, environmental protections and organizing rights all of which adding up to mass unemployment, misery, and hopelessness and, ultimately, thousands of premature deaths.
There’s no connecting of the dots, no examination of the Big Picture. So what if Walmart stops selling Confederate flag merchandise? The corporate class is preparing their “free trade” shackles for us plebes while we discuss Obama’s use of the word nigger. Symbolic wins can’t replace policy losses. Electing Obama is the perfect example. While Democrats celebrated this symbolic victory, Obama served the corporate class more effectively these past 7 years than a McCain or a Romney could have.
And with Hillary we will get the same thing: a symbolic victory while the corporate class continues its incremental enslavement of the useless eaters they despise (but still marginally need for their profits).
And so it goes…