The most incredible part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership debacle is not the Republicans' willingness to support a stupid policy. They are the Stupid Party after all. It's the willingness of the GOP and its backers in the Beltway Right to pay an incredible political price and spit in the face of their own political base just to pass something so incredibly unpopular.
We see an example of this at National Review, where Patrick Brennan gamely tries to sell TPP to NR's readers and criticize Democrats for having sabotaged a "trade" deal. Incredibly, he even criticizes President Obama for having "done little in the way of effective private lobbying or public advocacy for what’s supposedly one of his top priorities" [The (Maybe Temporary) Trade Failure: Blame Democrats, by Patrick Brennan, June 12, 2015]
The assumption here is that respectable Beltway conservatives should be all in favor of giving President Obama vastly more powers and ceding control over national sovereignty and immigration policy, because "trade." The readers aren't buying it.A sampling:
"When ignoring the electorate costs us Congress again, what will you say?When Fast Track is rammed through, to facilitate ramming TPP, etc, through.. And it's a bad deal for working class Americans, just like we all knew it would be.. What will you say?[Comment by JHX, June 14, 2015]
When we get tagged and dismissed as the "party of big business" again because of the cronyism and the corruption (Which was the conventional wisdom for years.) what will you say?"
I used to shake my head at how silly old Pat Buchanan lost his marbles and went from being a great commenter to a bit of a loon. Turns out he was absolutely right about NR and beltway Republicans.[Comment by Jim Kramer, June 12, 2015]
The completely smug tone deafness of the establishment right has led us to a situation previously unimaginable- Pat Buchanan's vision for the Republican Party increasingly prevalent among the grass roots. I genuinely don't know who would win if Pat faced off against GHWB in this environment.
What about the geniuses in the Republican leadership? They managed to make Nancy Pelosi sound middle class and caring while at the same time demoralizing Reagan Republicans.[Comment by Walter Thomas, June 12, 2015]
Sad and incredibly stupid analysis by Mr. Brennan and previously by NR editors. Are you all on the take from corporate America? It's fine to bash proponents of Obamacare for saying you have to wait until the bill is passed to know what's in it, but go right ahead with trade legislation that secretly expands Obama's power to do yet more damage on a variety of fronts and also surrenders decision making authority to international bureaucrats ready to eat our lunch. No wonder Americans, and increasingly conservatives, don't trust the leadership of either party when their bread is buttered by the parasites of Big Business, whose moral compass is always pointing toward more self-centered greed.[Comment by krtobin13, June 12, 2015]
I'll bet Mr. Brennan thought the Affordable Care Act meant healthcare would be free too. I'll bet Mr. Brennan believes we actually have a shortage of STEM workers in America so we need these "free trade" bills. That's why all of us STEM workers get 10-15% raises every year. Sorry, in real life what happens is our Universities cater to and fill up their classrooms with foreign students who they can charge triple tuition, and whose governments pay for them. Then the elitist establishment lobby for H1B visas so these people can stay, along with importing other STEM workers from Inida/China/Bangladesh. Then American STEM workers train and are replaced by these folks at much reduced wages. Wages are STAGNANT in STEM fields, how could that possibly indicate a shortage?![Comment by NavySpook7, June 12, 2015]
This entire ploy is geared toward cementing elite power in unelected bodies and allowing mass immigration to dilute the workings of the Republic. Today the average Congressman represents over 1 million people, up from 30,000 in 1790, and Congress hasn't increased its size in over 50 years, during which time the number of constituents has doubled. Why? Because it's harder to lobby a larger House, and the bribes (insider trader tips) get split up more ways. Everything in Washington is about concentrating power, ignoring and/or circumventing the Constitution, and insulting the elite. So no, we aren't "ill-informed," we know the elite have figured out the government is for sale and we aren't interested in giving it any more power to sell to them.
"While some Republicans and conservatives have opposed this trade process on ill-informed fears about the trade deal’s secrecy, impact on presidential power, immigration policy, or whatever, the seriously disappointing showing here is from Democrats, scarcely two dozen of whom support President Obama on the issue – and from, of course, Obama himself, who has done little in the way of effective private lobbying or public advocacy for what’s supposedly one of his top priorities."[Comment by Robinbuscato, June 12, 2015]
Ill-informed fears? Does the trade agreement or does the trade agreement not dramatically increase the number of working visas so foreigners can take American jobs? Yes. It does. The mere fact that the bill provides compensation for Americans losing jobs as a result of the agreement is all I need or care to know. I trust Jeff Session in this: an extra-legislative body (unelected officials including foreigners) will be able to make decisions about American immigration, environmental concerns, money policy, etc. And there would not be a damn thing the American people could do about it. How dare you, National Review. How dare you.
Again and again and again, all you Conservatism Inc. writers at NRO, and Jason Riley just now on my television, and the open bordersniks at the WSJ and elsewhere insist on mischaracterizing the opponents on the Right as having "ill-informed" fears, as being "all protectionist", as Riley just did, as not understanding the difference between TPA and TPP. It is aLL A LOAD OF BS. These deals ARE NOT ABOUT FREE TRADE!!!! http://fff.org/explore-freedom...[Comment by nrinc, June 12, 2015]
How come the so-called "fringe" Austrians (and the Buchananites of protectionism) are the only ones BEING HONEST ABOUT THIS, CONSERVATISM, INC?
This isn't us being selective. As far as I can tell, NO ONE at the Beltway Right's premiere publication thinks this is a good idea, as either politics or policy. With recent leaks, we also know Republican leaders like Paul Ryan are baldly lying when they say the trade deal has no impact on immigration. So why is the Beltway Right going to the mat on this?
The horrible reality that Conservatism Inc. is just a racket is getting harder and harder to conceal.